Who Is Like You, O Lord?
Who Is Like You, O Lord?78
Who Is Like You, O Lord?
Main Idea: We should praise Yahweh because there is no one like Him in majesty and mercy.
- The Lord Is Faithful (13:17-22).
- Trust in His wisdom (13:17-18).
- Rest in His promises (13:19).
- Journey by His presence (13:20-22).
- The Lord Is Passionate about His Glory (14:1-9).
- The Lord Saves Sinners (14:10-31).
- What we are saved from: bondage
- How we are saved: crossing over by grace
- Why we can be saved: a mediator
- The Lord Is Worthy of Praise (15:1-21).
- Everyone should sing to the Lord (15:1, 20-21).
- Sing about Him and to Him (15:1-18).
- Sing of His glory and His salvation (15:1-18).
The book of Exodus magnifies the greatness of God. We have seen and will continue to see that there is none like Him. He is God, and there is no other. In this section of Scripture, the greatness of God is majestically and mercifully displayed. A powerful summary statement of Yahweh’s uniqueness is in Exodus 15:11-13:
Lord, who is like You among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, revered with praises, performing wonders? You stretched out Your right hand, and the earth swallowed them. You will lead the people You have redeemed with Your faithful love; You will guide them to Your holy dwelling with Your strength.
As we continue, we will see four truths about our incomparable God: (1) the Lord is faithful; (2) the Lord is passionate about His glory; (3) the Lord saves sinners; and (4) the Lord is worthy of praise.
The Lord Is Faithful79
Trust in His Wisdom (13:17-18)
The “way of the sea” was the quickest way for Israel to leave Egypt. They would have arrived in less than two weeks instead of 40 years! That was the shortest way, but not the best way. There were enemies in that direction, and Israel was not ready for battle: “The people will change their minds and return to Egypt if they face war” (v. 17). They would have turned back to Pharaoh at the first sign of trouble. Even though they left “in battle formation” (v. 18), this does not mean they were ready to fight. Later in their journey, once they reached Canaan and saw how big their enemies were, they said, “Let’s appoint a leader and go back to Egypt” (Num 14:4).
God’s route was not an easy route, however. Soon they would be hemmed in between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army. God teaches them many things on this journey. God has other purposes in mind, involving much more than moving them from point A to point B. The Israelites will later doubt God, like we are tempted to do as we journey in this life. But we must trust in the wisdom of God.
Remember Genesis 50:20. This is the “Romans 8:28” of the Old Testament. Joseph said that the evil act of selling him into slavery turned into a good thing. He said, “You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people.” So what looked bad was actually good. We do not always understand (or like!) what God is doing, but we can trust that for those who love God and are called according to His purpose, He is working all things for their good; and according to Romans 8:29, that ultimate good is conformity to Jesus Christ. In many of life’s circumstances we do not know what is going on, but we must trust in the wisdom of God, knowing that God is good and He is working out His sovereign purposes.
Here is an example of this in my own life: I wanted to plant a church when I was about 25 years old, but it took ten years to finally fulfill this desire. However, I know that God does not waste anything. Perhaps this ten-year season was intended to get me to a place where I could not just plant a church but also teach at a seminary. I also know that I was not ready to plant a church at age 25. Looking back, I can see how God had80 a lot of other important ministries for me to do over those ten years. We cannot comprehend the vast knowledge of our Lord, but we can trust Him!
It is hard to make sense of things in our minds because we are not God. Our minds cannot grasp the big picture. God knows what He is doing. We may not know the way we are going, but we know our Guide. We can say like Paul in Romans 11:33-34,
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor? Or who has ever first given to Him, and has to be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Rest in His Promises (13:19)
We have mentioned that when Israel left Egypt they took some of the Egyptians’ riches. Now we see that they took something else—actually someone else: Joseph! Well, it was not really Joseph, but it was his bones. The Israelites carried out the last wishes of Joseph (see Gen 50:24-26; Heb 11:22). This simple act demonstrated that God was fulfilling His promises. Joseph believed God was faithful and that He would make good on His promise to Abraham. And he said, when you go, take me with you.
