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Studies in Exodus. Presentation 15. The Table of Contents. Chapter 1v1-22 Introduction Chapter 2v1-25 Preparing a Deliverer Chapter 3v1-22 The Call of Moses [1] Chapter 4v1-17 The Call of Moses [2]

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Studies

in

Exodus

Presentation 15

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The Table of Contents

Chapter 1v1-22 Introduction

Chapter 2v1-25 Preparing a Deliverer

Chapter 3v1-22 The Call of Moses [1]

Chapter 4v1-17 The Call of Moses [2]

Chapter 4v18-5v21 Final Preparations

Chapter 5v22-6v27 Discouragement and Comfort

Chapter 6v28-7v24 The Exposure of Evil

Chapter 8-v1-10v29 Idolatry: A Dangerous Refuge

Chapter 11v1-10 Corrective to Final Judgment

Chapter 12v1-30 Blood on the Doorposts

Chapter 12v31-42 God’s Faithfulness

Chap.13v1-16 Consecration of The Redeemed

Chap.13v17-14v18 God’s Dead Ends

Chap.14v19-31 Power to Deliver

Chap.15v1-21 The Exultation of God

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The Exultation

of God

Chap.15v1-21

Presentation 15

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Introduction

Today’s songs in the pop charts can lose their popularity after only a few weeks. Hymns often last a bit longer. Good hymns stand the test of time. The hymn in Exodus 15 is unique. It is the oldest recorded song of worship and its theme will be the theme of God's people in heaven.

These facts alone make it worthy of

our attention. Rather than examine

this song verse by verse we will stand

back and ask some basic questions.

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The Exultation of God

The Inspiration of the Song

What is the inspiration for this song? It is a spontaneous response to the grace of God in redemption. Israel stand on the distant shore of the Red Sea gripped by the realisation that God and God alone had redeemed them from bondage.

Only a people, conscious of their deliverance can truly praise God as Redeemer. Indeed, intelligent worship

cannot be offered to God by Christians

with little understanding of what God

has done for them. This is why it is so

important for Christians to be taught

God's word. The quality of our worship

is reflected in our understanding of who

God is and what he has done.

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The Exultation of God

The Inspiration of the Song

Many people confuse worship with emotion and enthusiasm which can be whipped up when you bypass the mind. Buddhists, Animists, Sufi’s and Dervishes will tell you that by reciting their mantras or engaging in their dances they can produce ecstatic emotions.

In some branches of the church these methods

are adopted producing similar results but it is

not worship. Worship engages the mind. It is

a human response to an understanding of

who God is and what he has done. Of course

that in turn will stir the emotions and quicken

our enthusiasm for God but we need to

get the order right!

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The Exultation of God

The Inspiration of the Song

All the great songs of praise in the Bible flow from an intelligent appreciation of God’s character and work e.g Mary's Magnificat Lk. 1.46-55, Zacharias’s Benedictus Lk.1.67-79, and of course the Psalms.

Paul in his epistles interrupts himself as

the wonder of what he has written grips his

mind then warms his heart before

producing a doxology of praise cf Rom 11.33-36,

Eph 3.20-21.

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The Exultation of God

The Inspiration of the Song

One further beautiful example is found in Isaiah. After Chap 53 which describes in detail the sacrificial substitutionary nature of the death of God's Messiah, Chap 54 opens with an exhortation to worship, "Sing, O barren woman, burst into song, shout for joy..."

Why is spiritually barren Israel encouraged to sing?

Because God's glorious plan of redemption,

outlined in Chap 53 would have a global

impact. Believing men and women from

around the globe would make up the company

of the redeemed. What a glorious plan

of salvation!

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The Exultation of God

The Inspiration of the Song

Were you to study of the great periods of hymn-writing in church history you would discover that without exception these have been produced in times of religious awakening and revival when God’s Spirit has impressed

minds and hearts with the great

Grace of God in redemption.

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The Exultation of God

The Chief Focus of the Song

Our second question is, What is the chief focus of the song? It is God-centred and not man-centred. The people didn’t sing:

“We crossed the Red sea and our feet are dry,

We crossed the Red sea and our feet are dry,

We crossed the Red sea and our feet are dry,

What a happy people we are”.

They begin in v1 "I will sing to the Lord". The song does not record the exploits of Moses or the faith of the Israelites but points away to God who is his peoples’ ‘strength, song and salvation’ v2. He is the ‘God of their father's’v2 picking up on the idea of his covenant faithfulness. He is a God of ‘majestic power’ v6. He is ‘majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, a worker of wonders’ v11. The focus of this song is God's character and God's work.

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The Exultation of God

The Chief Focus of the Song

This focus upon God is both backward and forward looking. The backward look in v1-12 deals with God's deliverance of Israel and the destruction of his enemies.

