Click here to read Exodus 15:1-21

Having just been a part of the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea and witnessing the power of God as He single-handedly defeated the Egyptians, Israel responds in the only way that makes sense—they worship God.  Today’s passage contains the songs of Moses and Miriam as all of Israel rejoices in the Lord.  This is a special song as it not only is about God and what He has done, but it is also sung to God and describes what He will do in the future.

Sometimes it is tempting to want to quickly scan the poetry of the Bible, especially when it looks like it’s a summary of what just happened.  However, there is a lot to this passage and it is more than just Moses and Israel praising God for drowning the Egyptians like Pharaoh had tried to do to Hebrew male babies.

Moses’ song contains a lot of information on who God is and provides a picture of how Israel perceived God at that time as well.  Moses song exclaims that God is a powerful and mighty warrior, He is the savior and deliverer of Israel, that His name is Yahweh, He is faithful and is true to His promises (He is “my father’s God”), and even more, He is a very personal God to the individuals of Israel—He is my God, my strength, my salvation, and my song.

Moses’ song also provides a contrast between Pharaoh and God.  Pharaoh rode out believing that he was powerful enough to overtake God.  He was arrogant and boastful about his abilities and figured the Israelites to be easy prey for the mighty Egyptian army.  But none of this mattered when it came to the power of Yahweh; He was able to shatter the army by merely blowing on them!

But Moses’ song doesn’t simply focus on praising God for what He has done; it also looks forward to what God will do.  Moses knows that God doesn’t do things arbitrarily or on a whim.  God has a very specific purpose for His chosen people.  Moses praises God and looks forward to the time when God will make good on the promise of land that He made with Abraham.  In addition to keeping His promise God will also keep Israel, whom He redeemed as His people, in His sanctuary and He will reign forever.

The people of Israel excitedly praised God for what He had done, but they also recognized that this was just the beginning of what God would do.

Names Places
Major  

God – God

Moses – baby drawn from water and saved

Miriam – Moses’ sister

Aaron – Moses’s brother

Major 

Red Sea – the sea that God parted and Israel crossed

Minor 

people inhabiting the Promised Land – Philistines, Edomites, Moabites, Canaanites

Pharaoh – ruler of Egypt

Egyptians

Pharaoh’s army of chariots and horsemen

Israelites

Minor 

nations within the Promised Land – Philistia, Edom, Moab, Canaan

Interesting fact:

Miriam is the first woman in the Bible referred to as a prophetess.  Micah 6:4 seems to indicate that she played an important role in the leadership of Israel in the desert!

“For I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.” (Micah 6:4, NIV)

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