Like Joseph, we have been given so many amazing promises. Already in Exodus we see God’s promises coming true. God is still in the promise-keeping business. Like Joseph, we are looking for something else. In your daily Bible reading one thing you should do is look to see God. Where is God, what is He like, and what is He doing? Where is Jesus? You should ask these questions and then ask, “What promise is here that I can rest in today?” Through the Scriptures we are promised many wonderful things, such as an eternal rest in the new heavens and new earth. “For we do not have an enduring city here; instead, we seek the one to come” (Heb 13:14). Put your trust in God, who has promised us something better to come.
Journey by His Presence (13:20-22)
In these verses, we see the wonderful provision of God to guide Israel by day or night. They had a cloud in the day and 81fire at night. Once again, fire is a picture of God’s presence. Many scholars have tried to deny this miracle, claiming it was just a natural rain cloud. The problem with that claim is that the pillar of cloud traveled with them in the arid desert for 40 years!
Likewise, God never leaves us; He guides us. I can imagine one saying, “Well, I sure would like to have a cloud!” “I would like to order up a cloud to hover over the guy I should marry!” Or “I would like to have a cloud lead me to my college destination!” Actually, in the new covenant, after Christ’s earthly ministry and ascension, we now have something better; namely, the Holy Spirit indwelling individuals. Paul referred to the indwelling of believers in numerous places. In Colossians, he described the new covenant and said, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27). Christ by the Spirit is in individuals (Jew and Gentile)—not in a tabernacle or in the temple, but in believers who are the dwelling place of God.
I am convinced Old Testament believers were empowered to believe; that is, they were regenerated. And God was with His people (as exemplified with the cloud) but not in His people (with the exceptional case of the mediators). That all changed in the new covenant. Jesus, referring to the time after His ascension and the sending of the Spirit, said, “He remains with you and will be in you” (John 14:17; emphasis added; cf. John 7:37-39). In James Hamilton’s God’s Indwelling Presence, he summarizes this view. Commenting on John 14:17, he says, Here Jesus encapsulates the Bible’s teaching on God’s dwelling in relation to believers in the old and new covenants. In the old covenant God faithfully remained with His people, accompanying them in the tabernacle and the temple. Under the new covenant, the only temple is the believing community itself, and God dwells not only among the community corporately (Matt 18:20; 1 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 6:16), but also in each member individually (John 14:17; Rom 8:9-11; 1 Cor 6:19). (Hamilton, Presence, 3)
Then he adds,
This does not exclude an interior ministry of the Spirit to individuals under the old covenant. Whereas God may not have been continually in his people, He could operate upon their hearts through other means. (ibid., 25)
82Thus, God was with His people by the Spirit in the old covenant, actively at work, though not indwelling individuals.
To reinforce this idea of the Spirit’s work among the people in this particular portion of Exodus, consider Isaiah 63:7-14. Isaiah was reflecting on the deliverance of Israel from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. He said that when God delivered Israel at the Red Sea, He put His Spirit “among the flock.” Hamilton says, “[A] case can be made that the Holy Spirit may be the same as the pillar of fire and the cloud” (ibid., 39).
As you make your journey in this life, know you are not alone if you are a believer. We are not left as orphans (John 14:18). We have God not only among us, but in us! So, no, you do not have a cloud. Instead, you have the Spirit Himself, guiding you into all truth. Will you journey by His presence?
The Lord Is Passionate about His Glory
The strategy described in the first three verses was crazy unless God was in charge. Israel was on their way out when God told them to go back and camp between the sea and the desert. The precise location is debated, but we know the sea refers to the Red Sea. It seems likely that they crossed the northern part of it. Upon traveling to this location, Israel had become vulnerable. It seems that if Pharaoh approached, they would be trapped.
God used unusual strategies throughout the Bible. Remember Abraham and Sarah’s age when they had a child (Gen 21:5)? Have you heard the story of Gideon and his little army (Judg 6-8)? What about Jehoshaphat’s battle with the Ammonites and Moabites (2 Chr 20)? What about the demoniac and the pigs (Mark 5)? Ultimately, God used an unusual strategy with Jesus Christ going to the cross. Satan, like Pharaoh, must have thought that he had Jesus trapped, that He was about to die. Yet in His unusual strategy, God brought deliverance for us and glorified Himself.
Verse four tells us that God does what He does for His own glory. He said, “I will receive glory by means of Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh.” This is central in Exodus. Know that He is God and that He gives His glory to no other. God is passionate about His glory. “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen” (Rom 11:36).