Some are perturbed because the song praises God’s destruction of the Egyptians. But there is nothing unchristianly vengeful about the song! Some today, foolishly believe that to sympathise with

evil it is a sign of moral maturity! The Israelites

did not regard divine judgement as a blemish

on God's character but as a display of his

perfections...

“He has triumphed gloriously”.

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The Exultation of God

The Chief Focus of the Song

In the book of Revelation, after the destruction of Babylon, which symbolises human authority opposed to God's rule, we read

“After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments”. [19.1-2a]

Their sympathies lie with a longsuffering God whose name and honour have been long trampled underfoot.

To be glad that God's intractable enemies

are overthrown is a healthy sign if it flows

from a heart that is truly and passionately

concerned for God’s glory.

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The Exultation of God

The Chief Focus of the Song

The focus upon God which is forward looking in v13-18 is designed to encourage the people of God.

First, Israel are encouraged to look forward with confidence to God's leadership. Clearly their Guide he had brought them safely across the Red Sea and so nothing ahead should worry them.

Sadly we often refuse to be encouraged by our past

experience of God. In church we sing of our

trust in God our Shepherd and Guide but

if our praise is not constantly earthed in

him, then the challenging situations

facing us in the days ahead will

promote unfounded grumbling.

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The Exultation of God

The Chief Focus of the Song

What should praise do? It is designed to focus our minds on God and on the things that are above. It reinforces all that God has revealed of himself to us. It enlarges our hearts and feeds our faith. It is possible to sing great hymns of faith and yet not benefit from them as we ought. This was clearly the case in the experience of the great majority of Israel, for within days of their deliverance by God’s mighty hand they are found grumbling

and murmuring in the desert.

Cf Ex. 15.24,16.2-3,17.2.

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The Exultation of God

The Chief Focus of the Song

Secondly, God's mighty act would dishearten other potential enemies v14-16. And this indeed proved to be the case cf Deut 2.4, Josh 2.9-10, 5.1.

The restlessness and anxiety among the heathen nations is revealed in ancient literature known as the Amarna letters. During

the 40 years following the crossing of the Red Sea the

inhabitants of Canaan repeatedly sent letters to

Pharaoh outlining their fear of the impending

invasion of the “Hapiru”- a corruption of the word

"Hebrews". God knew how to undermine the

morale of the enemy!

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The Exultation of God

The Chief Focus of the Song

A third encouragement is found in v17. Past deliverance was to be viewed as a seal, a promise of future blessing and of what God would yet do for them. If God had power enough to bring them through the Red Sea, then he would

complete the work of salvation which he

began and bring them into the land of

promise. This idea of a down-payment

to encourage hope for the future is also

found in the N.T. teaching on salvation. cf Eph 1.13-14

Do you see what an encouragement that is? Again

in Phil.1.6, we read, “He who began a good work

in you will carry it on until completion until the

day of Jesus Christ”.

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The Exultation of God

The Chief Focus of the Song

From beginning to end this song is wonderfully God-centred. Contrast that with some hymns that are man-centred generating tearful sentimentality instead of divine adoration. They announce man’s love for God instead of God’s love for man. They list human experience and performance instead God’s activity and

mercy. They are more concerned with human

attainment than with Christ’s atonement.

They reflect a low spirituality.

How different from the song of Moses

and his words, "I will exalt him".

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The Exultation of God

The Song’s Place in Sacred History

Finally, note the place which this song has in sacred history. It is surely not accidental that the very first song of praise recorded in scripture is one that is born out of God's mighty act of redemption.

It is a song of a redeemed people whose sighing has given way to singing! The prisoners are liberated.

The despairing have been given hope.

In coming centuries this song would be

regularly sung in the synagogue services.

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The Exultation of God

The Song’s Place in Sacred History

In scripture we come across this song again in the book of Psalms - the official hymnbook of Israel[cf. Ps106] . In a further 13 Psalms the Psalmist quotes from the song of Moses. Why?

Whatever else the Jewish people were conscious of in their worship this great truth clearly inflamed their minds and hearts : God was their Redeemer.

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The Exultation of God

The Song’s Place in Sacred History

Finally, the song of Moses forms part of the liturgy of heaven. In Rev.15.3 John describes the scene after God has judged his enemies. The church triumphant stands on the seashore and worship God by singing ‘the song of Moses and of the Lamb’!

The drowning of Pharaoh's army foreshadowed a more complete and final destruction of evil. The great drama of redemption, pictured at the Red Sea and fulfilled in Christ, the lamb of God, is their theme. Indeed, the great theme of

praise in heaven, and for all eternity

will be of God, who is the glorious

Redeemer of his people.

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