Exodus 15:1-21 The Lord is honoured when people are delivered from oppression to live in prosperity

Exodus 15:1-21 The Lord is honoured when people are delivered from oppression to live in prosperity.

Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and said,
“ I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted;
The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.
“ The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will extol Him.
“The Lord is a warrior;
The Lord is His name.
“Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea;
And the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea.
“The deeps cover them;
They went down into the depths like a stone.
“Your right hand, O Lord, is majestic in power,
Your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.

“And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up against You;
You send forth Your burning anger, and it consumes them as chaff.
“At the blast of Your nostrils the waters were piled up,
The flowing waters stood up like a heap;
The deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea.
“The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil;
My desire shall be gratified against them;
I will draw out my sword, my hand will destroy them.’
“You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them;
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
“Who is like You among the gods, O Lord?
Who is like You, majestic in holiness,
Awesome in praises, working wonders?
“You stretched out Your right hand,
The earth swallowed them.

“In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed;
In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation.
“The peoples have heard, they tremble;
Anguish has gripped the inhabitants of Philistia.
“Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed;
The leaders of Moab, trembling grips them;
All the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.
“Terror and dread fall upon them;
By the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone;
Until Your people pass over, O Lord,
Until the people pass over whom You have purchased.
“You will bring them and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance,
The place, O Lord, which You have made for Your dwelling,
The sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established.
“The Lord shall reign forever and ever.”
For the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, and the Lord brought back the waters of the sea on them, but the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea.
Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing. Miriam answered them,
“Sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted;
The horse and his rider He has hurled into the sea.”

Background

When the Pharaoh and his army were drowned in the sea, God is honoured in all the world. Indeed, the Lord is supreme and is greater than the gods of the nations. The Israelites arised spontaneously with a song of praise to glorify the Lord, the Warrior. The song has three main sections detailing the Lord’s greatness as He fights for justice, righteousness and prosperity on behalf of His people. Indeed, the Lord is honoured when people are delivered from oppression. The Lord is honoured when law and order are restored in the land. And the Lord is honoured when people live in peace and prosperity.

Observation

I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted; The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.

The song was inspired by the sight of the Egyptians dead on the seashore. For the Israelites have come to recognise that the Lord is much more powerful than the gods of the Egyptians. The song celebrates the Lord as the omnipotent Warrior and Saviour: The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him. Indeed, the Lord fights for justice on behalf of the oppressed who cry out to Him.

And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up against You.

The Lord not only fights to obtain justice for the oppressed, He overthrows those who rise up against His dominion. By virtue of the Lord’s supremacy (Who is like You among the gods, O Lord? Who is like You, majestic in holiness), His law and directives must be obeyed. Because He is the Creator, no creature can rise above Him. Thus, with great power He destroys the Egyptians who rebel against His righteousness.

In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed.

God fights for the future of His people. Because of His lovingkindness, He has prepared for the Israelites a land to call their own. The Lord displaces other nations that are bigger and greater than they are. The inhabitants of the land cannot help but notice Israel’s special relationship with the Lord. The Edomites, Moabites and the Canaanites cower as the Israelites pass through the land (Terror and dread fall upon them).

Truth

The Lord is honoured when people are delivered from oppression to live in prosperity.

The same is true that God’s honour is muted when oppression and sin are rampant. God is actively at work to save every human being so that the earth may be filled with the glory of God (see Habakkuk 2:14). Therefore, whenever people are oppressed, it is God’s will to deliver them. For God is honoured when justice is served. Whenever there is pervasive lawlessness in the land, it is God’s will to discipline and displace evil rulers. For God is honoured when righteousness is restored. Whenever people struggle with conflicts and poverty, it is God’s desire to settle them in a place of peace. For God is honoured when people live in prosperity. Therefore, in any case, people must not give up but persevere until God’s plans are fulfilled.

The need for a human deliverer

That said, why are there rampant oppression and lawlessness in many parts of the world? Why do many believers still suffer poverty and illness without reprieve? Exodus teaches us that God’s salvation requires the partnership of man. In order for God’s salvation plans to be realised on earth, men and women must rise up as His prophets. God calls Moses and empowers Him with divine authority to deliver Israel. Thus, God’s omnipotence is displayed through men and women who are willing to work with Him.

The Holy Spirit’s anointing

Through the indwelling Spirit, God empowers ordinary men and women to carry out His plans. God empowered Moses with His Spirit to deliver the people. Then, He chose seventy elders of Israel to assist Moses in ruling the nation. God said to Moses,

I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone. – Numbers 11:17

In the same way, God will take of the Spirit who is upon Jesus, and will put Him upon us. In this way, we shall be agents of salvation to the world bringing glory to God.

Application

In whatever situation, we must put the interests of others before our own and learn to be sensitive to their needs. When we interact with others, we seek to understand the following:

  • Are they oppressed by their family members or by their colleagues?
  • Are they prospering in their relationships and careers?
  • Are they struggling with chronic illness or problems?

What can you do to help them? God is raising you up to deliver them from injustice, oppression and struggles. And He will anoint you with His Spirit of wisdom and power.

Dear Lord, I praise you as the great Warrior who fights for our wellbeing. Deliver me from my oppression. Restore righteousness and prosperity in my family, community and nation. Anoint me with your Spirit and use me as your vessel to make the world a better place. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.


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