The Present Truth : October 1, 1896
“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.
The Lord is my strength and song,
And He is 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 bath He cast into the sea;
And his chosen captains are sunk in the Red Sea.
The deeps cover them;
They went down into the depths like a stone.
Thy right hand, O Lord, is glorious in power,
Thy right hand, O Lord, dasheth in pieces the enemy.
And in the greatness of thine excellency Thou over-throwest them that rise up against Thee;
Thou sendest forth thy wrath, it consumeth them as stubble.
And with the blast of Thy nostrils the waters were piled up,
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;
Thou didst blow with Thy wind, 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?
Thou stretchedst out Thy right hand,
The earth swallowed them.
Thou in Thy mercy hast led the people, which Thou hast redeemed;
Thou hast guided them in Thy strength to Thy holy habitation.
The peoples have heard, they tremble;
Pangs have taken hold on the inhabitants of Philistia.
Then were the dukes of Edom amazed;
The mighty men of Moab, trembling hath taken hold upon them;
All the inhabitants of Canaan are melted away.
Terror and dread falleth upon them;
By the greatness of Thine arm they are as still as a stone;
Till thy people pass over, O Lord,
Till the people pass over which Thou hast purchased.
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,
The sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established.
The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.” Exodus 15.1-18
And now let us see what instruction and encouragement and hope there is in this record for us.
1. The power by which the Red Sea was divided, and the people passed over in safety, was the power by which their enemies were to be kept from attacking them. Compare Exodus 15.14-16 and Joshua 2.9-11. If they had gone forward in the faith that they had at the moment of their deliverance, there would have been no need of their fighting. No enemy would have dared to attack them. Now we can see why the Lord led them the way He did. By one final act of deliverance He designed to teach them never to be afraid of man.
2. In this same power they were to make known the name of the Lord—to preach the Gospel of the kingdom—in all the earth, as a preparation for the end. That was a work, which they had to do before the promise could be completely fulfilled. If they had kept the faith, it would not have taken long to complete the work.
3. The object of their deliverance was that they should be brought in and planted in the mountain of the Lord’s inheritance—a land of their own, where they might dwell forever in safety. This had not been fulfilled in the days of King David, even when his kingdom was at its height; for it was at the time when he had rest from all his enemies, and proposed to build a temple for the Lord, that the Lord said to him, “Moreover, I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more as before time.” Compare this also with Luke 1.67-75
4. God’s plan in delivering Israel from Egypt was thus set forth in the inspired song: “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.” No man can build a dwelling-place for the Lord, for “the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands.” Acts 7.48. “The Lord’s throne is in heaven.” Psalm 11.4. The true sanctuary, the real dwelling-place of God, “which the Lord pitched, and not man,” (Hebrews 8.1, 2), is in heaven upon Mount Zion. This is in harmony with the promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and which led them to count themselves strangers on this earth, and to look for a heavenly country, and “for a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11.10. This long-deferred hope was now about to be fulfilled, and it would have been fulfilled speedily if the children of Israel had kept the faith of their song.
5. The deliverance of Israel from Egypt and the dividing of the Red Sea is the encouragement of the people of God in the last days of the Gospel, when the salvation of the Lord is gone forth. These are the words, which the Lord teaches His people to say: —
“Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art Thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon? Art Thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” Isaiah 51.9-11
If the ancient Israelites had gone on singing, and had not once stopped to murmur, they would speedily have reached Zion, the city whose builder and maker is God.
6. When the redeemed of the Lord do at last stand on Mount Zion, having the harps of God, they will “sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? for Thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest.” Revelation 15.3, 4. It is the song of deliverance, the song of victory.
7. Even as the children of Israel sang the song of victory while upon the shore of the Red Sea, before they reached the Promised Land, so the children of God in the last days will sing the song of victory before they reach the heavenly Canaan. Here is the song, and as we read it, compare it with the opening part of the song of Moses by the Red Sea. We have already read that when the Lord sets His hand the second time to recover the remnant of His people, “there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, which shall be left from Assyria, like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.” Isaiah 11.16
“And in that day Thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise Thee; though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say. Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things; this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” Isaiah 12
This is the song with which the redeemed of the Lord are to come to Zion. It is a song of victory, but they can sing it now, for “this is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith.” Only as they proclaim the salvation of the Lord, they do not share it. While being conducted to Zion, they learn the song that they will sing when they reach that place. Thus
I sing the NEW, NEW SONG,
‘Twill be the OLD, OLD STORY
That I have loved so long.”