Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Music of the Redeemed

musical notes

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.

Exodus 15:2

The Exodus narrative suddenly turns into a musical! After Israel has been delivered out of Egypt, across the Red Sea, and has witnessed God wipe out their oppressors as the Egyptian army drowned behind them, a worship service begins complete with musical performance. And it is Moses who leads Israel in this song. I have to think through the process.

Israel must have encamped on the “redemption” shore of the Red Sea for a while. It takes some time to creatively compose music, particularly and epic opera such as The Song of Moses in Exodus 15:1-18. And Miriam, Moses’ sister, who is now called a prophetess, appears to have choreographed a version of it as well according to Exodus 15:20-21. This would have taken some time. No one knows how long it took, but I would think that at least a couple of days transpired for this worship celebration to be planned and performed. And praise the Lord, the main content of it is recorded in scripture so that generations after this one can catch the power of God in the wonder of His deliverance. We can worship right along with a grateful nation!

From what I can tell, this song of Moses became the first liturgy in written form for Israel to use in worship. That is significant. I am sure the stories of Creation, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were told around family fires for generations. But the nature of this poetry would require it to be recorded. And so I think Exodus 15 just might represent the first portion of scripture to be recorded in a long record of God’s revelation that has culminated in the Bible I am reading this morning. It is instructive on worship. It is instructive on the nature of God. It is instructive on the power of God to save His people.

God deserves the worship of His redeemed people. These are the facts we glean from this song of Moses: God is mighty to save. He is glorious in power. He is great in majesty.He is majestic in holiness. He is awesome in His glorious deeds. God does wonders. He leads His people in steadfast love. He redeems His people. He guides us by His strength. God reigns forever and ever. There is a theology textbook worth unpacking just in this worship song!

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