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the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 15

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-27

Chapter 15

So Moses broke forth in song. Chapter fifteen is actually the song of Moses, of God's deliverance and victory.

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and they spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. The Lord is a man of war: and Jehovah is his name. Pharaoh's chariots and his host has he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. The depths have covered them: they sank to the bottom as a stone. Thy right hand, O Jehovah, is become glorious in power: thy right hand O Jehovah has dashed in pieces the enemy. And in the greatness of thine excellency thou has overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble. And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright [against them] as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea ( Exodus 15:1-8 ).

It is interesting to me, "The blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together"; the Bible says "A strong east wind". Now this is putting it in sort of a figurative sense, "the blast of God's nostrils, the strong east wind". So next time the Santa Ana wind blows, just think the "blast of His nostrils"; sneezed.

The enemy said, [This is neat figurative language and I like it, it's picturesque. "The enemy said",] I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my desire shall be satisfied upon them; I'll draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. But you did blow with thy wind, and the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters. Who is like unto thee O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders. You stretched out your right hand, and the earth swallowed them. You and Your mercy have led forth your people which you have redeemed: and you have girded them unto thy strength unto thy holy habitation. The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold upon the inhabitants of Palestina. And the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; and the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; and all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away ( Exodus 15:9-15 ).

So the experiences now are preparing me for the future victories, for the future conquests. God through His work now is just preparing my life for that future work that He's planning to do. Ephesians four tells us that, "Ye are His workmanship, created together in Christ Jesus, unto the good works that God has before ordained that you should walk in them".

In other words, God already has the plan for your life, and He's preparing you for that plan. Right now God is working in you. What is the purpose? That He might prepare you for those works He's already prepared for you.

Now later on we're gonna have another song of Moses when we get into Deuteronomy where they acknowledge that all the way God led them. Through their wilderness experience, God led them. He went before them and prepared a place for them to pitch their tent. God was hovering over them as an eagle over her children. God hovered over them there in their wilderness experience; God was there. They were learning, trusting God. They were learning the providential care of God. They were learning the concern of God for His people. Even as we are learning now as God prepares us for those victories that He wants us to go into in His name. Into that territory that He wants us to conquer and to possess for His glory. And so this beautiful song of deliverance and praise, declaring the glory of God.

The fear that will come upon their enemies, Verse sixteen.

Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till the people pass over, O Lord, till the people pass over, which you have purchased. Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of your inheritance, and in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established. The Lord shall reign for ever and ever ( Exodus 15:16-18 ).

So that acknowledgment of God, of His power, of His glory, of His purposes that He shall bring to pass and how that He shall reign forever and ever.

For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea. Now Miriam [Who was the older sister of Moses, and was called a prophetess.] she is also the sister of Aaron, [Who was the brother of Moses.] took a timbrel in her hand; and all of the women went out after her with their timbrels and with their dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing unto the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea ( Exodus 15:19-21 ).

Now the Jewish people are a beautiful people as far as exuberance, and life, and excitement. You get them going and it's really-it's really a joy. They love to dance; they love to sing.

You that were with us a couple of years ago, remember that last night up at Carphelagi (sp). We had the big celebration. And then all of the bus drivers that we had that year, all got together and started singing all the songs that they'd sung from the time that they were little kids in school. Sort of a time of, "Oh remember this one?" They'd start out, and man, they'd get into it. Clapping, standing up and stomping, and just, "Hey", you know the whole thing. They really love to get into it, you know. You notice their music; it's got a real beat. There's a lot of life to it, and there's just, you know, they really love to get into it. They're great to be around because of their exuberance, and they really get into it.

Thus I can in my mind picture this whole thing. Moses breaking forth into song of God's power, and God's deliverance. Miriam now, his older sister, coming out with a tambourine, and all the women coming out. This big dance going on, and the celebration for God has brought great deliverance for His people. God has brought great victory. And you know, there's nothing wrong with getting a little excited and showing a little emotion when you think of all that God has done.

Isn't it interesting how that we go to a football game or a baseball game, and we see a guy dressed like a duck? Or a chicken? And he goes around and he gets all the people whooping it up, you know. He's hitting, getting them to clap in a beat and all this kind of stuff. And you see this character down there and you say, "Oh man he's a real fan."

But if in church, a person dares to smile, they say, "Man, he's a fanatic." One's a fan; the other's a fanatic. You're showing a little emotion because of what God has wrought. Really, I think that it's great to, to sometimes get a little emotional over God, and over the things of God, and over the work of God, and over the victory of God.

Now I don't believe in emotionalism. There's a vast difference between emotion and emotionalism. Emotionalism is emotion just for emotion's sake. But getting emotional over God I think is neat. Getting excited over God, getting excited over the work of God. I love it, you know, when there's that charged atmosphere. "Oh, see what God did tonight? Oh isn't that neat?" You know and you're just really into it with the Lord. I love it.

I don't think that God intended that all of our relationship with Him be very pious, and very somber and very formal. I think that God wants us to just enjoy His presence. And I think that He enjoys it when we get excited over Him, and over His victories. Actually there's something exciting about victory. The Lord has triumphed gloriously. They're singing of the victory of God. He's triumphed gloriously. Oh, when I think of the triumphs of God in my life, oh praise the Lord He triumphs gloriously. Thank You, Jesus. It's neat.

