Exodus 15:1-27


There are three sections to this chapter.

I.   Verse 1-13 – Rejoicing in the works of God.

II.   Verse 14-16 – The result in Canaan.

III.   Verse 17- 27 – The result in Israel.


Section 1

Verse 1-13 - Rejoicing in the works of God.


Verse 1,2, Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

I.   It has been said that Moses wrote this song.

A.     If this is true, then Moses has written what he believes God will do.

B.     Israel sings the song, but more than likely without true, complete understanding or faith in Christ that he will do as he has promised.

C.     It is one thing to write a song, but it is a completely different thing to sing the song with understanding.

1.       It is my prayer that I will always sing with understanding and faith, not just sing.

2.       It is my prayer that our church will always sing with understanding and faith, not just sing.


II.   It is a time of good rejoicing when we can clearly see how God is victorious over His enemies.

A.     It is easy to rejoice when things are going our way.

B.     Without sounding like I am “casting stones at Israel”, this is what she is doing

C.     The real test of Christianity is when we rejoice when things are going God’s way.

D.     It would be very good if Israel would rejoice in the blessings of God before they saw His victories over Egypt.


III.   LORD – the word “LORD” in this verse means Jehovah.

A.     The word Jehovah describes the one and only true God.

B.     This is our LORD, which is greater, stronger, wiser, more gracious, and more of everything than any other god created by the imagination of mankind.

C.     Israel is here comparing their God, the LORD Jehovah to all the other gods of all the other nations.

D.     You will notice that the LORD has preeminence over all the other gods.

E.      David uses the word Jehovah in Psalms many times.


Verse 2, The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

I.   The LORD is my strength and song.

A.     This is a glorious truth.

B.     We may not always understand how God is our constant source of strength and happiness, but it is the truth.


II.   He is become my salvation.

A.     This phrase shows how God has shown Himself to be the real saviour of Israel.

B.     There were other gods Israel trusted in, but when things got tight, God was always there to deliver them.

C.     Sometimes we use the word “salvation” to mean only the immediate spiritual deliverance of a soul from hell.

1.       Salvation is deliverance from the past guilt and condemnation of sin.

2.       Salvation is deliverance from the present power of sin as we live.

3.       Salvation is deliverance from the future presence of sin when we are resurrected and given a new body.


III.   I will prepare him an habitation.

A.     I believe this is talking about the future hopes and dreams of Israel to build a place within their midst where God can dwell.

B.     It is very important to notice that this is said before God reveals His plans to Moses about building a tabernacle.

C.     The more God’s people see the greatness of God, the greater their desire to be with Him is.

D.     This is why some people who claim to be saved don’t enjoy real worshipful church services: they haven’t really seen the power of God in their everyday lives.


IV.   He is my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

A.     Family worship is one of the greatest blessings there is.

B.     Israel is here looking back to the promises God gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and claiming those promises for themselves.

C.     God created the family so families could learn from each other and worship together.


Verse 3, The LORD [is] a man of war: the LORD [is] his name.

I.   The word “Lord” refers to the “I AM” as of Ex. 3:14.  A testimony to Moses that the children of Israel know nothing about.


II.   A man of war - for God controlled all the battle.

A.     Today, few people recognize that God is able to make war.

1.       All the inhabitants of Canaan will become afraid of God.

2.       The inhabitants of Jericho were afraid God would come and destroy them, giving their lands to Israel.

B.     Most people believe God is such a great God of love that He won’t make war with anybody, but readily accepts every sin of every person, never judging them for anything.

1.       They don’t seem to realize that God is such a great God of love that He can’t stand to look upon sin of any kind.

2.       Being a great God of love doesn’t mean that God is unable to judge wickedness.


III.   Ex. 13:17 - Israel recognizes God as a God of war, yet in this verse, God recognized that when Israel faced war they would not depend on Him, but return to Egypt.


Verse 4, Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.

I.   There are two different groups spoken of here.

A.     Pharaoh’s chariots and his host

B.     The chosen captains (the best of Pharaoh’s army).


II.   Cast into the sea - although they drove themselves.

A.     God will destroy the command person who rebels against him.

B.     They drove themselves into the sea, but God pulled them to that place.


III.   Ex. 14:7 - Pharaoh carefully chose the best of his warriors to fight against Israel, then chose all the rest just to make sure Israel was soundly defeated.

A.     The best trained soldier of Satan’s army cannot withstand the most poorly trained soldier of God’s army.

B.     Israel didn’t even fight.

1.       God did all the fighting lest any Israelite would say they had gained the victory by their own strength, courage and ability.

