Exodus 15: 1-18. Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,
“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
2 The Lord is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
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 he cast into the sea,
and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea.
5 The floods covered them;
they went down into the depths like a stone.
6 Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power,
your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.
7 In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries;
you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble.
8 At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up;
the floods stood up in a heap;
the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them.
I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.’
10 You blew with your wind; the sea covered them;
they sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11 “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
12 You stretched out your right hand;
the earth swallowed them.
13 “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed;
you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.
14 The peoples have heard; they tremble;
pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed;
trembling seizes the leaders of Moab;
all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.
16 Terror and dread fall upon them;
because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone,
till your people, O Lord, pass by,
till the people pass by whom you have purchased.
17 You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain,
the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode,
the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established.
18 The Lord will reign forever and ever.”
Moses and the Hebrews made it safely through the Red Sea and on the other side they came out singing. Singing a new song of salvation.
Singing is a big deal in the Bible. There was singing at creation (Prov. 8; Job 38). Adam sang when he first saw Eve (Gen. 2). Deborah sang. David sang. The book of Psalms is one big songbook. Of course at the birth of Jesus there was all kinds of song writing and singing (Zechariah, Mary, Angels). And in the end we will all sing to the Lamb of his eternal worthiness (Rev. 5).
Our response to God and to his salvation should always be singing. We’re commanded to sing more than we are commanded to anything else. Really we should find it impossible not to sing. A Christian who doesn’t sing doesn’t make sense. Our salvation is God’s greatest triumph worthy of the greatest songs. The Christ inside of us is a singer. And his Spirit in us produces the music of salvation.
(On a personal note – years ago when my heart was hard I found it very difficult to sing in church on Sunday. I blamed it on the musical style. Too slow. Too old. Too boring. I argued that the church needed better music. But when the gospel softened my heart over time I realized it wasn’t the songs, it was the song in my heart. I love hearing the church sing together now. If it is a song of the truths of Jesus and his salvation I can sing it. And I know Jesus is singing in that moment.)
Look at what Moses says in verse 2. God doesn’t just make Moses want to sing. God is his song.
But what does that mean? Well, what does a song do for us? What does the song that is in your heart or in your head say about you?
Songs bring together the heart, the mind, and the soul. Songs motivate us. They teach us of truths and remind us of times in our lives. Songs stir the affections. They take us from celebration to crying out and back again. How? Because songs are about that thing that satisfies us. What moves us. What gives us meaning and hope. When we have that thing, we sing songs of celebration. When we feel as though we are lacking that thing we sing songs of lament.
Your song is a reflection of your life.
I’m a fan of the Washington Nationals baseball team. In professional baseball, the players each have a “walk up” song that plays when they get up to bat. One of the players, Gerardo Parra, chose a kid’s song, Baby Shark, as his walk up song this year. Why? Because it’s his 2 year old daughter’s favorite song.
Baby Shark isn’t his walk up song. His own baby is his walk up song. And now that silly kid’s song has transformed a whole team of grown men.
What’s your walk up song?
Or better…. WHO is your walk up song?
In Christ, Jesus is our song.
He is our meaning, our life.
He is both our longing (sad song) and our satisfaction (glad song).
He is the source of our song.
He is the object of our song.
We sing to him.
We sing about him.
Every song we sing should point us to him because he is our ultimate song.
And we even sing with him.
Hebrews 2:10-12. 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,12 saying,
“I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”
Romans 15:8-9. 8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles,
and sing to your name.”
“To live is Christ” means that you are in Christ. That’s a lot to sing about just like the Hebrews did that day. God’s power. Salvation. Redemption. Glory. Victory. Reign. Now all perfectly fulfilled in Christ and ours forevermore. So sing to Jesus. Sing to God. Praise him in spirit and in truth. He is the new song in your heart.
“To live is Christ” also means that Christ is in you. And he is singing. He is not ashamed to sing with you and through you. When you sing, Jesus is singing. So sing with Jesus. Sing with his body. Sing loud and strong for all to hear until he returns.
What will you sing today?