Exodus Message #27 Ed Miller March 17, 2021 2nd Blessed Outworking of Redemption: Joy

(Audio above and transcript below are available for download at www.biblestudyministriesinc.com)

We are in the book of Exodus but we’re not studying Exodus.  We are studying the Lord Jesus, and He appears in every book, and we have come to see Him in this marvelous book of Exodus.  We’re going to be looking at Exodus 15 today which is the great song of Moses and the dance of Miriam.  Since it has to do with singing and rejoicing and praising the Lord, I’d like to share three verses from the Psalms which have to do with praising the Lord.  Psalm 34:1, “I will bless the Lord at all times.  His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”  That’s how often we should praise the Lord; at all times, continually.  Then Psalm 35:9&10, “My soul shall rejoice in the Lord.  It shall exalt in His salvation.  All my bones shall say, “Lord, who is like You?”  So, I’ve got to praise Him all the time with every bone in my body, all two hundred and six of them.  Psalm 103:1, “Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name.”  I think in the Old Testament that’s probably the most concise verse on total surrender that you can have; all that is within me.  Let’s come to the Lord in that way and just trust Him to guide us in our meditation.

Heavenly Father, we thank You that You have not left us on our own when it comes to studying this precious book.  You put the Holy Spirit in our heart.  Your life, the very One that searches the depths of God and reveals the Lord Jesus unto us.  We pray for an openness that comes from You and a response that comes from You, and we wait upon You now.  Feed us, we pray.  You know our capacities, our hungers, our needs.  Meet us where we are and take us where You would have us.  We ask in the precious name of our Lord Jesus.  Amen

In our study we’ve come to what we call “the second blessed outworking of redemption.”  As you come to the end of the book of Exodus you just have big pictures; the glory cloud and that is a picture of guidance, and you have manna and that’s a picture of provision, and you have this song and that’s a picture of joy, and you have the battle over Amalek and Rephidim and that’s a picture of victory, and you have the Ten Commandments and that’s a picture of New Covenant obedience, and you have the tabernacle and that’s a picture of worship.  All these things, because you’ve been saved, is washed in the precious blood of the Passover Lamb, Christ our Passover.  All of that is an outworking.  I can expect that to take place because I’ve been saved by power and blood.

We’ve looked at the cloud, the first outworking of redemption.  I’m not going to go through all of that, but I hope you remember that the cloud is a Person.  It’s the Lord.  We are guided by a Person.  The cloud is glorious, so guidance always leads to the glory of God.  And the guidance was day and night, twenty four seven.  So, the guidance is constant.  The guidance was invisible because He went behind and showed a light to our feet.  We have His guidance, and spiritual guidance, as well.  We come now to the second outworking illustrated by the song of Moses and the dance of Miriam; Exodus 15.  There is so much in this particular chapter.  There are some observations I’d like to make first.  Let’s begin with Exodus 15:1&2, ”Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and said, ‘I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted; the horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.  The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation’ this is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.’”

If you glance at this chapter in your Bible it looks like a Psalm, and that’s because it is a Psalm; it is a song.  It’s a song about the Lord, and it’s a song addressed to the Lord; “I will sing to the Lord.”  If I am saved by power and blood I can not only expect that God will guide me all the way to glory, but I can expect that He will put joy in my heart.  Since He is our song, when your eyes are on the Lord, the joy bells are ringing.  I just praise God for this particular chapter. 

As we looked at the principles of guidance, I want to get into the principles of victory and principles of provision.  What are the principles illustrated in the song of Moses and the dance of Miriam.  First I want to give some introductory observations about the chapter as a whole.  I’m not going to enlarge on those observations because I don’t want to rob myself of an opportunity to present the Lord Jesus to you.  These observations may be interesting and I just want to give them to you so that you know them, but then we’ll get to the heart of it and trust the Lord to unveil Himself.