83As the story continues, Pharaoh pursued God’s people just as God said that he would (Exod 14:5-9). Pharaoh thought he had a good military strategy, but what he was actually doing was fulfilling the purposes of God and bringing Him glory (Rom 9:17). As he pursued Israel, he would have used the best of chariots while Israel fled on foot. Egypt had all the modern military advantages. Surely they thought the Israelites would be defeated. Pharaoh was singing victory songs before the battle had begun. However, he had another thing coming.
We see Pharaoh’s hardness of heart throughout this story: (1) he initially refused to do what God wanted, (2) he negotiated, (3) he asked for prayer for blessing, and (4) when he finally let Israel go, he changed his mind. Pharaoh stands as a warning for us today. God’s patience will eventually turn to wrath. Do not be swallowed up. Heed God’s word and turn to Jesus. There are two ways God can be glorified in someone’s life: in His just judgment or in His saving mercy. Which way will you glorify Him?
The Lord Saves Sinners
From verse 10 to the end of the chapter, we find one of the most important stories in the Bible: crossing the Red Sea. God is going to get His people out of Egypt through the miracle of the sea, and He is going to judge the Egyptians by swallowing them up in the sea. I want to walk through these verses and then point out some truths about the Lord’s salvation that we see here.
In verse 10 God’s people saw the Egyptians, and they were afraid! The Egyptians were superior soldiers. They had “weapons of mass destruction,” so to speak. But what is the real problem? Israel was forgetting that it was God who brought them to this place. They needed only to fear God and trust in His love (cf. Ps 106:1-10). Then, in verses 11-12, the Israelites began to complain to Moses. This will become an ongoing challenge that we will talk about later.
Moses told them, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet” (vv. 13-14). What kind of strategy is this? Stand there quietly? “The Lord will fight for you”? Yes. That is the right strategy. Later, this same promise is used again. Think of Jehoshaphat: the musician Jahaziel stepped up, by the power of the Spirit, and said,
84Listen carefully, all Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat. This is what the Lord says: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.... You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. He is with you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Tomorrow, go out to face them, for Yahweh is with you.” (2 Chr 20:15, 17)
Do you see this theme? Do not be afraid. The battle is not yours. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.
In Exod 14:15-18 notice how God singled out Moses. God gave Moses instructions to divide the sea. Imagine what Moses’ human reaction might have been to these instructions! Those of us who have heard this story miss the shocking nature of it. Pharaoh is coming, the people are complaining, and God says, “Hold out your stick, and I will part the waters!” Why? Once again the theme of God’s glory is repeated: there is no one like Him (vv. 17-18).
After these instructions, “the Angel of God” enters the scene (v. 19). There is a lot of mystery about this Angel. The Angel and the cloud move behind the Israelites. Are these two distinct entities or the same? In chapter 3, “the Angel of the Lord” spoke from the bush, and perhaps this is the same type of theophany, where the Angel and the physical manifestation are the same. I am not sure. Whatever we make of this, we know that God is present to both guard and guide His people. Here the cloud keeps the Egyptians from getting near the Israelites. Thus, God continues to keep His promises.
God’s deliverance manifested itself through the parting of the waters (v. 21). By this means, the Israelites walked through to safety (v. 22). Can you imagine this? The water is pulled back to be a wall. The idea of a “wall” carries the idea of a “city wall.” Stuart says, “A city-wall sized wall of water on either side of them implies the division of a deep body of water, not merely the drying out of a shallow one or the drying out of wet terrain” (Stuart, Exodus, 342). When I read this, I think of Niagara Falls. It is massive. This parting of the waters of the Red Sea is not too hard for the Lord of all creation.
This is not the only time God will part waters. If you struggle with this, you will struggle to believe other events in the Bible. Regarding the Jordan River crossing, Joshua said, “The water flowing downstream will stand up in a mass” (Josh 3:13). God also parted the Jordan for85 Elijah and Elisha (2 Kgs 2:8, 14). For the living God, parting water is no problem.
As the Egyptians pursued the Israelites, “the Lord looked down,” majestically exalted above all (Exod 14:24). He threw the Egyptians into a panic and clogged the wheels of their state-of-the-art chariots (vv. 24-25). They should have fled, but they did not. After Israel’s crossing of the sea, Moses stretched out his staff so that the waters might come down on the Egyptians and everything with them (v. 26). This was total elimination. At daybreak, the Israelites could see God’s victory, for the Egyptians were swallowed up when the water went back into the gap (vv. 27-28). Verse 29 provides a summary statement: Israel had walked on dry ground to safety.
