Victory Celebration (Exodus 15:1-18)

The Songs of Moses and Miriam, by Laura James

Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:

“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
    horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my might,
    and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him;
    my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a warrior;
    the Lord is his name.

Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he cast into the sea;
    his elite 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, shattered the enemy.
In the greatness of your majesty you overthrew your adversaries;
    you sent out your fury; it consumed them like stubble.
At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up;
    the floods stood up in a heap;
    the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
The enemy said, ‘I will pursue; I will overtake;
    I will divide the spoil; my desire shall have its fill of them.
    I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.’
You blew with your wind; the sea covered them;
    they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
    Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
    awesome in splendor, doing wonders?
You stretched out your right hand;
    the earth swallowed them.

In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed;
    you guided them by your strength to your holy abode.
The peoples heard; they trembled;
    pangs seized the inhabitants of Philistia.
Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed;
    trembling seized the leaders of Moab;
    all the inhabitants of Canaan melted away.
Terror and dread fell upon them;
    by the might of your arm, they became still as a stone
until your people, O Lord, passed by,
    until the people whom you acquired passed by.
You brought them in and planted them on the mountain of your own possession,
    the place, O Lord, that you made your abode,
    the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established.
The Lord will reign forever and ever.” (New Revised Standard Version)

The ancient Israelites were freed from four hundred years of Egyptian bondage through the miraculous work of God. Then, as they were leaving Egypt, Pharaoh had a change of heart and decided to take his army and pursue the Israelites.

Literally sandwiched between the army and the sea, yet another miracle happened: God parted the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to pass through on dry ground; and then God closed the sea up on the pursuing army. Today’s Old Testament lesson is the people’s victory chant of deliverance.

Portrayed here is Yahweh’s incomparable power over the mighty Egyptians, and protective presence with the Israelites. God was fulfilling the divine promise to bring the people out from bondage and into the Promised Land. Nothing can stand in the way of the Lord’s purpose.

By Stushie Art

God Rescues

Throughout the Bible, deliverance and celebration go hand in hand. For the Christian, this time of year is full of celebrating the resurrection of Christ from death. Because our redemption is secured, we rejoice in the once for all sacrifice of Jesus.

God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much; the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating. (Colossians 1:13-14, MSG)

God Protects

The Lord showed up and wondrously delivered the Israelites from certain annihilation. And God has also entered into humanity’s world and brought emancipation from sin, death, and hell through Christ’s redemptive events of cross and resurrection. We are shielded by God’s glorious grace and goodness.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5, NIV)

God Establishes

Deliverance is provided, and then the divine presence is with us throughout life. God doesn’t expect us to be on our own after we are saved from a calamitous situation. Grace is given for all things, not just some things. So, the Lord helps to establish us in faith and perseverance for a lifetime.

His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and excellence. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust and may become participants of the divine nature…. Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already and are established in the truth that has come to you. (2 Peter 1:3-4, 12, NRSV)

Our victory chant comes from God’s redemptive events. For the Christian, we are rescued from our precarious spiritual plight, protected and established by divine power, through the person and work of Jesus Christ.

“Victory in Jesus” by E.M. Bartlett, 1939

I heard an old, old story
How a Savior came from glory
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me
I heard about His groaning
Of His precious blood’s atoning
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory

Oh, victory in Jesus, my Savior forever
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood
He loved me ‘ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood

I heard about His healing
Of His cleansing power revealing
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see
And then I cried, “Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit”
And somehow Jesus came and brought to me the victory

Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever
He sought me, and He bought me with His redeeming blood
He loved me ‘ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood

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