Exodus Chapter Fifteen

Distinctions & Sanctification

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In our study of Exodus chapter fifteen, we see that, we see that God makes distinctions between groups of people and His desire is for His people to be set apart from the sickness of this world.

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Exodus 15:1 & 2

Then Moshe and the people of Isra'el sang this song to ADONAI: "I will sing to ADONAI, for he is highly exalted: the horse and its rider he threw in the sea. Yah is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. This is my God: I will glorify him; my father's God: I will exalt him.

Because of the great things that they saw in the last chapter, this passage says that Moshe & the people of Israel will worship God with song. Their song remembers the victory as God delivered them from what seemed like a hopeless situation. We also see "Yah" used as the name of God which is the first and last letters of the sacred name of God. This is a reminder that God is both the beginning and the end of the victory and it did not depend on the actions of the people other than to do what God said. The song speaks of redemption as Israel claims God to be their God based on the fact that he saved (purchased) them from certain death at the hands of the Egyptians.

Exodus 15:3-10

ADONAI is a warrior; ADONAI is his name. Pharaoh's chariots and his army he hurled into the sea. His elite commanders were drowned in the Sea of Suf. The deep waters covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone. Your right hand, ADONAI, is sublimely powerful; your right hand, ADONAI, shatters the foe. By your great majesty you bring down your enemies; you send out your wrath to consume them like stubble. With a blast from your nostrils the waters piled up -the waters stood up like a wall, the depths of the sea became firm ground. The enemy said, 'I will pursue and overtake, divide the spoil and gorge myself on them. I will draw my sword; my hand will destroy them.' You blew with your wind, the sea covered them, they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

These days, we hear almost exclusively that God is love which is true but we are reminded that God is also a warrior and people will pay for their disobedience. The phrase translated here as "great majesty" actually speaks of the abundant intelligence of God and the fact that God knows what we are going to do even before we know ourselves. This passage speaks of the fact that God knew that the Egyptians would follow Israel into the sea and He had already planned their defeat.

Exodus 15:11 & 12

Who is like you, ADONAI, among the mighty? Who is like you, sublime in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders? You reached out with your right hand: the earth swallowed them.

This passage reminds us that God works miracles to fulfill His covenant with Avraham.

Exodus 15:13

In your love, you led the people you redeemed; in your strength, you guided them to your holy abode.

The word that is translated here as "love" is the Hebrew word hesed which actually means grace. We see that, through God's grace, those that have been redeemed are managed and "holy abode" is actually holy oasis in the Hebrew text. This speaks of the fact that, when we are redeemed, God gives us rest and sustains us through the trials of this world.

Exodus 15:14-18

The peoples have heard, and they tremble; anguish takes hold of those living in P'leshet; then the chiefs of Edom are dismayed; trepidation seizes the heads of Mo'av; all those living in Kena'an are melted away. Terror and dread fall on them; by the might of your arm they are still as stone until your people pass over, ADONAI, till the people you purchased pass over. You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain which is your heritage, the place, ADONAI, that you made your abode, the sanctuary, Adonai, which your hands established. ADONAI will reign forever and ever.

In this passage, we see that the nations heard about what God had done to the Egyptians and so were filled with fear and unable to act in opposition to the people of God. Then, it speaks of the building of the kingdom both the land of Israel as well as the future kingdom as it speaks of the sanctuary and God being the king forever.

Exodus 15:19

For the horses of Pharaoh went with his chariots and with his cavalry into the sea, but ADONAI brought the sea waters back upon them, while the people of Isra'el walked on dry land in the midst of the sea!"

This is a summary victory statement as it recaps what has happened and is a reminder that God makes a distinction between His covenant people and those who walk in disobedience.

Exodus 15:20 & 21

Also Miryam the prophet, sister of Aharon, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines, dancing, as Miryam sang to them: "Sing to ADONAI, for he is highly exalted! The horse and its rider he threw in the sea!"

Here, we see that God also makes a distinction between men and women as Miryam led the women in worshipping God for the victory but Aharon is mentioned and he was the high priest. Miryam is described as a prophetess and leading worship but we see that she is not leading the men.

Exodus 15:22-25a

Moshe led Isra'el onward from the Sea of Suf. They went out into the Shur Desert; but after traveling three days in the desert, they had found no water. They arrived at Marah but couldn't drink the water there, because it was bitter. This is why they called it Marah. The people grumbled against Moshe and asked, "What are we to drink?" Moshe cried to ADONAI; and ADONAI showed him a certain piece of wood, which, when he threw it into the water, made the water taste good.

After worship, Moshe caused Israel to move on and, after being in the desert for three days without finding water, they were led to a place with water that they could not drink. We see that they did not ask Moshe what they were going to drink but instead complained to him. The word translated here as "showed" is actually the same root word for the Torah or teaching and here we see that God instructed Moshe on how to change the water to make it drinkable. The fact that a tree was used to make the water drinkable to sustain the people is significant as it points to the tree of life and the power of the cross.

Exodus 15:25b-27

There ADONAI made laws and rules of life for them, and there he tested them. He said, "If you will listen intently to the voice of ADONAI your God, do what he considers right, pay attention to his mitzvot and observe his laws, I will not afflict you with any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians; because I am ADONAI your healer." They came to Eilim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and camped there by the water.

This passage shows us that we can follow the ways of God and avoid the sickness and death of this world. We also see that, if this worldly sickness affects us, He has the power to heal us and healing brings to mind the act of removing something bad. Finally, we see from their stay at Eilim that God wants to bring sanctification into the lives of His people.

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