The reality of judgment and salvation are clear in verses 30 and 31. Imagine this scene: Bodies are washing up on the shore. Here is the dreadful picture of unrepentant sinners. The waters of judgment came down on those who refused to believe. Pharaoh reaped what he sowed. In contrast, we see the happy picture of believers who have been saved from the waters of judgment. They were delivered to the other side by grace through faith.
At the Red Sea, the same body of water is a place of both judgment and salvation. Paul said the Israelites were baptized into Moses (1 Cor 10:1-4) as we are baptized into Jesus (Rom 6:3; Gal 3:23). They were identified with him, as we are identified with Christ. As Moses led his people through the waters of judgment to the other side, those who are in Christ will pass through the waters of death to the other side safely because of His mighty resurrection. That is exactly what the ordinance of baptism represents: passing from death to life. I like to keep candidates under longer to get the full effect! Sometimes people say, “I’m scared to death of water.” Great! That’s even better! In baptism, we are saying, “I have died with Christ, I have been buried with Him, and I have been raised with Him!” (see Rom 6:1-4).
The story of the exodus is a picture of what has happened to us in salvation and in the Christian life. There are three parts to their getting out that we identify with as believers in Jesus.
What We Are Saved from: Bondage
The Israelites were delivered from their enslavement. This is a picture of salvation. They were now free. But there was a problem (vv. 11-12).86 They got out of Egypt physically, but Egypt had not gotten out of their hearts (cf. Acts 7:39). Later some would contend that they would have been better off if they were still in Egypt (16:3).
How does this relate to us? God redeems us from bondage, also. But our bondage has many “layers” (Keller, “Getting Out”). Objectively, we are free from condemnation through Jesus. We have positional freedom. The penalty of sin is gone. There was an objective guilt on us, but through Jesus we are freed. We can say, “no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1). Subjectively, however, we still struggle with going back to Egypt, to our old way of life. We are not slaves, but we tend to live like slaves.
We can recognize three ways this slavishness of the heart may be explained. First, we can fall back into the slavishness of sin (Rom 6:1-23). We are free from the law and live under grace, but Paul said, “do not let sin reign in your mortal body” (6:12). Every day we must put sin to death. Second, we can revert to works righteousness. An example of this would be the Galatians. They wanted to go back to a works-based system of salvation. Our hearts want to create a performance-based Christianity. We have to fight every day to believe our salvation is in Christ alone. Third, we still deal with our old idols. We fight the temptation to yield to our old masters that say, “Serve me or die” (Keller, “Getting Out”).
Therefore, on the one hand we can say, “I’m free,” but on the other hand we wrestle in this body of flesh. What we call objective and subjective issues in theology are justification and sanctification and glorification. We have been saved from the penalty of sin (justification). We are being saved from the power of sin (sanctification). We will one day be saved from the presence of sin (glorification). Exodus gives us a story to see these things.
How We Are Saved: Crossing Over by Grace
In verses 13 and 14 Moses told the Israelites to stand quietly and “see the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today” (v. 13). He said, “The Lord will fight for you” (v. 14). The principle of grace could not be clearer here. Salvation is not about what we do but about what God has done for us in Jesus. God saves sinners by grace through faith, not by human works. Paul said,
For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness. Now to the one who works, pay is not 87considered as a gift, but as something owed. But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who declares the ungodly to be righteous, his faith is credited for righteousness. Likewise, David also speaks of the blessing of the man God credits righteousness to apart from works: How joyful are those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered! How joyful is the man the Lord will never charge with sin! (Rom 4:3-8)
Notice how the Old Testament teaches the same gospel. Do you know this blessing of having your sins forgiven by the God of all grace?
The Israelites crossing over the Red Sea is another great picture of salvation. The minute they crossed over the sea, they crossed over from death to life. This reminds me of Jesus’ words about eternal life: “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24). John also spoke of crossing over from death to life: “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death” (1 John 3:14).
This idea makes Christianity different from every other religion. In other systems of belief, everyone is trying to get to the other side, but they must work at it. They give alms, pray five times a day, make a holy pilgrimage, and more. But this is not the case with biblical Christianity. God does the work. You embrace Him, and boom! you cross over. Everything changes.
