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Exodus 15:1-21, Songs of Moses and Miriam

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

‘Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.’
— Exodus 15:21

NL Daily Devotion for Monday, October 1, 2018

 Woman singing. (cc0)

by Daniel D. Maurer, Clergy Stuff


Church worship, for better or for worse, is one of the last places where people regularly sing together. It’s interesting, really, because historically people used to sing together as families around the table or to simply pass the time.

I suppose one other place where people sing is at popular music concerts. Certainly, people love to belt out the lyrics to a beloved song they remember from the days of growing up.

Moses and Miriam’s song differ only in length. Basically, the details are about the same—God has triumphed over the power of Pharaoh. Israel should remember, that the dry ground for which God provided the people was won over all those who might destroy them.

Perhaps for us, then, we too might remember that God lays down “dry ground” to walk across in the promises God gives through the Son.

Certainly it’s something worth singing about!


Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

Exodus 15:1-21

The Song of Moses

Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:
‘I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
   horse and rider he has thrown into the sea. 
The Lord is my strength and my might,
   and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
   my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 
The Lord is a warrior;
   the Lord is his name. 


‘Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he cast into the sea;
   his picked officers were sunk in the Red Sea. 
The floods covered them;
   they went down into the depths like a stone. 
Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power—
   your right hand, O Lord, shattered the enemy. 
In the greatness of your majesty you overthrew your adversaries;
   you sent out your fury, it consumed them like stubble. 
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. 
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.” 
You blew with your wind, the sea covered them;
   they sank like lead in the mighty waters. 


‘Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
   Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
   awesome in splendour, doing wonders? 
You stretched out your right hand,
   the earth swallowed them. 

‘In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed;
   you guided them by your strength to your holy abode. 
The peoples heard, they trembled;
   pangs seized the inhabitants of Philistia. 
Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed;
   trembling seized the leaders of Moab;
   all the inhabitants of Canaan melted away. 
Terror and dread fell upon them;
   by the might of your arm, they became still as a stone
until your people, O Lord, passed by,
   until the people whom you acquired passed by. 
You brought them in and planted them on the mountain of your own possession,
   the place, O Lord, that you made your abode,
   the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established. 
The Lord will reign for ever and ever.’

When the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his chariot drivers went into the sea, the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them; but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground.

The Song of Miriam

Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. And Miriam sang to them:
‘Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.’

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