My first observation is that Exodus 15 is the oldest song in the Bible, and it’s not only the oldest song in the Bible, but it’s the oldest song in existence, in any book.  If you go to Google and ask about the oldest song, they are going to take you back some 3500 years to Samaria and will give you a different song, but Moses predates that.  So, this is the oldest song ever.  Someone might say, “What about Job 38:4-7?”  “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?  Tell me if you have understanding.  Who set its measurements since you know?  Who stretched the line on it?  On what were the bases sunk?  Who laid it’s cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”  They wonder how we can say  Exodus 15 is the oldest song when the angels sang at the creation.  Clearly they did, and I would have loved to have known what they sang.  It’s the oldest song, but it’s not the oldest reference to the singing; we don’t have the words of the song that the angels sang.  It would have been celestial to know what that was, but this is our first recorded song.

I think it’s instructive that the oldest song in the world is a song of redemption.  Singing is a gift that God gave to us to praise the Lord.  It’s intentional and deliberate.  Many things were unique when God created man.  He gave man the ability to reason.  That belongs to man.  He gave man the ability to laugh.  That belongs to man alone.  He gave the ability to worship, and that’s only for man.  And He gave the ability to sing.  God wanted man saved by power and blood to be filled with praise and to be able to sing.  The world, of course, has usurped the idea that they have the right to sing, and many of their songs are to their gods, but we’ll praise the name of our God.  That’s the first observation, that it’s the oldest song.

My second observation is that Moses was the author of this particular song on the level of earth.  If you read Revelation 15:3, they sang the song of Moses, and the bondservant of God and the song of the Lamb.   We’ll bring together the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb as we go through this, but right now it’s the song of Moses.  Moses wrote this song.  The fact is that Moses wrote three songs.  He wrote Exodus 15, and He wrote Deuteronomy 32.  Are we sure Deuteronomy 32 is a song?  Listen to the end of Deuteronomy 31:22, “So, Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the sons of Israel.”  And then He wrote Psalm 90.  There are 150 Psalms and those Psalms cover more than one thousand years of human experience.  That’s why you find your heart gravitating to the Psalms, because after a thousand years of human experience you know that God will meet you in your experience somewhere in the Psalms.  Psalm 90 is the oldest Psalm and Moses was the human author.

My third point of my observation is that it introduces us to new elements when it comes to scripture and inspiration.  For example, we are now introduced to poetry for the first time.  It’s not the time now to go through poetry.  Hebrew poetry is not like ours.  They don’t emphasize meter and rhyme.  Theirs is more correspondence of thoughts, and they have parallelism and synthetic and anti-synthetic.  All that means is that sometimes the poetry, which is synthetic, says one thing, “Lord, show me Your path,” andthen it says it again, “Teach me Your ways.”  It’s the same thing.  Sometimes it’s the opposite.  “The Godly are like a tree planted by the river.  The ungodly are not so.  They are like the chaff.”  And sometimes it’s progressive.  “The Lord will counsel me with His eyes, and afterward take me to glory.”  It gives one part and then it adds to it and gives a new truth.  All the way through scripture in the poetry section you are either going to see God say it and say it again, or He’s going to say it and show you the opposite, or He’s going to say it and add to it and in His light we see light.  That’s Hebrew poetry.  That’s introduced here.

Another thing that’s introduced closely connected to that, listen to verse 20, “Miriam, the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels with dancing.”  This dancing also introduces music instruments into worship, and dance into worship.  This is the beginning of that.  You may not be aware of it, and maybe I shouldn’t even be mentioning it if you aren’t aware of it, but there’s a big division among God’s people about these things, about singing, about instruments in the church, and about the dance in worship.  All I’m trying to say is that it started here.  It was introduced here. 

There’s a great body of believers, especially from the reformed school, that will only sing inspired hymns; only sing the Psalms.  Some are so dogmatic they’ll call you a heretic, “You are going to sing Amazing Grace?  That was written by a human being, and not inspired.  You are going to sing the “Old Rugged Cross” or “It is Well With My Soul”?  You can’t do that because God has given….  Go to the New Testament.  God has given the voice as the instrument.  We praise Him with our voice.”  I went to one particular group where they believed that, and it was just the voice.  You couldn’t have instruments and you couldn’t sing anything but the Psalms.  There’s a great battle.  Even though the Old Testament is filled with praising God with instruments—the percussion instruments are mentioned in the Bible, and the cymbals and the castanets and the tambourines and the bells.  Then you go through the scriptures and you have the wind instruments.  It mentioned the trumpets and the pipes and the horns and the flute and then the stringed instruments.  You’ve got harps, the lyre, psaltery and all these instruments.  Some would say, “Yes, but that was Hebrew worship, old covenant, and with the old covenant passing away, the old covenant worship passed away.”  That’s their argument.  And until you get to heaven, they say that God has given you a voice, so you sing with that voice and that’s your instrument and He’s given you the Bible and that’s inspired, so you sing the Psalms, and don’t fall into worldliness and sing songs written by mere redeemed people.   I mention that because it’s introduced here, and also the dance.  The dance is different from what we see today as a dance, but I don’t want to get into that right now.

