The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), February 5
People are hardwired to remember songs and to respond to music. Both good and bad ideologies, communicated through a catchy tune, stick to the heart, so it isn’t any wonder that Moses composes a song to capture God’s deliverance of Israel out of Egypt and to highlight God’s commitment to Israel as a community. Celebrating their shared history through music will deepen their communal bond and remind Israel of who God is for them.
Israel will need the theology taught in this song to carry them through through the trying days of wilderness wandering that lie before them:
The LORD is my strength and my song.
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
The LORD is a man of war;
The LORD is His name. (Ex. 15:2-3)
Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods?
Who is like You, glorious in holiness,
Fearful in praises, doing wonders? (15:11)
The same God who caused the Egyptians to fear will cause the Canaanites to fear, “The people will hear and be afraid; sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia. Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling will take hold of them; all the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away” (15:14-15).
The same God who delivered Israel out of Egyptian bondage will deliver Canaan into their hands, “You will bring them in and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which You have made for Your own dwelling, the sanctuary, O LORD, which Your hands have established” (15:17).
Sadly, Israel allows circumstances to drown out the songs designed to escort theology into their hearts and minds, and they complain against the LORD a few days later (Ex. 14:11-12).
Questions from today’s reading (Exodus 13:1-15:27):
Why does the firstborn belong to the LORD? (What caused the death of the firstborn in Egyptian households, and what purchased the firstborn in Israelite homes?)
Why does the LORD take Israel through a longer and indirect route out of Egypt? What does this reveal about human nature?
What does Israel learn about God’s delivering them through the Red Sea?