Scripture In Song
Mighty God, Creator of the world in which I live, Builder of the church through which I serve, I give You praise.
Read Exodus 15:1-18
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Imagine this passage as a song. How does it sound as a song of praise? Can you perhaps sing it to a triumphant hymn tune?
Music is powerfully able to express emotions, set a mood, and give extra meaning to the words! The Bible is full of songs, expressing praise (Acts 16:25; Rom. 15:9), joy (Jas. 5:13), thanksgiving (Psa. 92:1-3), sorrow for sin (Isa. 16:10), prayer (1 Cor. 14:15) and general teaching (Col. 3:16). Songs occur at key points in Scripture, such as Deborah’s song of victory (Judges 5), Hannah’s song of thanksgiving (1 Sam. 2:1-10), David’s lament over his sin (Psa. 51) and Mary’s song of acceptance of the birth of Jesus (Luke 1:46-55).
Today’s passage is known as “The Song” (HaShirah) in Jewish tradition. It was sung every Sabbath in the Temple, and is now sung daily in synagogue. Why? It celebrates the greatest Old Testament act of God’s redemption, the Exodus, in a spontaneous, lyrical outpouring of praise and worship. The song is in five parts. It begins by celebrating what God has done in the immediate past by defeating the Egyptians (1-10). It affirms who God is–incomparable, loving, powerful and holy (11-13). It considers the impact of the victory on other nations (14-16). Finally, it looks to the future when God will fulfill his promise to bring the Israelites into the land of Canaan (17,18).
The song echoes some of the great themes of the Bible, not in a systematic way or as a story, but in a song to be sung with energy, musicality and expression. God’s power over the natural world (11,12), his activity in history (1-5), his judgment on his enemies (6-10), his mercy on those who do not deserve it (13,16,17), are all wrapped up in a great hymn and a clarion call to worship.
Write (and sing, if you will!) your own song of thanksgiving, praise and wonder for what God has done for you.
Lord, as Scripture says, I want to, “…sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in [my] heart to God…” (Col. 3:16). I bless Your name.