Two more observations and then we’ll get to the principle.  I thought it was interesting that the Jews, even to the present day, when they celebrate that wonderful Feast of Unleavened Bread, on the seventh day of the feast they all chant Exodus 15.  My guess is they don’t have a clue what it means, but that is part of their ceremony.  Just a point of interest.  The final thing I want to say is that I think Exodus 15, since it’s the first song of redemption, in some ways it becomes a model song for all of our worship.  Let me mention three ways that I think it’s a model song.  The first is because it’s about Him, and it’s to Him.  Exodus 15:1-2, “Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and said, I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted; the horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.  The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.” It’s all about Him. Verse 3, “The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is His name.”  Verse 10, “You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters.”  Verse 11, “Who is like You among the gods, O Lord?  Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?  You stretched out Your right hand, the earth swallowed them.”  Verse 18, “The Lord shall reign forever and ever.”  It’s a model in that it makes the Lord the theme and also we sing unto Him.

It’s also a model because this song tells us what the Lord has done and what the Lord will do.  There’s two parts to the song.  If you look at verse 1-12 in the song it’s all about what He did; delivered us from Egypt.  If you look at the rest of the song it talks about what the Lord will do; take me to Canaan.  Verse 10, “You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters.”  In verse 13- 18 it says that He’s going to bring us into the land, and He’s going to give us victory when we get into the inheritance.  Verse 17, “You will bring them and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, the place, O Lord, which You have made for Your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established.”

The destructive critics like to go through some of these things and tear them apart.  Some sceptics say, “There was no Jerusalem at this time and there was no sanctuary at this time, and there was no inheritance in Jerusalem or in Canaan at this time, therefore, Moses didn’t write that.  Someone later wrote it and then brought it back and inserted it into the song.”  They don’t see the prophecy.  But the song is about, “This is what He did, and he will continue doing it.”  It’s all about what He did and what He’s going to do.  I love in that connection Deuteronomy 6:23, “He brought us out from there to bring us in.”  He didn’t just bring us out.  He brings us out to bring us in.  It’s a song of victory; victory in the past, victory for the present moment and victory through all the ages of eternity. 

Some Christians have a problem with the future.  They say, “I have the faith to get saved, but this Christian life is tough.  I don’t have the faith to live the Christian life.”  It’s the same Jesus, and it’s the same faith.  The faith for victory is the faith for salvation.  It’s the same Lord Jesus Christ.  Colossians 2:6, “As you have received Him, so walk in Him.”  It will never get harder than that.  It’s the Lord Himself.  He’s the One that does it.  It’s a model song also because of the way it ends; “The Lord shall reign forever and ever.”  That’s a glorious conclusion.  You have that same refrain in the book of Revelation just before the marriage feast.  Revelation 19:6, “Hallelujah!  For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.” It’s a model song in that it’s unto Him and about Him.  It’s a model song because it tells all that He has done and all He will do.  And it’s a model song because it ends with “All Hail King Jesus!”  It brings us to Him.

That brings us to what we’re calling the second blessed outworking of redemption.  You’ve been saved by power and blood, and you’ve got a Guide that’s going to guide you all the days of your life.  I don’t mean to play with this, but whether you are in fellowship or out of fellowship, you are going to be guided all the days of your life.  He’ll guide you with His eye upon you, or with a bit and bridle.  He’ll guide you to glory or He’ll guide you to Babylon.  You are going to get guided all the days of your life, just because you are His and you’ve been saved by power and blood.

For those who like logical connections I’d like to share four principles illustrated from this great song that illustrate praise and worship.  The first principle is this, a song that is an outworking, a by-product of being saved by power and blood, is a response.  It’s involuntary.  It’s an inspiration.  There’s been a revelation and a response to that revelation.  When God opened your eyes and you really see what God shows you, you are going to respond.  This is the response. 

