Those who love God triumph in His triumphs and what is His honor is their joy.
Our first thought should be to give glory to God.
1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.
5 The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.
6 Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
7 And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.
8 And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.
10 Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
12 Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them.
13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.
14 The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina.
15 Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away.
16 Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.
17 Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.
18 The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.
19 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.
20 ¶ And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.
23 ¶ And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.
24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
25 And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,
26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt 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 the LORD that healeth thee.
27 ¶ And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.
Exodus 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Exodus 15:1-18 – Moses’ Song of Praise to Jehovah
This sublime ode falls into three divisions. We learn, first, what God is: strength in the day of battle; song in victory; salvation always. He is the God of our fathers, and our own; the mighty champion of His people. Notice that the Spirit of Inspiration gives but a line or two to Israel’s murmurings, but records this happy song with elaborate care. Praise is comely!
We discover, second, what God is to His foes. They are covered by the engulfing waves of destruction. As well might thorns fight fire as a man succeed against God.
We are taught, third, what God does for His friends. He leads forth the people whom He has redeemed. He guides them in His strength to their home. He who brought them out brings them in, and plants them in the place He has prepared. Claim that He should do this for you. He who brought you out from Egypt can bring you into Canaan. —Through the Bible Day by Day
This is the fullness and perfection of knowing God – so to know Him that He Himself becomes our delight; so to know Him that praise is sweetest and fullest and freshest and gladdest when we sing of Him. He who has learned this blessed secret carries the golden key of heaven – nay, he hath fetched heaven down to earth, and need not envy the angels now. (Mark Guy Pearse)
Exodus 15:19-27 – Marah’s Waters Sweetened; Elim’s Rest
How rapid are the transitions of life! Today the song of victory, tomorrow the bitter wells of Marah, and the next the shadow of Elim’s palms! One moment we are singing the joyous song of victory on the shores of the Red Sea, strewn with the bodies of foes, which we believe that we have seen for the last time; and then, by a sudden change, we find ourselves standing beside Marah-waters of pain and disappointment. We, however, learn more of God at Marah than at Elim; because He reveals to us the tree of the Cross. It was there that our Lord gave up His will absolutely to the Father. See Hebrews 10:5-7. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). Now, for us, there is but one way to bear sorrow and to extract its sweetness. We must yield our will to God; we must accept what He permits; we must do what He bids. So we come to find that dis-appointments are His appointments. —Through the Bible Day by Day
It is when we get into wilderness experience, that we are put to the test as to the real measure of our acquaintance with God, and with our own hearts. There is a freshness and an exuberance of joy connected with the opening of our Christian career, which very soon receives a check from the keen blast of the desert; and then, unless there is a deep sense of what God is to us, above and beyond everything else, we are apt to break down, and “in our hearts, turn back again into Egypt.” The discipline of the wilderness is needful, not to furnish us with a title to Canaan, but to make us acquainted with God and with our own hearts; to enable us to enter into the power of our relationship, and to enlarge our capacity for the enjoyment of Canaan when we actually get there. (C.H. McIntosh)
Hast thou come, my friend, in thy wilderness way, to the place of bitter waters? Canst thou not drink of the stream, even though thy thirst be burning and thy strength be wasted? Know thou, there is a tree the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations! A tree? Truly so; but a tree as yet without a leaf, – a tree bare as the frosts and the winds of the winter can make it, – the great, grim, dear, sad, wondrous cross of the Son of God! Some have sought to touch the wells of life with other trees, but have only aggravated the disease which they sought to cure. By the grace of heaven, others have been enabled to apply the Cross to the bitter wells of their sin and grief, and behold the waters have become clear as the crystal river which flows fast by the throne of God! (Joseph Parker)
Exodus 15:25 – The waters were made Sweet.
Our joys and sorrows, like the varied products of nature, lie very close together. One moment we are singing the joyous song of victory on the shores of the Red Sea, and vow we will never again mistrust our God; and then, by a sudden transition, we find ourselves standing beside the Marsh waters of pain and disappointment, inclined to murmur at our lot.
There is, however, a tree, which, when cast into the waters, makes them sweet. It is the tree of the cross. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). The cross means the yielding up of the will. Now, it is in proportion as we see God’s will in the various events of life, and surrender ourselves either to bear or do it, that we shall find earth’s bitter things becoming sweet, and its hard things easy.
We must yield our will to God.—The secret of blessedness is in saying “Yes” to the will of God, as it is shown in the circumstances of our lot or the revelations of his Word. It is the will of a Father whose love and wisdom are beyond question.
We must accept what He permits.—It may be that our pains emanate from the malevolence or negligence of others; still, if He has permitted them, they are his will for us. By the time they reach us they have become minted with his die, and we must patiently submit.
We must do all He bids.—The thread of obedience must always be running through our hands. At all costs to our choice and feeling we must not only have his commands, but keep them. Our Lord perpetually lays stress on obeying his words. This is the spirit of the Cross, and the properties of this tree sweeten earth’s bitterest sorrows. “Disappointments become his appointments.” —Our Daily Homily
Beside each bitter Marah pool there grows a tree, which, when cast into the waters, makes them palatable and sweet. It is ever so. Poison and antidote, infection and cure, pain and medicine, are always close together. The word which saves is nigh even in the mouth and in the heart. We do not always see the “sufficient grace”; but it is there. Too occupied with our disappointment, we have no heart to seek it; but when we cry, it is shown to our weary longing eyes. (F.B. Meyer)