Who Is This God?September 27 - October 1
The God Who Triumphs: A Song to Sing
Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. – Exodus 15:1-2 (ESV)
A number of years ago Orel Hirscheiser was pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They had just won the World Series, and Orel had been named “The most valuable player of the series.” One of the TV shows about the series showed him in the dugout just before the 9th inning started. He was leaning against the wall and his lips were moving. It was obvious that he was saying something to himself. So when he was a guest on the Tonight Show, Johnny Carson asked him what he had been saying. “I wasn’t saying anything,” Orel responded. “Well, then, tell us what you were doing.” Finally, Orel replied, “I was singing.” “You were singing?” Johnny said. “I didn’t know you were a singer.” “Aw,” Orel said, “I’m not.” Johnny persisted, “What were you singing? Sing it for us now.” “Nah, I don’t want to sing.” But by that time the audience was chiming in with “C’mon, sing…” On the urging of Carson and Friday’s studio audience, Hirscheiser warbled “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow …. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” The Christian hymn, known as the Doxology, dates back to 1695 and is based on text from Psalm 150.
Singing and worship have long played an important role in the life of God’s people. Exodus 15 is the first recorded song in the Bible. It’s a song of triumph and joy as God’s people have just escaped Pharaoh’s army and crossed the red sea.
According to Life Application Study Bible – Music played an important part in Israel’s worship and celebration. Singing was an expression of love and thanks, and it was a creative way to pass down oral traditions. Some say this song of Moses is the oldest recorded song in the world. It was a festive epic poem celebrating God’s victory, lifting the hearts and voices of the people outward and upward. After having been delivered from great danger, they sang with joy! So in response to their gratitude and faith in God, the nation joins Moses in a song of praise to Jehovah.
If God has saved you, you should joyfully sing because you personally have experienced His great salvation. But, also, you should join with others who have experienced His salvation so that the corporate singing is an offering to God. What victories has God given you that are worthy of rejoicing?
Take some time to sing to God in praise. Use your streaming service of choice or however you listen to music. Sing along in praise to Him.
The God Who Triumphs: Past Victories
Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea. The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone. Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. – Exodus 15:4-6 (ESV)10:1-2 (ESV)
One day in the middle of the woods, a hawk, a lion, and a skunk were arguing about which one was the most powerful. The hawk said it was because he could fly down and catch his dinner so quickly they could not getaway. The lion said he could run the fastest and had the bigger teeth to eat his prey with. The skunk said he was the most powerful because, with one flick of his tail, he could chase them both away. About that time, a large grizzly bear came out from the trees and ate them all; hawk, lion, and stinker.
Exodus 15:1-12 focuses on God’s power and past deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. Moses celebrates the power of God’s “right hand” in this section of Scripture. Commentator George Bush says of God’s right hand, “It’s Another form of expression for God’s omnipotence. The right hand, being naturally the strongest from being most employed, is used by an apt metaphor for the highest degree of power.”
God is able to triumph over any enemy or any challenge we face because He is all-powerful. It strengthens our faith when we look back at God’s past victories and celebrate them. What are some occasions you have witnessed God’s power at work on your behalf?
Praise God’s power in comparison to some of the greatest displays of power on earth as we know it.
The God Who Triumphs: His Greatness
Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? – Exodus 15:11 (ESV)
In 1715 King Louis XIV of France died after a reign of 72 years. He had called himself “the Great,” and was the monarch who made the famous statement, “I am the state!” His court was the most magnificent in Europe, and his funeral was equally spectacular. As his body lay in state in a golden coffin, orders were given that the cathedral should be very dimly lit with only a special candle set above his coffin, to dramatize his greatness. At the memorial, thousands waited in hushed silence. Then Bishop Massilon began to speak; slowly reaching down, he snuffed out the candle and said, “Only God is great.” (Today in the Word)
Moses and the people sing, “Who is like you, O Lord?” And the answer is no one. Commentator George Bush writes, “In these words, the superiority is affirmed of the true God over all earthly princes and potentates, and overall the false and fictitious gods of Egypt. A contrast is presented between the omnipotence of the former and the impotence of the latter.” This song of Exodus 15 is filled with God’s attributes: He is highly exalted (v. 1). He is Yahweh (11 times in the song), the self-existent, eternal One, as He revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush. He is the only God (v. 11). He is powerful (vv. 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10); holy (v. 11); loving (v. 13); and, sovereign over all (v. 18).
Who are the people and things our society treats like gods? Who or what in your life may be a god to you?
Confess to God anything that you may have let serve as a god in your life. Praise God as the only great One!
The God Who Triumphs: His Terror
Terror and dread fall upon them; because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone, till your people, O Lord, pass by, till the people pass by whom you have purchased. – Exodus 15:16 (ESV)
In The Chronicles of Narnia, an allegory by C. S. Lewis, the author has two girls, Susan and Lucy, getting ready to meet Aslan the lion, who represents Christ. Two talking animals, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, prepare the children for the encounter. “Ooh,” said Susan, “I thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” “That you will, dearie,” said Mrs. Beaver. “And make no mistake, if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.” “Then isn’t he safe?” said Lucy. “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you!” (Our Daily Bread)
Exodus 15:16 describes Pharaoh’s army as frozen in fear. They were “still as stone.” “Terror and dread fall upon them.” They were so overcome with fear they were not able to offer any true resistance. It was to be by the greatness of God’s arm and by the direct intervention of his power, that they were rendered motionless. (Bush)
Any accounts of God appearing to man in His glory spark immediate fear. It is only to the family of faith that God reassures them they don’t need to be afraid. However, anyone who rejects the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus should be terrified at the thought of confronting God.
Romans 2:4 ask, “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” Praise God for His kind offer of forgiveness and the gift of patience in your life.
The God Who Triumphs in the Future
You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain, the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established. The Lord will reign forever and ever. – Exodus 15:17-18 (ESV)
A young boy traveling by airplane to visit his grandparents sat beside a man who happened to be a seminary professor. The boy was reading a Sunday school take-home paper when the professor thought he would have some fun with the lad. “Young man,” said the professor, “If you can tell me something God can do, I’ll give you a big, shiny apple.” The boy thought for a moment and then replied, “Mister, if you can tell me something God can’t do, I’ll give you a whole barrel of apples!” (Today in the Word)
All that God had done in the past of the nation of Israel gave them the faith of what God would do in the future. They learned the hard way that nothing is too difficult for God. Moses and the people sing, “You will bring them and plant them on your own mountain. This speaks of where God’s dwelling would eventually reside. The first application is the Promised Land of Canaan but ultimately finds its fulfillment in heaven.
What do you most look forward to in heaven?
Praise God for the hope of heaven. We know that one day all the sin, sorrow, and suffering of this world will pass.