I need to take you back to our last study.  Exodus 15:1 begins with the word “then”, “Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang.”  You ask when; what’s the “then”?  The answer is in Exodus 14:30, “Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.  When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses.”  Then they sang.  The point I emphasized last time and I’ll recall it again.  God delivers from Egypt and that’s a picture.  There’s an Egypt out there but there’s an Egypt in here.  Call it what you want—ego, self, the old man—God wants to deliver me from me.  First He delivered us from Himself, and now He delivers me from me.  But you’ve got to see that.  Many Christians have never seen that.  They’ve been saved by power and blood, but they’ve never seen the Egyptians dead.  They’ve never seen themselves co-crucified, and that I have died when He died.  That is the point that He is making here. Once God opens your eyes and you see every Egyptian dead, it’s over and done and through and finished, and you see that, you are going to sing.  It will be an eruption in your heart.  You don’t have to generate it and you don’t have to go to a worship time to get.  It’s something that God puts in you and it’s a response to the revelation that I have seen what God has shown me.  Real worship is always that heart response.  It’s automatic and you don’t have to work it up.  You don’t have to get yourself in a worship mood, like some people think you must have to do.

Do you remember that lame man in Acts 3?  I love this story.  Acts 3:7, “And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened.  With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.”  Do you think he said, “Now, how shall I respond to this?”  It was automatic.  I bet that tore up that church service, too.  This guy goes in and is jumping and dancing and praising the Lord. 

Exodus 15:20, “Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing.”  My guess is that she didn’t go to dancing school.  She’s the first prophetess mentioned in the Bible.  We don’t know exactly how old she was.  According to Numbers 33:39 Aaron was 123 years old when he died, so we know Moses died at 120.  Aaron was three years older than Moses, and Miriam is older than Aaron.  We know she was old enough to carry that little baby in the basket and put him in the Nile River.  Maybe she’s 7, 8 or 9 or 10.  The point is this.  When Israel crossed the Red Sea Moses was 80 years old.  You add 8, 9 or 10 years to that.   Sometimes when we see this we say, “Miriam went out dancing,” and we think of a young lady.  She’s in her late 80’s or early 90’s, and she’s out there and is praising the Lord.  You’ve got to understand that was spontaneous.

Another thing in that connection, I made a big deal when we were in Joshua about the Greek and the Hebrew name “Joshua”, being the Greek name “Jesus”.  The Hebrew name “Miriam” is the Greek name “Mary”.  I can’t help but think when I read this about what is called “The Magnificat”, in Luke 1:46-55,  when Elizabeth responded with a jump in her womb when Mary showed up carrying Jesus in her womb, and she burst into song.  She didn’t go back to her study to write a poem about it.  It was automatic and worship is spontaneous, real worship.  And if I see the revelation, doesn’t matter what it is, I am going to praise the Lord.  When we pay attention to the words of the worship song that we sing, if we’re entering into the reality of what He’s done, “My sin, not in part, but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more,” you’ve got to praise the Lord.  If you lived in that union with our Lord when we saw Him revealing, you can’t stop praising God when you know that there is an indispensable principle.  You can’t stop praising God when you are living an exchanged life.  You can’t stop praising God when the Lord does something miraculous and preserves you in some way, when you know it’s the Shekinah glory in you.  He lives inside of me.  When you think about glory and what is happening and what He’s doing, you have to praise the Lord.  It’s a response.  That’s the first principle.  Don’t work it up.  Just start seeing Jesus and all He’s done, and you’ll have no problem.  You won’t need to go to worship school to learn how to do it.  You just need to see Jesus.

