Snapshots: Day 64
The Snapshot: “Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD.” (Ex 15:1) Note three things. First, the word, ‘Then’. It followed and flowed out of deliverance. Second, ‘the Israelites sang’. Music on our lips is an expression of joy. Third, ‘to the LORD’. Not just an expression of joy but an expression of joyful thanks to the One who had delivered them. Are our songs in our weekly ‘worship times’, expressions that flow out of a week of blessing, or simply a performance? Are they times of purposeful thankfulness to the Living God who is there with us, or simply a habit to be performed week by week? Such times thus become a challenge to the realities of my life. They are also a challenge to those who lead them. Reality or ritual? Spirit-filled or songs performed?
Further Consideration: I don’t know if you have noticed it but happy people sing and unhappy people don’t. Singing is an expression of what is going on inside. It is something we do and take for granted. It’s a strange experience when you stop and think about it. Instead of just flat words (speech) melodious words (music) flows out of us. A definition of music is, “vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.” There it is – ‘expression of emotion’.
When Israel were delivered and Pharaoh and his army drowned so that all the threat of the past was removed, they sang a song. The other thing about songs is that they convey a message, whether it is “All you need is love,” or a full blown story or account as you find in this song: “The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea. (v.3,4) … The enemy boasted, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake them. But you blew with your breath, and the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters.” (v.9,10)
This was a song of testimony that spoke of their plight and their deliverance at the hand of the Lord. It is also therefore, a song of praise. I suspect it must have been composed, written down and then sung by all the people but it is the spontaneous expression of the joy that flowed in Moses and Miriam (see later verses) which has now been passed on down to us.
It comes, not only as a testimony of what the Lord has done but also as a challenge to us: do we sing spontaneously because of the goodness of the Lord that we have experienced? Do we allow the Holy Spirit within us to release our spirit so that we sing forth, perhaps with new songs, new words; not words written for large congregations to hear, but simply to bless the Lord. This is not a show, but a spontaneous outpouring to God. May we know that experience.