Now the difference between emotions and emotionalism would be if I would go to the football game and I'm watching my team, and I'm there in the stands rooting for my team, and we're behind twenty-three to seventeen, and there's eighteen seconds to go. But we're clear back on our ten-yard line. We used up all of our time-outs. The quarterback gets the ball, and the linemen are rushing him. Someone missed their block, he's just about tackled, but he lets go of the football, throws it down the field, and down the sidelines, the tight-end is racing. He reaches out his hands and the ball falls right in his hands, and he races into the end zone.

Do you know what I'm gonna be doing? I'm not gonna just be sitting there and saying, "My, isn't that wonderful? My." Listen, I'm gonna be whistling. I'm gonna be jumping up and down. I'm gonna be waving my hands. I'm gonna be screaming and yelling. I'm a fan. Then with the extra point, right through the middle of the upright. Again the screaming, the whistling, the shouting, the excitement. That's emotion. "We won." People don't say, "What's the matter with that weirdo? Look how emotional he is."

Now the difference between that and emotionalism is that if I would go out the next day, when there are no teams on the field and alone in the stands. I go through the same actions that I went through the night before, jumping up and down, whistling, throwing up my hands in the air, yelling and screaming; that's emotionalism. That I'm not interested in.

But I'll tell you it doesn't hurt to get excited over God, and over the works of God, and over the victories that God has wrought within our lives. I don't know but that isn't why God loves His people so much, because they show a little bit of emotion, when God works. They're capable of showing them. I do think that God sort of appreciates our getting excited over Him and over His works.

So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went for three days into the wilderness, and they found no water. [So, they're in trouble.] And when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore they called it Marah ( Exodus 15:22-23 ).

Which means "bitter". Remember Naomi said, "Don't call me Naomi which means "pleasantness", call me Marah, because God has dealt bitterly with me." So the waters of Marah. They came to this water finally after three days. They went to drink it and it was bitter. They couldn't drink it. So they said, "Oh Marah". Bitter.

And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink ( Exodus 15:24 )?

Oh, Moses you've got your hands full. Now here they are dancing, the timbrels are out, they're singing of God's victory, just wiped out the Egyptians. How quickly we forget the power of God. "We're gonna die of thirst. Give us water to drink."

And so he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet ( Exodus 15:25 ):

So they're learning, they're learning about God. They're getting acquainted with God. God can take the bitter experiences of your life and bring sweetness out of them. Those areas that are so bitter for us, we tasted them, and we found such bitterness. Yet God can turn them around and bring sweetness out of them. Of course the difference was the tree cast in the water. That tree, in our case, being the cross of Jesus Christ, which so transforms everything in our lives, and makes the bitter to become sweet.

And the Lord said, If [So it's conditional, "If",] you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, and will do that which is right in his sight, and will give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am Jehovah that healeth thee ( Exodus 15:26 ).

So they're coming now into an even deeper relationship with God, a covenant relationship. God said, "Right now if you will keep My statutes, My laws, My commandments, then I will keep you. I'll not put upon you any of the diseases or afflictions that came upon the Egyptians. For I am the Lord that healeth thee." Jehovah-Rapha, a healer, the Lord that healeth thee.

There is a very interesting book called, "None of These Diseases" written by a medical doctor, in which he goes into the law that God gave to Moses, and into especially the dietary aspects of the law, and into the washing ordinances within the law, and actually shows that if a person would keep the law of Moses; that it was a sanitary code among other things. And that by the keeping of the law, following the laws of sanitation, and diet and so forth, that a person would live a much healthier life, that there are the rules of health in the law of God. "None of These Diseases"; Dr. Maxwell is it that wrote the book? A medical doctor, but he's taken the law and shown the value of the law as a sanitary code, as a health code, and so forth.

So the promise being if you keep the law and so forth, then I will keep you. "I'm the Lord that heals you." But the healing is so often through preventative measures, of proper diet, proper sanitation and so forth. So as we get into the law of Moses, we're gonna find that much of it deals with just health, and healthy practices. God wants you to be healthy, and He's given you the rules. He says, "Keep these and you'll be healthy. None of these diseases that came upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee."

And so they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and there were seventy palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters ( Exodus 15:27 ).

So now God bringing them into that place of refreshment, refreshing themselves in Him. Learning the ways of God, learning about God, being prepared for the experiences that God has ahead for them, as He brings them into the fullness of His blessing and promises.

Next week we'll begin with chapter sixteen moving on in the book of Exodus. Shall we stand?

May the Lord bless and keep you in the love of Jesus Christ. May the Lord work in your life this week in a special way, bringing forth victory out of seeming defeat. Revealing that way when there seems to be no way. May you experience God's hand upon your life as He trains, as He teaches, as He develops His work of love and grace within your life, as He prepares you for the future, and for those things that He wants you to possess of His grace and of His glory. May the Lord strengthen you, and cause your life to be a witness for Him in Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Exodus 15". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/exodus-15.html. 2014.
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