The second principle of the outworking of that song is the understanding that this is a song of joy.  It’s not only spontaneous, but it’s a song of joy.  I’m saying that because I don’t want you to confuse it with happiness.  I want you to see a difference there.  Joy is rooted in the will, like faith is rooted in the will.  Happiness is rooted in the emotions.  I call attention to that because happiness depends upon what happens, and if what happens to happen doesn’t make you happy, what happens to happen, your emotions are part of being human, and you are going to sometimes be down in the dumps.  Sometimes what happens makes you glad, and sometimes what happens makes you sad.  Joy is different because joy is rooted in the will, like faith is rooted in the will.  The will is set on Christ, and He is our song.  Just as we discussed struggling faith, I pointed out it’s possible to have intellectual doubts and emotional fears and still have faith at the same time.  So, now I want to point out it’s possible to be down in the dumps and be joyful at the same time.  If what happens brings you down into the dumps, some people go on a guilt trip if they get discouraged and depressed.  They say, “I must be sinning against God because I feel discouraged.”  Brothers and sisters in Christ, let me say it without clearing my throat, don’t believe that for a moment.  It is not a sin to be down in the dumps.  It’s part of being human.  It’s not a sin to go down in the dumps.  That has nothing to do with the song.  If there be a sin it would be to follow your emotions down into the dumps.  That might be against the Lord, but it’s not a sin to feel discouraged.  That’s your humanity, but now let’s talk about your Christianity.  You have the joy of the Lord.

I’m not only convinced that feeling down in the dumps is not a sin, but as I understand God’s word, that is part of your victory.  No matter what happens our Lord is our song and our joy.  Circumstances change and they go up and down and some are good and some are bad.  The Lord doesn’t change, so your song does not need to change.  There is 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 where he said, “I’m cast down…” and he goes through the whole testimony.  I was often confused when I read a statement by Charles Spurgeon and he said, “I often get discouraged and go in the valleys, but I’ve learned to take my mountains into the valleys with me.”  I never understood what he meant until God began to dawn this on my heart.  I might be unhappy, but I’ll be joyful at the same time.  Perhaps you’ve had this experience.  I’ve been at the graveside of those who have said goodbye to their spouses, loved one or children, and tears were streaming down their face, and in their heart they are singing praise for what they know, for what God has revealed and they have it at the same time.  They can be sad and happy at the same time. 

I think the best example of this is our Lord Jesus Himself.  Isaiah 53:3, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”  You get the idea that He was always down and in the dumps.  It’s also expressed in John 12:27-28, before the cross, “Now My soul has become troubled, and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour?” You might say, “Why are You troubled, Jesus?  Shouldn’t you be trusting the Lord?”   “But for this purpose, I came to this hour.  Father, glorify Your name.”   It’s true that He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, but that doesn’t contradict Hebrews 12:2, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.”  His soul was heavy, and He went to the cross with joy.  Hebrews 1:9, “God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions.”  What does that mean?  That’s applied to Jesus; Messiah.  “The oil of gladness above Your companions.”  In other words throw in the angels, seraphim, cherubim and all created beings, the verse teaches that Jesus was the most glad person in the universe; above all His companions and above all His creatures.

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Paul Rader.  He was a onetime pastor of the famous Moody Church.  He was a radio evangelist.  He was known because he was boisterous; loud.  When he got saved he just was a manifestation of the joy of the Lord.  One day in an outburst of emotional joy he was very loud and a deacon came to him and said, “I want to remind you, brother Rader, that Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”  And in his boisterous way he said, “Amen!  That’s why I can be so glad.  They were my sorrows and my griefs!”  That’s what we can have at all times and in all places and all circumstances; the joy of the Lord.  I encourage you, don’t be so spiritual that you can’t be human.  You’re human and if your emotions take you down there, like our Lord Jesus, He had two natures, and now Christ lives in you.  Don’t stop being human, but allow Him to live, so you are divine, as well.  You can have unhappiness and joy at the same time.  Don’t listen to the psychologists.  When you get depressed, “I’ve got to go to a counselor and he’ll tell me to have good thoughts about myself and don’t be bitter about the past and think all good thoughts and love yourself, and if it doesn’t work pay me some money and I’ll counsel you for a long time.” 

The third principle of this joyful song is that it’s not only spontaneous and a response to a revelation of the Lord, and not only rooted deep and is joy against happiness, but the song is Christ Himself.  Singing is the manifestation of Christ Himself.  Exodus 15:2, only two verses deep, and it says, “The Lord is my strength and song.”  The Lord is my song.  How do I manifest that song?  It’s like faith, and is rooted in the will, and so joy is rooted in the will in an unchanging Christ.  That’s why we can always sing.  Galatians 5:22, and that’s why it’s the fruit of the Spirit.  There is only one fruit, and that’s love, and the first outworking is joy.  Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Do you believe that?  Do you know why there are so many weak Christians?  They are without the joy of the Lord.  The joy of the Lord is your strength.  Thousands of Christians have substituted happiness for joy.  He is my song, and that is the strength of my life.