Everyone is either justified or condemned. You either are adopted or you are not adopted (Keller, “Getting Out”). Have you crossed over? Are you a Christian? If your answer is something like “I’m trying,” then you do not understand what Scripture is saying. You cannot earn it with good works or religious efforts; you simply receive salvation by grace through faith.
Think about the power of this. Consider Paul: he persecuted people before he came to Christ. Yet he could later write that there is no condemnation (Rom 8). He did not say, “Now I need to pay God back.” No. He crossed over. He still had room to change on the inside, as we talked about with the subjective nature of sin, but Paul knew that he was free and forgiven.
Tim Keller points out that the quality of the faith of those who crossed over really is not mentioned (“Getting Out”). One might imagine that some went through the Red Sea scared to death but believing while88 others went through confidently. Keller reminds us that we are saved by the object of our faith, not the quality of our faith. Do you have faith in this Savior? If you are a Christian, you have crossed over. Your greatest enemy has been defeated.
Why We Can Be Saved: A Mediator
It is important to consider why the Israelites did not drown in this event (what some call “The Eleventh Plague”). We have already recognized God’s grace as the basis for their salvation. Without grace, they too would have been swallowed up. They were not saved because of their goodness but because of God’s mercy. But we can go a step further. Why did the Israelites not get crushed? They had a mediator.
Consider Moses’ role. On the one hand he was identified with the Israelites, and on the other he was identified with God. You have one man so identified with the Israelites that their guilt was on him. He got rebuked for the Israelites’ sin in verse 15. God said, “Why are you crying out to Me?” There is no indication that Moses himself was crying, but he got rebuked anyway. He was also so identified with God that God’s power was working through him (vv. 21, 26). That is a mediator. He is the man in the middle. But there is another mediator, a better one, Jesus Christ. He was not just rebuked for one sin in one verse, but this mediator took God’s wrath for all our sin. And this mediator was God (John 1:1). Jesus is the only way we cross over. He is our mediator.
The Lord Is Worthy of Praise
This song of praise is magnificent! It is the first song in the Bible. Apparently Moses penned it right after the deliverance. Notice just a few truths about it.
Everyone Should Sing to the Lord (15:1, 20-21)
Moses and all the people sang of the Lord’s triumph. Miriam went out with all the women and sang of His glorious triumph with dancing and a tambourine (vv. 20-21)! Everyone was singing because everyone had been rescued.
Every believer should sing to the Lord, not because they have a good voice, but because of what God has done for them! Praise is the 89natural response from those who have experienced God’s grace. The exodus was the most important event in the Bible until the cross. What did they do after it? Sing! That is what saved people do. This pattern continues throughout the Bible all the way to Revelation 5, where we see everyone worshiping the Lamb who redeemed a people with His blood. The Song of Moses is similar to other songs or psalms in both the Old Testament and New Testament. Examples include
- Deborah and Barak’s song in response to victory over Sisera and Jabin of Canaan (Judg 5:1-31);
- Hannah’s song at the birth of Samuel (1 Sam 2:1-10);
- Mary’s response to the angel’s news and Elizabeth’s greeting (Luke 1:46-55); and
- Zechariah’s prophecy after the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:68-79).
The exodus song is rich with lyrics, as are the other songs in the Bible. We have no melody for these songs, but we have the words. That shows us how important the lyrics are in music. Here they were narrating God’s work: His mercy and His judgment. This is important. It is not just “mood music.” It is a good model for reminding yourself of God’s redeeming grace. Songs help us remember. Songs are portable theology. Everyone should sing from their heart to the Savior for the great deliverance they have received.
Sing about Him and to Him (15:1-18)
It is difficult to outline the structure of this song. It has been done various ways by different scholars. One way to look at it is like this: In verses 1-5 and 18 the song is about God, and in verses 6-17 the song is sung to God. Notice the shift in verse 6 to “You.” We sing about who God is, and we sing to Him, personally, in worship, expressing to Him our love for Him and gratitude for His salvation.
Sing of His Glory and His Salvation (15:1-18)
This song talks about who God is, what He has done, and what He will do as God and Savior.
God’s Glory. This song tells of the splendor of God and His attributes. First, we see the name of God. “Yahweh is His name” (v. 3). Here there are clear echoes of chapter 3, where God revealed His name to Moses. God is self-existent and self-sufficient.
90Second, we see God is the personal God. He is “my strength and my song” and “my salvation” (v. 2). You can know this same God. The exact representation of Him is found in Jesus (Heb 1:3).
Third, God is the covenant-keeping God. Moses described Him as “my father’s God” (v. 2). Just as God demonstrated His power and glory in the past, so He does now.
Fourth, God is a warrior (v. 3). God will reign triumphantly over all His enemies, as He did over Pharaoh (vv. 4-10, 12, 14-16). Throughout the Bible God was opposing the enemies of Israel or, at times, opposing Israel themselves. Then at the cross God was in Christ triumphing over our greatest enemies. In Revelation we see that He will return to triumph over Satan (Rev 20:7-10).
Fifth, God is unique. “Who is like You among the gods?” (v. 11) Moses asked. These words are echoed in Psalms 86:8 and 89:6. God is without peer. He is incomparable and utterly unique.
Finally, God is loving. “You have redeemed with Your faithful love” (v. 13). In God’s great grace and mercy, He rescues and leads us.
God’s Salvation. This song also highlights the greatness of God’s salvation. He is sovereign over salvation. God was not acting arbitrarily in all of this; He was working out His sovereign purposes, leading His people out to His holy abode (v. 13). And all the kings of the nations would be silent when God would bring His people to His sanctuary (v. 17). Notice how they sang in faith about future events as if they had happened already! It would be a hard, complicated journey to Canaan, but they were singing of the Lord’s triumph (v. 15).
God also redeems. Here again is that wonderful word “redeem” (v. 13). The song’s reference to God’s redemption points back to 6:6. Redeem (ga’al) means to “reacquire” or “get back for oneself” or “buy back” (see 6:6; Ps 74:2; 77:15; 106:10; Isa 41:14; 52:9; 62:12). Christ did not redeem us with money but with His own blood (1 Pet 1:19). He rescued us from our awful situation with the payment of His life. In addition, the text says that Yahweh is going to bring Israel to His “dwelling” (v. 17). Stuart summarizes this verse:
A grand theme of Scripture appears at this point in the song. Even though God has graciously come at various times and ways—most fully in Christ—to the place where we live, it has always been God’s plan that his people should, because of the work of Christ, eventually join him where he lives. The story of ancient Israel mirrors this. God called them out of where91 they had been born and had been living (Egypt), bound them to himself in a covenant (at Sinai and again in Deuteronomy), and then led them to his holy dwelling (Israel/Jerusalem/the temple). The same sort of thing happens in Christ, yet on a greater and more lasting scale. God calls those who believe in him out of where they have been born and are living (earth), binds them to himself in a (new) covenant (by believing in Jesus as Savior and Lord), and then leads them to his holy dwelling (heaven) (Exodus, 355-56).
The Lord will also reign forever (v. 18). This is an obvious note about the eternal nature of God’s salvation. Gloriously, John the apostle heard God’s people in heaven singing “the song of God’s servant Moses and the song of the Lamb” (Rev 15:3), a song which is new, but is as old as the exodus!
Great and awe-inspiring are Your works,
Lord God, the Almighty;
righteous and true are Your ways, King of the Nations.
Lord, who will not fear and glorify Your name?
Because You alone are holy,
for all the nations will come
and worship before You
because Your righteous acts
have been revealed. (Rev 15:3-4)
Indeed, we have experienced the greater exodus. And we shall forever sing His praise. Our souls will forever say, “There is no one like You, O God!”
Reflect and Discuss
- Looking back, when was God teaching you the most on your life’s journey? At the time, did it seem like you were being delayed? How can your past experience help you as you face more delays?
- Which of God’s promises have already been fulfilled in your life? Which promises are you looking forward to receiving?
- What was the advantage of the pillars of cloud and fire that were with Israel? What is the advantage of the Holy Spirit who is in Christians?
- 92What is the key to theology: the love of God, the glory of God, the salvation of mankind, or something else? How would you describe the “big picture” of theology to an adult Sunday school class?
- Has God ever put you in an impossible situation and then brought you through? What is the value of this kind of experience for you and for God?
- When is it appropriate to “stand still” and see God’s salvation? When does obedient activity come into play?
- How would you respond to someone who says that God merely dried up a few inches of water in a marshy area?
- How is Israel’s crossing of the Red Sea similar to Christian baptism?
- What is your favorite song melody? What are your favorite Christian praise or hymn lyrics? How do good lyrics teach good theology?
- What is the value of singing songs about God? What is the purpose of singing songs to God?