Wednesday, March 04, 2015


Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying:

“I will sing to the LORD,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!”  (Exodus 15:1)

Singing plays an important role in Christian worship.  We are commanded in Ephesians 5:19 to be, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord….”  As we reflect on God’s glorious nature and recall His great works, then a song of praise and thanksgiving forms in our heart, and bursts from our lips.  That is what happened to Moses and the children of Israel.

We note THE THEME of the song (Ex.15:1-2a).  Moses directs us to consider who God is: our strength, our song and our salvation.  The Hebrews were hopeless to escape Egyptian slavery—it would require a miracle—and that is what God provided!  No wonder they broke forth into singing about the supernatural strength they had witnessed.  We serve this same mighty God!  He became their song—the source, substance and sum of their singing.  It is sad when so much “Christian” music today is about us—the style and substance focused on how it makes us feel, when God’s glory is what true worship is all about.  God saved the children of Israel from their wretched state, and Gospel songs declare the salvation we have experienced and offer it to those yet in sin’s shackles.

This leads us to hear THE TESTIMONY in the song (Ex.15:2b-12).  Their song was a passionate expression of witness to the Lord’s wonderful work.  How could they suppress this song?  It was as volcanic fire building up inside them that erupted with flowing words of praise.  If we have meditated on God’s attributes and contemplated God’s activity, then we also will bear testimony in song. We want the whole world to hear!  This is our God, worthy of praise!  He breaks the power of the enemy—“O victory in Jesus!”  How great and how good He is!  “Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?”  (Ex.15:11).

Fundamentally, we are to grasp THE TRUTH from the song (Ex.15:13-21).  I’m glad we don’t know the tempo—some would say it’s too fast or too slow.  Nor do we know the tune, and I’m glad, for some would say it’s pitched too high or too low.  All these arguments concerning classic or contemporary, hymns or choruses, using hymn books or video screens, playing organs or guitars have little significance compared to the main purpose of worship music—and that is to clearly communicate the truth of Scripture as to who God is, what He has done, and how we may relate to Him.  Doctrine is indelibly engraved on our heart when it is expressed lyrically.  I have heard old songs that ought to be put on the shelf and never sung again.  I have heard new songs that ought not be sung the first time.  There is not a thimble full of doctrine in them!  Truth has the power to stir us emotionally—Miriam and the women beat tambourines as they danced for joy!  Let us be swept away by the glory, greatness and goodness of God.  If we aren’t excited about Him, then how can we claim to know Him?  Heaven is filled with music.  Are you going?

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