If the Lord is my song, what is singing?  Ephesians 5:19, “Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”  Without showing the difference between psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, according to that verse we’re supposed to speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  I don’t remember any of you coming up to me and singing in my face, and I hope I haven’t done that to you.  Can you imagine someone is really burdened and I go up to them, “Kneel at the cross, there’s room for….”.  That’s not how you speak to one another.  If someone is tempted; “Yield not to temptation…”  That’s not how we speak to one another in psalms and hymns.  Some poor Christian is all dry, barren and parched, and I sing, “Give me oil in my lamp….”  That’s not how we do it, and you don’t sing “What a friend we have in Jesus,” to someone who is lonely.  There is a much better way. 

Let me give you the rest of the verse.  Ephesians 5:19b, “Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”  The way I sing to you is to make a melody in my heart to Him.  If I am making a melody in my heart to Him, I’m singing to you.  If I’m rejoicing in Christ and you are rejoicing in Christ, that’s speaks to people.  They can see that.  Let me show you that same truth from the Old Testament.  Psalm 40, “The Lord has pulled my feet out of a terrible miry pit and put me on a rock.”  And then in verse 3, “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our; many will see and fear and will trust the Lord.”  Anew song and many will see it?  Wouldn’t you expect it to say, “Many will hear it”?  It’s a song, but it doesn’t say that many will hear it.  It says that many will see it.  As you live in union with Christ and you are singing praises to the Lord, as we should always, and you are responding to revelation, which you should be having often, people will see you and they’ll see you rejoicing in the Lord, and that will speak to them.  That’s how you speak to people in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, by making a melody in your heart to the Lord.  You take your eyes off the Lord, then the song goes away. 

Next week, Lord willing, we’ll start the story of the manna.  Three days later where’s the song; they’re griping.  I’ll try to explain what happened, but the point is… Well, listen to Psalm 137, “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion.  Upon the willows in the midst of it we hung our harps.  For there our captors demanded of us songs, and our tormentors mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.’  How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?”  When you take your eyes off the Lord and fellowship is broken, I can’t speak to you and you can’t speak to me.  He put a new song in my mouth, and many will see it and fear and trust in the Lord.  Your heart singing to Jesus is your ministry.

Remember when David sinned with Bethsheba and he finally came back, do you remember his prayer.  Psalm 51:12, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.  Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You.”  That’s soul winning; that’s evangelism.  When you are living in that union with the Lord and your heart is filled with praise and worship, he said, “Restore the joy of your salvation so sinners can get saved.”  The best thing you can ever do for a loved one that’s unsaved or a neighbor that is unsaved, is to delight yourself in the Lord.  He’ll give you the desires of your heart.  The best thing you can do for your kids is to delight yourself in Jesus; for your spouse, for your friend, for your family.  I’ve got all these grandchildren running around everywhere, the best testimony they can ever have is seeing their grandfather and their grandmother living a life of worship and praise for all He is and all He’s doing and all He has done and will do.  If they see me in that, that speaks to them.  God would have us do that.

There are many versions, I don’t like to call them translations, of the Bible, because there are just paraphrases and commentaries.  One of those is the Living Bible.  I enjoy the Living Bible and read it, but it’s a commentary.  It’s not a Bible.  One of the expressions in the Living Bible I really enjoy is Lamentations 5:21, “Restore us, oh Lord; bring us back to You again; give us back the joys we once had.”  Isn’t that wonderful!  Restore us to You again.   Not only is worship spontaneous, not only is it differentiated from happiness and is rooted in joy, but also the Lord is my song and my singing is a manifestation of the Lord who is my song.  That’s the principle.

