OT | The Song of Moses

Illustration from a Bible card published 1907  by the Providence Lithograph Company

Illustration from a Bible card published 1907
by the Providence Lithograph Company

Last week, in our Old Testament Study, we looked at the Crossing of the Red Sea. As we’ve explored many times before, this is a picture of our salvation out of the kingdom of darkness, and of the baptism into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this foreshadowing, we see how the kingdom of darkness was put to open shame at the cross of Jesus, in the same way that Egypt was put to shame when the waters came crashing down onto the Egyptian army and they were utterly destroyed. This week we will pick up in the next chapter for a look at what true worship looks like.

Thus the Lord Saved Israel

Let us start off with a reminder of the salvation of Israel by the Mighty Hand of God.

Exodus 14:26-31 (ESV) 26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the Lord threw the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained. 29 But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

This closing statement is a powerful foreshadowing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Where Moses foreshadows Jesus, the servant of the Lord, who is the Son of the Living God. Moses is not equal with Jesus, he merely foreshadows what Jesus will do, Once and For All.

Israel Worshiped the Lord God

Exodus 15:1-21 (ESV) | The Song of Moses

15 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.
The Lord is a man of war;
    the Lord is his name.

“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.
In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries;
    you send out your fury; it consumes 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.’
10 You blew with your wind; the sea covered them;
    they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

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

13 You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed;
    you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.
14 The peoples have heard; they tremble;
    pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed;
    trembling seizes the leaders of Moab;
    all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.
16 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.
17 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.
18 The Lord will reign forever and ever.

19 For when the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them, but the people of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea. 20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing. 21 And Miriam sang to them:

Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.”

Let’s talk about worship. There has been worship throughout time since the Creation, but here we see man singing a song of praise and worship to the Lord for who He is and what He has done. Take a moment to scan back through the song to see if in any place the children of Israel were singing about what they will do, can do, are about to do, or any victory they’ve secured as a result of their being the chosen ones of God. What are the “I” portions? I will sing to, I will praise, and I will exalt Him. This is the model for the praise and worship that flows from knowing you are redeemed, that you have been brought through the waters into the kingdom of Heaven by the Hand of God and His servant, Jesus Christ. When the song declares the Lord to be their strength notice they don’t complete that thought by declaring their strength; rather, they praise God for what He did by His might, by His strength. The itemized praise here is specific to the wondrous deeds of the Lord, and we should do likewise. Actually, we will do likewise. Let’s turn for a moment to the Book of Revelation.

Revelation 15 (ESV) | The Seven Angels with Seven Plagues

15 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.

And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and amazing are your deeds,
    O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
    O King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord,
    and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
    All nations will come
    and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

After this I looked, and the sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven was opened, and out of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues, clothed in pure, bright linen, with golden sashes around their chests. And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever, and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.

The Word of God is absolutely wonderful. Notice the setting of the vision, in verse 2 we see that the singing multitude is standing beside the sea of glass. In the Exodus account, they were on the shores of the Red Sea, witnesses to the victory secured by God. Here, in Revelation 15, these standing here are those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God. Notice this song is also the song of the Lamb, Jesus, our Passover Lamb, sacrificed for our redemption. This song is condensed, but remains the same song, the song of Salvation. A song sung to the Lord God by His children.

Now, this passage in Revelation moves on immediately to the seven angels with the seven plagues coming out of the sanctuary of the tent of witness. We have yet to see the earthly copy of this sanctuary, but notice that no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished. These plagues are judgment about to be poured out onto the earth, onto those who have received the mark of the beast, and when they fall on the people, the people will curse God and will not repent of their sin (Revelation 16). Let’s go back to Exodus 15 to see how it closes out.

I Am the Lord Your Healer

Exodus 15:22-27 (ESV) | Bitter Water Made Sweet

22 Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.

There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”

27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.

Without delving too heavily into man-made eschatological doctrines, I think the close parallel between Revelation 15 and Exodus 15 is significant, and serves as an encouragement to Believers. The plagues being poured out on the earth, whether the saints have already been wiped out (by persecution) or whether they remain on the earth, will not suffer from these plagues, for the Lord is our Healer. If your eye keeps fixating on the “if you diligently listen…” remember that by faith we put away our old selves and rest in the Righteousness of Christ. He fulfilled the Law and bore the full wrath of God at the cross in our place. Therefore, this serves as a promise, a hope, sealed by God the Holy Spirit for all who believe in Christ. With this thought firmly in our minds, let us close out this topic with a visit to the Book of Deuteronomy. Here, Moses had recorded the Law given to him by God, and Joshua has been designated to succeed Moses and lead Israel into the Promised Land (in this way, Joshua foreshadows Jesus, too).

Deuteronomy 31:30 (ESV) | The Song of Moses

30 Then Moses spoke the words of this song until they were finished, in the ears of all the assembly of Israel:

Deuteronomy 32 (ESV)
32 “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak,
and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
2 May my teaching drop as the rain,
my speech distill as the dew,
like gentle rain upon the tender grass,
and like showers upon the herb.
For I will proclaim the name of the Lord;
    ascribe greatness to our God!
4 “The Rock, his work is perfect,
    for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
    just and upright is he.
5 They have dealt corruptly with him;
they are no longer his children because they are blemished;
they are a crooked and twisted generation.
6 Do you thus repay the Lord,
you foolish and senseless people?
Is not he your father, who created you,
    who made you and established you?
7 Remember the days of old;
consider the years of many generations;
ask your father, and he will show you,
your elders, and they will tell you.
8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders of the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of God.
9 But the Lord’s portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted heritage.
10 “He found him in a desert land,
and in the howling waste of the wilderness;
he encircled him, he cared for him,
he kept him as the apple of his eye.
11 Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
that flutters over its young,
spreading out its wings, catching them,
bearing them on its pinions,
12 the Lord alone guided him,
no foreign god was with him.
13 He made him ride on the high places of the land,
and he ate the produce of the field,
and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
and oil out of the flinty rock.
14 Curds from the herd, and milk from the flock,
with fat of lambs,
rams of Bashan and goats,
with the very finest of the wheat—
and you drank foaming wine made from the blood of the grape.
15 “But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked;
you grew fat, stout, and sleek;
then he forsook God who made him
and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.
16 They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods;
with abominations they provoked him to anger.
17 They sacrificed to demons that were no gods,
to gods they had never known,
to new gods that had come recently,
whom your fathers had never dreaded.
18 You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you,
    and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
19 “The Lord saw it and spurned them,
because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters.
20 And he said, ‘I will hide my face from them;
I will see what their end will be,
for they are a perverse generation,
children in whom is no faithfulness.
21 They have made me jealous with what is no god;
they have provoked me to anger with their idols.
So I will make them jealous with those who are no people;
I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
22 For a fire is kindled by my anger,
and it burns to the depths of Sheol,
devours the earth and its increase,
and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.
23 “‘And I will heap disasters upon them;
I will spend my arrows on them;
24 they shall be wasted with hunger,
and devoured by plague
and poisonous pestilence;
I will send the teeth of beasts against them,
with the venom of things that crawl in the dust.
25 Outdoors the sword shall bereave,
and indoors terror,
for young man and woman alike,
the nursing child with the man of gray hairs.
26 I would have said, “I will cut them to pieces;
I will wipe them from human memory,”
27 had I not feared provocation by the enemy,
lest their adversaries should misunderstand,
lest they should say, “Our hand is triumphant,
    it was not the Lord who did all this.”’
28 “For they are a nation void of counsel,
and there is no understanding in them.
29 If they were wise, they would understand this;
they would discern their latter end!
30 How could one have chased a thousand,
and two have put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
and the Lord had given them up?
31 For their rock is not as our Rock;
our enemies are by themselves.
32 For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom
and from the fields of Gomorrah;
their grapes are grapes of poison;
their clusters are bitter;
33 their wine is the poison of serpents
and the cruel venom of asps.
34 “‘Is not this laid up in store with me,
sealed up in my treasuries?
35 Vengeance is mine, and recompense,
    for the time when their foot shall slip;
for the day of their calamity is at hand,
    and their doom comes swiftly.’
36 For the Lord will vindicate his people
    and have compassion on his servants,
when he sees that their power is gone
    and there is none remaining, bond or free.
37 Then he will say, ‘Where are their gods,
the rock in which they took refuge,
38 who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offering?
Let them rise up and help you;
let them be your protection!
39 “‘See now that I, even I, am he,
    and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive;
    I wound and I heal;
    and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven
    and swear, As I live forever,
41 if I sharpen my flashing sword
    and my hand takes hold on judgment,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries
    and will repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
    and my sword shall devour flesh—
with the blood of the slain and the captives,
    from the long-haired heads of the enemy.’
43 “Rejoice with him, O heavens;
    bow down to him, all gods,
for he avenges the blood of his children
    and takes vengeance on his adversaries.
He repays those who hate him
    and cleanses his people’s land.”
44 Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun. 45 And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. 47 For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

When we read these words through the lens of the New Testament, we see all the more the Greatness of our God and the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Though Israel may have understood that Moses was speaking of the contrast of the children of Israel and those who inhabited the land of Canaan, but we know that this speaks to something greater, it speaks of those in the kingdom of darkness and we who are born-again, into the Kingdom of Heaven. We may revisit this again soon, because there is so much going in here, but for now, may I recommend reading through Romans 1, how Paul describes the sin of the world, and how Moses speaks here in verses 5 and 6. I also found it interesting how verses 26 and 27 give a different perspective on the “why” God didn’t just eradicate man for his sin… so that His enemies will not falsely claim their own victory over God’s children. Soli Deo Gloria also applies to God’s Grace in that even when He is righteous and just to exterminate all of Creation for sin, His grace serves His glory greater. All praise be the God the Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and to His Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Jude 1:24-25 (ESV) | Doxology

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

May the Grace of God be with you today and always,
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s