About Jesus      Steve Sweetman

Home Page

This Chapter 15

Previous Section - Chapter 14

Next Section - Chapter 16

ch. 16:1-21    ch. 16:22-27

The Song Of Moses (ch 15:1 - 21)            


Chapter 15 is entitled the song of Moses because once Israel saw the destruction of the Egyptian army which brought them their deliverance, they worshipped their God with this song.  I would think the song would be somewhat spontaneous.  How they all sang this song, I don't know, since there were about two million Jews who had been just freed from Egypt.   


As I have said many time so far, I believe that the whole event of these plagues, Israel's stay in Egypt, and their subsequent freedom, is prophetic of the Great Tribulation at the end of this age.  There are so many parallels.  One parallel is this song of Moses.  In Revelation 15, verses 3 and 4, those who survived the beast and his mark sang the song of  Moses.  If you read that song, you will note that it is not the same song that is seen here in Exodus 15.  That being said, the content is similar, and the reason why the song in Revelation is sung is the same as it is in Exodus.  Both Israel in Exodus, and those who survived the beast and hiss mark were giving thanks to their God for a mighty deliverance.


I will comment on this later, but I believe this song has prophetic significance, especially near the end of this song.  If you read Revelation 15:3 you will note that the song sung by those who survived of the beast was called "the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb".  This song was not only Moses' song, it was Jesus' song.  Because the Revelation account calls its song the song of Moses, there has to be a connection made back to Exodus 15, and if that connection is made, then by the same token "the song of the Lamb" statement must refer back to Exodus 15 as well.  For this reason, the song sung here in Exodus 15 is just as much about Jesus as it is about Moses.         


The song begins with, "I will sing unto the Lord, for He is highly exalted." The God of Israel, who is the God of the Christian as well, is "highly exalted".  He is above all there is. There is no one greater than Him.  He sits on the throne of the universe and rules over all things, both material and spiritual.  This is something that we need burned into our hearts.  And as is clearly seen in the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt, He is the God of all nations, whether they accept Him as their God or not.  He will have the final word over all the affairs of every nation on earth.  The book of Revelation makes that quite clear.


The last part of verse 1 states that the horse and its rider have been throne into the sea.  This of course is speaking of the Egyptian army.  These Egyptians trusted in their army.  Throughout the Old Testament you will see many times the term "horse and rider".  It is often referring to man's trust in himself. 


Note the word "LORD" in verse 1.  It is actually the Hebrew word "Yah", a shortened form of "Yahweh".  


Verse 2 says, "the Lord is my strength and my song.  He has become my salvation."  The Egyptians put their trust in their army of horses and riders.  Moses, Aaron, and Israel knew their strength was in God.  They often wavered throughout the trying times they just came out of, but at this moment, they knew their strength was in their God.  Too often Christians are more like Egyptians, that is, working from their own strength, when in fact, we should be working from God's strength.  Actually, God uses the weak and foolish, as the apostle Paul would often say.  He uses such people because they have little human strength or human wisdom that gets in the way of doing God's work.  Those people must rely on the Lord instead of themselves.


Also in verse 2 the song goes on to say, "He has become my salvation."  Notice a couple things here. We often think in terms of God giving us salvation, and in one sense of the word He does.  But even more basic than that, God Himself is our salvation.  He has not only given us salvation.  He has given us Himself. Note also the personal aspect here.  The song says that God is "my salvation".  It does not say that God is "our" salvation, although he is that too.  But before any since of community, or sense of "our", there must be a sense of "I".  First comes personal salvation to the individual.  Being a part of a group who is saved will only work if the individual is saved.  Another way to put it, is that the health of any group, of any church, is only as good as the  health the individual member has with Jesus.


In the last part of verse 2 we see that Moses and Israel praised God because He is both their God and their father's God.  Their fathers would be Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, along with all the other fathers of these people.   Usually when the fathers of Israel are mentioned in the Bible, they refer to the above three men.


In verse 3 we see something that is not "religiously correct" these days.   It says that "the Lord is a warier."  The term "Lord, capital letters, refers to Yahweh.  This name of God means, "I AM" and is often used in conjunction with God's covenant, but here it is used in reference to the Lord being a man of war who fights for His people.  We often think that war and violence is a fault of man, but God is a God of war.  He has fought, and He will fight His enemies, until all enemies are put under His feet. 


One thing we should note about God being a man of war is this.  We should not confuse what this means in this day when Islamic extremists believe in fighting a holy war, as the so-called Christian Crusaders did in the middle ages.  God is the one who does the fighting.  We do not commit acts of violence as Christians. God does that for us.  As the Bible states over and over again, "vengeance is mine, says the Lord."  Christians are not to be avengers.                           


The second part of verse 3 says, "the Lord IS His name."  Back in Exodus 3:15, God told Moses that Israel was to remember Him as "Yahweh", or "I AM".  It is clear that Israel did remember the name of their God.


Verses 4 and 5 speak of the Egyptian army and how God drowned them in the bottom of the sea.  God's judgment, His condemnation that led to death forEgypt, was Israel's salvation.  The same will be true at the end of this age, when Yahweh will do the same for Israel.


Verse 6 speaks of God's "right hand'.  Now there are a few people who believe that God has two hands because of this verse and other similar verses.  This is only picture language.  God is a spirit.  Jesus Himself told us that in John 4.   The term "right hand" is simply a Hebrew idiom, and it always suggests and points to the power and authority that God has. 


In the first part of verse 7 we note that in Moses' thinking, Egypt didn't just oppose Israel, Egypt  opposed God Himself.  And so it is.  When someone opposes God's people, he is in fact opposing God.   As I said earlier, the bottom line between the struggle wasn't really between Egypt and Israel.  It was between the devil, who was using Egypt, and God.


The last part of verse 6 isn't "religiously correct" these days either.  The song speaks of God's "consuming anger" that is like a fire. God does get angry.  His anger is holy.  It is not based on nastiness.  It is based on His perfect sense of justice.  Because He is just, He does get angry.


At this point I will point out that in the Bible we see both anger and wrath associated with God, and with Jesus.  They are not the same.  Anger is anger as you and I would define it.  Wrath is a stronger word.  It is more like an explosion from within, and uncontrollable explosion.  God is very patient, but sooner or later His patience is over taken by His wrath.  His patience can no longer hold back His anger, so it explodes in wrath.


In verse 8 we see how powerful God really is.  Moses says that "by the blast of God's nostrils the waters piled up."  God blew from his nose, so to speak, and the waters of the Red Sea formed two walls, dividing the water so Israel could pass through on dry ground.  Once again, the word "nostrils" is idiomatic. God really doesn't have a nose.


In verse 9 we see the words "I will" four times.  These are the words of the Egyptians.  These are also the words of satan as seen in Isaiah 14:13.  It is a good exercise to see how many times we use the word "I".  We use the word a lot.  "I" promotes us.  "I" is really the enemy of God, and it sure was in the case of the Egyptians.  The power of "I" penetrates the world but will fall to the Lord in the end.


In verse 10 we see the comparison of the  mighty army of the Egyptians to God.  Egypt and all of its men of war and horses was easily and simply defeated by God with just a breath from His mouth. How powerful is the God that we serve?  Jesus will do the same at the end of this age as He comes back in the last great battle, which actually won't be a battle.  Jesus will win the battle with a word from His mouth.


In verse 11 Moses asks, "who among the gods is like you?"   There is no one like the God of the Jews.  All other so-called gods are no gods.  They are man made gods, figments of man's imagination, home made gods.  None of these gods are real. There is only one true God.


Some people suggest that because of the way this verse is worded, and other verses like this, that there are actually other gods.  There are many other gods being worshipped by various cultures.  I do not believe this.  I think that the Bible makes it pretty clear that all these other gods, really aren't gods.  They're man made portrayals of the gods they want, and demons use for their own purpose.


Again, in verse 12 we see mention of the right hand of God.  As I said before, God does not have a right hand. God is a spirit.  This is a Hebrew idiom that pictures God's authority and power.  When you see the phrase "the right hand of God" in the Bible, you see God in His power and authority.  Jesus Himself is said to sit at God's right hand. Again, Jesus isn't literally sitting at God's right hand, because God does not have a right hand.  God is a spirit.  When the Bible speaks of Jesus sitting at God's right hand, it means that Jesus is sitting in a place of power and authority with God His Father.


We've seen God as a man of war in this song.  Now in verse 13 we note that God is a God of love.  He loves those He has redeemed.  The word "redeemed" is an important word in the Bible.  When speaking of God redeeming His people, that means, He has purchased our salvation.  When it comes to Israel and Egypt, God did not purchase Israel from Egypt, but He did pay the price to save Israel.  When it comes to Jesus and Christians, the word redeemed is used a lot.  Jesus did not purchase us from the devil, but He did pay the price on the cross to give us salvation.  Jesus paid the price to God, not to the devil.


Also in verse 13 we note that God will guide His people to His holy dwelling.  In terms of Israel in the book of Exodus, this means that God will lead Israel to Canaan.  In terms of modern day Israel, God will lead them into their Canaan as well. 


In verses 14 through 16 we see that this song is not just speaking of the nation of Egypt.  It says that "the nations", all the nations of the world will tremble and be gripped with anguish.  So even beyond Egypt, the other nations of the world would hear about Israel 's freedom of Egypt and fear will grip them. 


The words "the nations' are words that are often seen in the book of Revelation.  As in the days of the Exodus, so shall it be at the end of this age.  The nations of the world will be gripped with fear.  We see that plainly in the book of Revelation. 


We see Edom and Moab mentioned particularly in verse 15.  Throughout Old Testament times these were enemies of Israel, and here we see them gripped in fear.  These two nations were actually descendents of Abraham.  As with the church today, sometimes our worst enemies come out of the church, are at least, were in the church, but not really a part of the church.


In verse 16 we see that fear and dread will be on these nations until Israel passes through.  The language here is suggestive of Israel passing through the Red Sea, but I also believe it is prophetic of Israel in the last days, in the Great Tribulation.  The reason I believe this is because in the Exodus, it was only Egypt that opposed Israel.  In the Great Tribulation, it is all the nations of the world that oppose Israel, and here in this verse it is talking about these nations, and not just Egypt.


Many Futurists believe that the godly Jews at the end of this age will also pass through as the Jews did back here in Exodus.  They will pass through the mountain that splits in two and escape to a place called Petra.


I believe in the last few verses, and now to the end of this song, we have switched from Israel and Egypt to Israel, the nations of the world, and the end of this age.  We are now in a prophetic part of this song, which is clearly seen in the next few verses.


Verse 17 states that God will bring Israel in to the mountain of their inheritance.  That came true in one sense when Israel entered Canaan , but it did not fully come true.  It will fully come true at the end of this age, when God will bring Israel into their inheritance that they will keep forever.


Verse 17 speaks of the dwelling place of God, His sanctuary.  I see this prophetic of the New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven that we see in the last two chapters of the book of Revelation.  The New Jerusalem is seen as the dwelling place, the sanctuary of God in Revelation.  It was typified in the tabernacle of Moses, and the Temple later on in Jewish history, but the New Jerusalem is the final dwelling place of God on earth.


Another reason why I feel these last few verses are actually prophetic is verse 18.  The song ends by saying that God will reign for ever and ever.  These words we see in the book of Revelation.  When the New Jerusalem comes to the New Earth, it is at that point that God will rule for ever and ever on this earth.  All enemies will have been subdued and God will rule, and He will rule on earth. When Jesus teaches us to pray for the Kingdom to come to earth as it is in heaven, that prayer will finally be answered at this time, at the end of this age.


As I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.  We see the song of Moses sung as well in Revelation 15.  In my thinking, that clearly links this song of Moses to prophecy, and the end of this present age.  I don't think it is therefore too much of a leap to suggest, as I have often suggested, that this whole event, from Joseph being sold into Egypt, to Israel being freed, is prophetic of Israel from 70 AD when they were sent into slavery so to speak throughout the world, to the end of this age when they are gathered back into the land God promised them in the Abrahamic Covenant.         


Verse 19 simply sums up that God had Israel walk through the sea on dry land, while He drowned the Egyptians in the sea once Israel passed through.


We've just seen the song of Moses.  Now in verse 20 we see the song of Miriam.  Miriam is the sister of Moses and Aaron. She is called a prophetess.  This is the first mention of a prophetess in the Bible.  I think she is called a prophetess because the song she will sing is prophetic.  It is from the heart of God.  Prophecy doesn't always mean foretelling the future.  It can mean to simply speak what God asks you to speak.


Miriam led other ladies in her song and dance, and the playing of  tambourines.  It is a simple song of exalting God who has destroyed the enemy of Israel .  Here we see the significance of women, something we haven't seen too much in the first number of chapters in the Bible. 


The Waters Of Morah And Elim (ch. 15:22 - 27)


Verses 22 through 24 tell us that Israel travelled for three whole days in the desert without finding water.  Now that is a long time without water.  People would be getting desperate at this point.  When they finally found water, it was so bad and bitter that they could not drink it, so they complained and grumbled among themselves. 


Preachers often point out the fact that these people had just seen the mighty hand of God working for them, and now they are complaining.  That is the tendency of humanity.  We complain at the drop of a pin.  That being said, we can give a bit of credit to these people.  They had drank little to no water for three days, and when they finally find water, they can't drink it.  Most of us would complain as well if we were in that situation.


Poor Moses, as usual, he receives the brunt of the complaints, and that is only natural.  He is their leader.  They then ask him, "what are we going to drink?" 


So what did Moses do?  The only thing he could do, and that was to cry out to the Lord, as we see in verse 25.  That's the thing any leader of God's people should do.  That's what God's people themselves should do as well.  Notice the word "cry".   This was no simple little "give me water please" prayer.  This was Moses crying, interceding on the behalf of his people, which in fact were God's people.  If we would have more church leaders today crying out to God in intercession for His people, we'd have quite a different church.  I am sure of that.  Also, if church leaders today would better understand that the people they are to lead aren't their people, but God's people, we'd have a much different church as well.  I suggest that we need that different church.


God came to the rescue again in verse 25.  Moses picked up a piece of would, through it in the water, and the water became drinkable.  The text does not actually say that the Lord told Moses to throw the wood into the water, but it is implied.  The text does say that the Lord showed Moses the wood.  It is only logical that the  Lord told Moses to throw the wood into the water.  As was often the case with Moses, and us to, God has us participate in the miracle.  God could have just made the water drinkable, but He made Moses do something, which was meant to be an act of faith on the part of Moses.  That is the way God often works with Christians today.  Too often we expect God to do whatever we request, when in fact, He wants us to participate in His work that produces the miracles.


In verses 25 and 26 we see the first decree that God gave Israel upon leaving Egypt.  You could also call this a Covenant, and like the Abrahamic Covenant, God agreed with Himself to bless Israel .  The key in this decree was the obedience of Israel.  God specifically said, "I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on Egypt, for I am the Lord that heals you." 


There is a few things we need to note with this decree.  One is that it was only in affect when Israel obeyed God.  Obedience is primary here, as it is with us today. 


Note also that God told Israel that He would not put on them any disease.  That tells me that if Israel did not obey that there was the possibility that God would put diseases into their midst.  That also tells me that some of the illnesses we get are from God.  We cannot discount this.  Some people have abused this idea.  I remember a lady dying in the hospital and a person came up to her and asked her what sin she committed.  In her case there was no sin.  Once Jesus healed a blind man and the Pharisees asked him, "who sinned, the blind man or his parents."  We often criticize the Pharisees for this, but you can see that the teaching they were handed down over the years included the fact that God would make people sick if they did not obey Him.  That being said, not all illness comes directly from God, but it is clear that He does allow every illness that comes our way, which is different than saying He ordered the illness.


The words "I am the Lord that heals you" are the topic of many Evangelical, and especially Pentecostal sermons.  We need to understand that healing is not a New Testament thing.  We often quote Isaiah and say that by the stripes of Jesus, His whipping stripes, we are healed, and there is truth in that, but we can't exclude the fact that God healed prior to the whipping of Jesus.


Verse 27 ends this chapter.  Israel proceeded on and came to a place called Elim.  It was like a resort in comparison to what they had been used to so far on their trip out of Egypt.  There were twelve springs with seventy palm trees.  The numbers are clearly significant, and again, for that reason, liberal theologians say this story, as well as other Old Testament stories are merely man made contrived stories with a good moral to learn from.  They say this because of the numbering system.  The numbers twelve and seventy are common numbers throughout the Old Testament and that shows a commonality that man has put into the stories.  I disagree.  If God is who He says He is, then He can perform the miracles needed to make these numbers show up in the places they do.


We see twelve springs of water, one spring for each tribe of Israel.  We see seventy palm trees.  I don't know how many elders there were in Israel at that time, but later on in their history I do know that they had seventy elders.  There might well have been seventy elders in Israel at this time.


The point here is simple.  God provided rest for His people.


Just to let you know, the Bible college I attended in the mid 1970's was called Elim Bible Institute.  One of the distinguishing features of Elim Bible Institute is that no matter when you attended, whether 1921, 1941, 1961, 1991, or 2011, it was a place of real worship to our Lord.  Besides the good education one received, there were daily times of worship with songs and instruments, with hands raised in adoration to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Next Section - Chapter 16

Previous Section - Chapter 14

Home Page