The fourth principle, because of the way it’s brought together at the end, the song of Moses can never be distinguished from the song of the Lamb.  Revelation 15:2&3, “And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God.  And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.”  Why does the Holy Spirit put together the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb?  It’s bigger than saying that God is uniting the Old Testament and the New Testament.  That might be included, but it’s bigger than that.  It has to do with the theme of each of those songs.  The song of Moses has a wonderful theme.  The song of the Lamb has a wonderful theme, and you think they are the same.  They are not.  They are connected but they are not the same thing. 

The song of Moses is a song of praise for deliverance from Egypt, and that’s the Egypt in here.  Exodus 15:2, “The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him…”  Exodus 15:4, “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea…”  Exodus 15:10, “You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters.”  When you read through Exodus 15 you almost get the sense that there is a vindictive glee in these people.  They are so happy that their enemies have been destroyed, and they burst into song.  It raises a question.  Should we be rejoicing when our enemies go down?  That song is all about that.  Praise God the enemy went down!  You think of Proverbs 24:17, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls.  Do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles.”  I don’t understand how to put all that together. 

It’s somewhat understandable.  The enemy is an enemy of God.  He’s been judged and he deserves to be judged.  One of these dear brothers came to visit and we got into a little discussion about that particular theme in this song.  What if it wasn’t an enemy?  What if it was a family member that received the deserved judgment of the Lord?  What if it was a child or a mother or a spouse or a father or a friend?  We say, “We’re going to heaven and there’s no sadness and it’s all joy and victory.  How can I be in heaven and know my nephew, my child, went to hell.  How am I supposed to be happy in heaven?  I’ll give you the big answer.  Jesus loves them more than you do and He’s happy, so there must be a way.  That’s the first answer.  What that way is I might miss it, but Jesus is glad.  There must be a way.   We know from the Bible that some will sing His praises and some will weep His praises forever.  I wonder if it’s when we get our new bodies, it’s not true now, and He screws on our resurrection heads in the right way, where I finally understand that it’s for His glory.  Down here now it’s my kid, my loved one, and it’s hard to say, “If it brings you glory to judge them,” but in our new body our hearts will be so set on the glory of the Lord, whatever gives Him glory, we’ll be praising the Lord.  I know this; you won’t be sad.  I don’t know exactly how He’s going to do it.

That’s the song of Moses; thank you for judging the enemy.  What is the song of the Lamb?  The key is in the word “Lamb”.  It’s Christ who died and suffered.  God is going to reverse it.  When we studied the plagues of Egypt we started with that God delivers me from Himself before He delivers me from me.  I need deliverance from me.  He’s a holy God and He has to judge sin, and He gave us the Passover Lamb as a picture of Christ our Passover.  Now that’s turned around.  Praise God He delivered me from Him.  He delivered me from me.  Now we’re in the end and we’re singing the song of Moses.  Praise God He delivered me from me.  Then we go to the song of the Lamb.  Praise God!  He delivered me from Him!  We’re going to heaven.  Only a perfect being can go to heaven.  We have His righteousness.  He’s delivered us from our sin, and He delivered us from His anger, from His wrath, from His justice, so the song of Moses, I’m delivered from me.  Praise God!  Song of the Lamb; I’m delivered from Him and I can now be united to my God.  The song of Moses and the song of the Lamb, and He wants us to sing both.

Let me summarize and we’ll close.  We want to worship the Lord.  You don’t have to work it up.  It’s spontaneous.  Just make sure you are getting revelation from the Lord, and then you’ll respond to that revelation.  Make sure you understand the difference between joy and happiness, and don’t go into a terrible gloom if you get discouraged.  Stay human.  That’s part of your humanity, but also be divine, in the sense that you have the joy of the Lord.  There’s never an occasion where I shouldn’t be rejoicing in the Lord, no matter how unhappy I am; never an occasion.  And then, since the Lord is my song, the only true singing is manifesting Him.  I make melody in my heart to the Lord.  And then finally, thank You Lord for delivering me from me and I have deliverance from you.  And forever and ever and ever let’s sing together this song of Moses and the song of the Lamb.

Heavenly Father, thank You, not for what we think You’ve inspired this to mean, but we ask You to work in hearts everything that You know You inspired it to mean.  Teach us how to worship You and how to respond and to always have You as our song.  Save us from ever taking our eyes off of You and having even for a short season to hang our hearts on the willows.  Oh Lord, deliver us, and be our song.  We ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen