When the Lord Becomes Your Song

June 27, 2014 at 10:26 am | Posted in Exodus | 7 Comments
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Exodus 15 features a song about what God did in the great miracle of the parting of the Red Sea and the drowning of the Egyptian army, and this is not the only song in the Bible that mentions this event. Psalm 136 tells us how the Israelites in later years felt about it, and how we’re supposed to think about it.

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

Exodus 15:1-2

This may be the first part of the Book of Exodus to have actually been written down, since it was probably written contemporaneously with the event itself. It is one thing to sing songs about the Lord. It is another thing for Him to be your song. “Your song” is what excites your imagination. It’s what you can’t help exalting. Your life will change when your “song” is not the new Playstation 3 or the new season of “The Bachelor” or whatever your hobby is or politics or the stock market or even your kids or your spouse. When the Lord becomes the thing you can’t help singing about, and you realize that you are not really singing “about” Him, but that He is your song – your joy.

The Book of Exodus is written in the genre of historical narrative. It is factual and summarizing, going into detail only when it furthers the theme. It is dramatic, but the drama is not embellished or fictionalized. However, here in Chapter 15 the genre shifts to “poetic” and much of the language is anthropomorphic. Anthro (from which we get the word “anthropology”) means “man” or “human beings.” Morphic means “form.” In anthropomorphism the subject is portrayed in “human form” even though it’s not really a human being.

For example:

Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.

Exodus 15:6

And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.

Exodus 15:8

The Holy Spirit is not telling us here that the Lord literally used His right hand as opposed to His left hand, or that He even used a physical hand to dash the Egyptians to pieces. Nor is He telling us that God held up the separated walls of water during the Red Sea crossing with a holy sneeze. This is poetic language used for worship, beauty, metaphor, memorization, and lyrical brilliance.

Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.

Exodus 15:13

This is an Old Testament type and shadow of what Christ would do in a greater reality. God sees His people in bondage (Egypt), delivers them (Exodus), separates them (Red Sea) from the power of their enemy (Pharaoh), binds them to Himself with a covenant (Mt. Sinai), and then leads them and actually brings them to Canaan and ultimately Jerusalem, His earthly holy habitation.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

John 14:2-3

Jesus sees His people (as yet still lost sinners) in bondage (to the power of sin and Satan), and delivers them (by the Cross and – experientially for us – by faith when we are saved). He separates us from the power of our enemies (Satan and sin no longer are our masters). He binds us to Himself with a covenant (the New Covenant of everlasting life) and He brings us and goes with us and guides us (by the Holy Spirit) to His holy habitation (Heaven).

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  1. […] did happen, and God truly did deliver His people out of bondage, but event was not just about Moses parting the Red Sea. It was also a picture of Jesus coming into this world where we were all in bondage to sin and […]

  2. […] humility, or possibly in deference to Aaron as the older brother. It could also be because, as a singer, she would be involved in Tabernacle (later Temple) worship, which was the province of Aaron the […]

  3. […] quickly the freedom of celebration and worship can come to a halt at the first sign of […]

  4. […] is written somewhat conversationally in some places, and it is polemical in places, so it does have metaphors and figurative language and even estimates, but it is to be taken literally, and it does contain the absolute […]

  5. […] have seen” is another example of anthropomorphism. “Stiffnecked” is what we would call “hard-headed” or stubborn. In an agrarian society, the […]

  6. […] is an example of anthropopathism. In Exodus 15 we learned about anthropomorphism (“man-form”), where human physical characteristics are used to describe God. […]

  7. […] During Deliverance (Exodus 14) 22. Poetry, Dancing, and the Wondrous Fear of God (Exodus 15) 23. When the Lord Becomes Your Song (Exodus 15) 24. Omniscience, Obstacles, Opportunities, and Overruling Oversight (Exodus 15-16) 25. […]


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