2.       God does the same thing to us today, whether it is in an individual, a church, or whatever.

3.       God will not use what we have prepared (so we won’t have anything to brag about).

4.       I Cor. 1:28-29 – God will use “…base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.”


Verse 5, The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.

I.   Sank - because of the armor they wore.

A.     Note: the armor men prepare to fight God with becomes the means of their destruction.

B.     David was given the armour of Saul to fight Goliath, but he wouldn’t go to war with it because he hadn’t tried it.

1.       David used the armour that was “tried and tested” in God’s warfare to gain the victory over Goliath.

2.       When we use the weapons of God that we have “tried and tested” we will also have the victory over sin.


II.   See also Verse 10 - they sank as lead.

A.     Ex. 14:30 - Those Egyptians dead on the sea shore were washed there by water, they didn’t float there.

B.     It may be that the Egyptians that floated to the shore were some of the “civilians” who came to join in the fight against Israel.


Verse 6-8, Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.

I.   There are many passages that speak of the right hand of God revealing His majesty and power.

A.     Some examples:

1.       Ps. 16:11 – “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

2.       Ps. 18:35 – “Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.”

3.       Rev. 1:16, & 1:20 - The churches of the Lord Jesus Christ are held in His right hand. 

a.       Rev. 1:16 – “And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.”

b.       Rev. 1:20 – “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.”

4.       Matt. 25:31-46 - At the judgment of the nations, the sheep are on Christs’ right hand and the goats are on his left.

5.       Acts 7:55,56 - When Stephen was being stoned, he saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God.  “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56   And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”

6.      Without going into further examples, the right hand of God is a place of great favor, strength, and comfort.  (Look up the phrase “right hand” on the computer program, On-Line Bible.)

B.     On the other hand, the use of the left hand of God metaphorically speaks of the condemning power of God.

1.       See Matthew 25:31-46 - At the judgment of the nations, the sheep are on Christs’ right hand and the goats are on his left.

2.       Mark 10:35-40 - James and John asked to sit on the right hand and the left hand of Christ.  This was definitely a sign of authority and rulership with Christ.

3.       Look up the phrase “left hand” on the computer program, On-Line Bible, for more examples of the left hand of God.


Verse 7-10, And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble. 8 And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. 9, The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. 10, Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.

I.   Here is a comparison between what God can do and what man thinks he can do.

A.     Man decides they will destroy their enemies.  Note the various things man says he will do.  Egypt didn’t fulfill what they said.

1.       I will pursue.

2.       I will overtake.

3.       I will divide the spoil.

4.       I will satisfy my lust (anger and vengence).

5.       I will draw my sword.

6.       I will destroy them.

B.     Notice what God did.

1.       God overthrew those that arose against him.

2.       God’s wrath consumed them as stubble is consumed.

3.       God didn’t attack them personally, but used his power to control waters in an unexpected way, thus they were drowned in the sea.

4.       God used that which is necessary to life to bring death and destruction.


Verse 11-12, Who [is] like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who [is] like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful [in] praises, doing wonders? 12 Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them.

I.   “Among the gods” - there is a just and final comparison of the gods of stately Egypt compared to Jehovah.

A.     Ps. 86:8 - Among the gods there is none like thee.  “Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.”

B.     Deut. 32:16,17 - When Israel attempted to serve other gods, they discovered (through chastening) that Jehovah is the only God.  “They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. 17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.”


Verse 13, Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.

I.   Moses speaks as if Israel were already in the promised land.


II.   Notice that the recognized leadership of God comes after redemption.

A.     There is an unrecognized leadership of God.

1.       This is the wooing of the Holy Spirit in the heart and life of the unbeliever.

2.       If the Holy Spirit didn’t work in the heart of the unbeliever, they would never be saved.

3.       If the lost person comes to the knowledge that God is actually drawing him to Himself, nothing is changed except the knowledge of the lost person.

B.     Recognizing the leadership of the Holy Spirit is very important in the life of the believer.

1.       If His leadership is not recognized, the believer will always have doubts about the will of God.

2.       The believer won’t have proper leadership for his life if he never realizes Holy Spirit leadership. [1]



The Result in Canaan


Verse 14, The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina.

I.   Palestina - The “land of Sojourners”, or the general territory on the west coast of Canaan or the entire country of Palestine.

A.     It is interesting that the land of Palestina is mentioned.

1.       Israel knows where they are going,

2.       whose land they are going to inhabit,

3.       and who God is going to make afraid.

B.     They would hear and be afraid, but would not be drawn to repentance.

1.       Joshua 2:8-11 - Rahab told the spies that as soon as the inhabitants of God’s destroying Egypt, they were very much afraid.

2.       Verse 11 - They knew Jehovah God was the God of heaven and earth, but they didn’t trust Him to forgive them, or change their ways to be accepted of Him.

3.       It is good and very necessary for sinners to hear and fear the power of God, but if they don’t turn from their sinfulness, they will die in their sins.

C.     Hearing that produces fear is not salvation.

1.       Romans 10:17 states, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

2.       That verse does not say, “Faith comes by hearing the word of God” as some believe.

3.       The verse states that faith comes by hearing, (by the hearer listening to the preaching of the Word of God) and that spiritual hearing comes by the Word of God (which is Jesus Christ).

4.       Spiritual hearing and believing in Christ gives peace, not fear.

5.       I John 4:18 claims “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”


II.   This all really happened.

A.     The inhabitants of Palestina really did fear the Lord.

1.       Just because they feared the Lord doesn’t mean they served Him.

2.       They continued in their wickedness until God destroyed them.

3.       Genesis 15:16 - God told Abraham he would die and his descendants would possess the land of Canaan because the iniquity of the Amorites wasn’t yet full.

B.     It is such a shame Israel didn’t see the fear in the eyes of the inhabitants of Palestina before they saw the final destruction of Egypt.

1.       They could have gone into Canaan by using the short “northern route”.

2.       This generation could have conquered Canaan, instead of dying in the wilderness.

3.       It is a real shame when we don’t see the power of God like we ought to.

4.       We could save ourselves a lot of misery if we would only recognize the absolute power God has over all his creation.


Verse 15, Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away.

I.   Edom - Gen. 36:15 - The sons of Esau in their genealogy.


II.   Moab. Genesis 19:37 – These are the children of Lot and his firstborn daughter.

Jer. 48:29 – “We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart.”  They are very strong, but they will have no confidence in their flesh.


III.   All of Canaan.

A.     The seven nations of Canaan

1.       Deut 7:1 – “When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;”

2.       Note: they are not afraid of the people Israel, but of their God.

B.     Note that God loved Israel, not these seven nations.

1.       Deut. 7:7,8 – “The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8  But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”

2.       God has not loved us because we are better than others, but he has loved us because he is better.

3.       He loves us because he loves us.

4.       We can say no more.


IV.   All these pagan people shall be amazed at God’s blessing on Israel, but Israel won’t continue in the fear of God or in the love of God.

A.     Because Israel didn’t continue in the fear and love of God, God ceased to give the pagan people a fear of Israel.

B.     This is a real lesson for us.

1.       Positive - Jeremiah 1:8 – “Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.”

2.       Negative – Jeremiah 1:17 – “Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.”


V.   Ex. 13:17-18, A real contradiction is that Israel is already on the “southern route” to Canaan, God refusing to send them the “northern route” even though it was shorter.  He knew they would turn back into Egypt when they saw the strength of the Canaanites.


Verse 16, Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.

I.   How the nations listed above shall be when they see Israel coming.

A.     Past victories should give us confidence for future victories.

B.     It is a shame that Israel (and ourselves) don’t have more victories.

C.     We suffer shame and defeat because we don’t know what God said or we don’t believe what God said.



Result on Israel


Verse 17, Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.

I.   Israel shall go into the promised land.

A.     I like that word “plant.”

B.     Psalms 1:3 – “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

1.       Israel has been placed on purpose by God.

2.       We have been placed on purpose by God.


II.   Israel sings this song of victory and future blessings, but they don’t really believe what they are singing.

A.     When it comes to acting on their beliefs, they miserably fail.

B.     It is one thing to believe a thing, but it is quite another to live what that belief is.

C.     True believing results in actions.

D.     True faith produces true actions.


III.   Verse 1 - Moses and the children of Israel sing a song.

A.     Israel didn’t realize what they were singing.

B.     Many times we don’t realize what we are singing or reading or hearing preached or taught.


IV.   Verse 17 - A prophecy of the tabernacle that is to be built.


Verse 18,19, The LORD shall reign for ever and ever. {19} For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.

I.   Proof of the reign of the Lord is given in verse 19.  The word “for” in verse 19 speaks of verse 18.  The victory of God over Egypt by drowning the unbelievers in the Red Sea (plus all the other 10 plagues that God brought upon Israel) is proof that the LORD shall reign forever and ever.  [2]


The Song of the Women


Verse 20-21, And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. {21} And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

I.   Miriam was 87 years old, not in the mid-20’s as in the movies.

A.     The Bible only mentions Aaron, Moses and Miriam as children of: Amram and Jochebed, I Chron. 6:3.

B.     Ex. 2:4,7 - It was the older sister of Moses, Miriam, who directed Pharaoh’s daughter to Moses mother to nurse him.


II.   Miriam led the women, Moses led the men and the congregation (Verse 1).

A.     From the beginning, God intended women to be a “help meet” (a suitable help) to help the men, not do it for him (or “to” him).

1.       This is one reason for the “women’s liberation movement.”

2.       Men have said they don’t need any help.

3.       They try to be “tough”.

B.     I Tim. 2:12-15 - A woman is not to usurp authority over men because of the original sin.

1.       The woman was deceived.

2.       Adam knew full well what he was doing.

3.       Titus 2:3-5 - The aged women teaching the younger women how to live.

C.     Miriam leads the women to follow the commands of Moses in praising God.  She doesn’t go before her leader, or try to work in a program he isn’t in favor of, or work the women against him.  She pushes the leaders’ program with the women.

D.     I Cor. 14:34,35 - Women commanded to be under subjection, to show it by silence in preference to their husbands. (Eph. 5:22).

E.      Some women say if they didn’t lead, their husbands wouldn’t.

1.       It is very amazing to me that a woman can convince a man it is in his best interests to marry them, and take care of them all their lives, but they can’t convince them to lead them spiritually!

2.       A woman has a great deal of influence on her husband, more than she realizes.

3.       A woman is an helpmeet, or a help suitable, a help God has chosen for the man.


III.   Women leaders - (Thompson Bible # 3868)

A.     What is a prophetess?

1.       It is an inspired woman, or by association, a prophet’s wife.

2.       Numbers 12:6 gives the definition of a prophet – “If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.”

3.       Moses is more than a prophet, for God speaks orally to him.

B.     Miriam is a prophetess, according Exodus 15:20.

1.       Num. 12 - God speaking to her is never doubted.

2.       Her usurping Moses authority is condemned.

C.     Deborah - Judges 4:4,9 - She said Barak would not find honor over Sisera.

1.       Heb. 11:32 - Deborah’s name doesn’t appear in the “Hall of Faith”, Barak’s does.

2.       Note: the many women preachers and deacons today.  No reward in judgment for they have run unlawfully.  (II Tim. 2:5)

3.       But Matt. 10:41,42 - A cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, shall receive that reward - Reward for those who accept the position of the other person.

D.     II Kings 22:4-20 – 14 – The message of Huldah the prophetess - delivered in private to five men.

1.       Note the time period – Almost to the end of the kings of Judah.

2.       There is much rebellion against the Lord, and it has continued for many years.

E.      Nehemiah 6:14 - Noadiah, a false prophetess.

F.      Luke 2:36,37 - Anna, a prophetess served God with fasting and prayers.

G.     Acts 21:9-15 - Prophesied in a house before men, not in a public place.  (Four daughters, virgins, daughters of Philip the Evangelists, prophesying before Paul.)

1.       It must be noted that God send Agabus, a prophet from Judah to publicly prophesy to Paul about the coming trip to Jerusalem.

2.       God will never go against His revealed Word.

H.     I Corinthians 11:5 – “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.”

1.       “Dishonoureth her head” – Verse 3 – her head is her husband.

2.       This passage is written concerning church capacity so a woman that teaches children or other women should have her glory (hair) covered.

3.       Does this verse mean that a woman can preach?

4.       No, for there are other scriptures that teach that a preacher or pastor must be the husband of one wife.

5.       In following the example of scripture, (listed above) each of the prophetess did their work privately, not publicly.

6.       Therefore the scriptural declarations of a Godly woman shall also be done privately.

7.       I Corinthians 14:35 declares “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.”


IV.   I think it is very significant that there are two verses devoted to the actions of Miriam and 19 verses devoted to the actions of Moses.

A.     There is no doubt that Miriam led the women in worshipping God.

B.     However, there are some people that place more importance on what Miriam did than on what Moses did.

C.     Both are leading the people in worship.

D.     There is no thought of establishing anything like “women’s liberation” as it is commonly thought of today.

E.      These verses (or any other verses in the Bible) cannot be used to teach it is okay for women to preach or be a deacon.  [3]


V.   Dances.  See ..\ARTICLES\Dance.doc

A.     Not a rock and roll, or fox trot or waltz, but joyful rejoicing before God like David did before God.

1.       There was no particular step to learn in this dance.

2.       This dance is rejoicing before the Lord, much like shouting before the Lord.

3.       There is no particular thing to shout, but this shouting comes from within, not from something that is learned.

B.     Questions about dancing.

1.       A preacher once talked to me about “square dancing”, and some of the other old fashioned dancing that isn’t as vile as some other dancing – Is it right or wrong.

a.       I replied that God should get the glory – can he?

b.       I Corinthians 10:31 states, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

2.       They were attempting to justify that kind of dancing as “okay”, and the more vile kind of dancing was not “okay”.

3.       It is true that vile dancing is not giving any glory to God.

4.       The question is not whether some dancing is vile while another kind is not vile.

5.       The question is, “Does God receive the glory and honor for dancing?”

C.     Dancing in the Bible.

1.       Judges 11:34 – “And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.”

a.       This is the child dancing and rejoicing because her dad is home.

b.       It is not a fleshly, lustful dance.

2.       Judges 21:21 declares, “And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.”

a.       This story begins in Judges 19 and continues to the end of the book of Judges.

b.       The dance these women dance is unto the Lord in worship, not a lustful or fleshly dance.

c.       Judges 21:19-21 state the young women are dancing in their worship to the Lord.

3.       I Samuel 21:11 – “And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?”

a.       This is a dance in celebration of the victories of David.

b.       There is nothing fleshly or lustful about it.

4.       II Samuel 6:14 – “And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.”

a.       David is dancing before the Lord, not before men.

b.       Verse 16 - His wife, Michal, Saul’s daughter, saw him, and misunderstood his worship.

c.       Verse 20-23 – David explains what he was doing, but Michal remained childless because of her lack of worship and understanding what true worship is.

5.       Job 21:11 – “They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.”

a.       Worldly, fleshly people have happiness, which is shown by their children dancing.

b.       This dancing is not worshipping God.

6.       Psalms 149:3 – “Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.”

a.       Psalms 150:3 – “Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.”

b.       Dancing can be done unto the Lord.

7.       Eccl. 3:4 – “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”

a.       If God says there is a time to dance, there is a time to dance.

b.       There is nothing lustful about it, but joyful.

8.       Isaiah 13:21 – “But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.”

a.       A satyrs is a hairy goat, an animal.

b.       This kind of dancing is a prancing, or enjoyable moving about a young animal does.

c.       There is nothing fleshly, worldly, or lustful about it, it if playful and fun.

9.       The blessings of God will cause his people to dance.

a.       Jeremiah 31:4 – “Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.”

b.       Jeremiah 31:13 – “Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.”

c.       Lamentations 5:15 – “The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.”

10.   Matthew 14:6 – “But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.”

a.       This is an evil dance, designed to entice men into sin.

b.       Mark 6:22 – “And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.”

11.   Israel was non-responsive to the pleadings of God.

a.       Matthew 11:17 – “And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.”

b.       Luke 7:32 – “They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.”

D.     There is something to be said about the joy of God showing in the flesh.

1.       A lady asked me if I believed in showing emotions in church services.

2.       The purpose in asking this question was to find out if I believed emotions ruled worship.

3.       I replied that I believed in worship ruling emotions.

4.       Someone has said, “Baptist have much truth, but little joy, Pentecostals have little truth, but much joy.  [4]


The Practical Experience of Israel shows how God will provide for them.


I.   Verse 22 - No water.

II.   Verse 23-26 - Bitter water that is made sweet.

III.   Verse 27 - Plenty of good water.

IV.   Exodus 6:1 compare to Numbers 33:9,10 - They go back to the Red Sea.


Point # 1 - Verse 22 – No Water


Verse 22, So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.

I.   A time of “proving” (verse 25) Israel, not that God would discover what they would do, but that they might discover what they would do.

A.     Ex. 13:17,18 - God already knew what Israel would do.


II.   Note word “brought” and “went” - indicates action.

A.     Moses “brought” the people for he had the vision from God.

B.     The people “went” as Moses led them.


III.   Note: there was a going forward.

A.     There was a time to leave the blessings of the past.

1.       It’s good to rejoice in the time of rejoicing.

2.       There comes a time to look ahead for other blessings to come.  We can’t always (probably never) live in the past, or have things the way they used to be.

3.       In this case, and in many cases, when we turn from past blessings, we face the wilderness - a time of change and hardness we had not previously experienced.

4.       What will our reaction be to the hard times after God’s blessings?

B.     “Went out” - from the protection of the mountains to openness of the desert.

C.     Wilderness of Shur - No water.

1.       Immediately they were in the desert.

2.       Went three days journey into the wilderness (to Marah).

3.       Many times it’s only a short distance between blessings and barrenness.

4.       Three days - from Sunday to Wednesday.  By Wednesday, Sunday’s blessings are forgotten and we need the blessings of God’s Word (water) by Wednesday.

D.     The expected blessings didn’t materialize - Will you keep trusting, or will you murmur?

1.       Israel did not murmur when there was no water.

2.       This is extremely good, and isn’t noticed much of the time.

3.       Instead of murmuring, they continued onward.

4.       This is what we should do when troubles come – do not murmur, and continue forward.


IV.   No water - and How much water will they need?

A.     Ex. 12:37 - 600,000 men and wives (600,000) and children (average of 1.5 per couple = 900,000) and cattle (4 per family - a very small average) = 2,100,000 people + 2,400,000 cattle.  A total of 4,500,000.

1.       If every person and animal got 1 gallon of water per day = 4,500,000 gallons of water per day.

2.       1 Deutz, 6 cylinder diesel, 10” pump = 1,500 gallons of water per minute.

a.       90,000 gal. per hour.

b.       2,160,000 gal. per day.

3.       2 of the above pumps = 4,320,000 gal per day.

4.       Not quite enough water if each living creature got 1 gallon per day!

B.     Ex. 12:37 - 600,000 men and 600,000 wives and 900,000 children and 10 cattle (considering those needed for sacrifice in the wilderness and reproduction).

1.       6,000,000 animals total

2.       8,100,000 total people and animals.

3.       If they used three gallons of water per day - 24,300,000 of water per day, or 11.25 pumps as described above, pumping 24 hours a day - never stopping for anything.

C.     Now perhaps we can understand why Israel wondered about water when they looked at the vastness of their number and the desert of Shur.

1.       They were looking at their problem through the eyes of flesh, not through the eyes of faith.

2.       This is how we look at our problems many times.


Point # 2 - The Waters of Marah

Verse 23-26 – Bitter Water That Is Made Sweet


Verse 23-26, And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. {24} And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? {25} And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, {26} And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

I.   Waters of Marah (means bitter).

A.     There was plenty of water there.

B.     But it was too bitter to drink.

1.       All things are in God’s hands - He can give us no water at all, or plenty of water, but make it so bitter we can’t drink it.

2.       Note: God can cause us to despise that which we believe will give great satisfaction.

a.       He does this to cause us to trust HIM.

b.       Not trust in circumstances or events.


II.   Murmuring against Moses - The most common things is to not pray to God, but to complain to our leader - whoever he is.

A.     Definition of murmuring.

1.       to stop (usually over night); by impl. to stay permanently;

2.       hence (in a bad sense) to be obstinate (espec. in words, to complain):--abide (all night), continue, dwell, endure, grudge, be left, lie all night, (cause to) lodge (all night, in, -ing, this night), (make to) murmur, remain, tarry (all night, that night).

3.       Therefore murmuring is (in a bad sense) to be stuck on a point and cannot get over it.

4.       Murmuring is when that bad point is on your mind and you can’t see any good coming out of the situation.

5.       Murmuring stops us from finding a solution, but causes us to continually dwell on the negative of the situation before us.

B.     There is a difference between murmuring and stating your case.

1.       The Bible clearly states that Israel murmured – that is, they didn’t present a solution to Moses, or help him find a solution.

2.       They simply complained.

3.       Many church members do this.

a.       They see the problem – just like everybody else sees the problem.

b.       But instead of offering a solution, they murmur.

c.       They spread their discontent to others.

d.       They are not happy with the situation, and they don’t want anybody else to be content with it either.

C.     Moses was following the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.

1.       This was in full view of all Israel.  So they all knew Moses was leading them right.

2.       The Bible is in full view of all church members, so they can see if the pastor is leading them right.

D.     In this place they didn’t complain about the direction of travel, but the lack of potable water.

1.       Everybody (even Moses) was aware of the problem.

2.       Instead of the people joining together with Moses in prayer to God, they complained (murmured against) Moses.

3.       When problems come, that is the time to gather together in earnest prayer to God, not murmur against God’s chosen leader.

E.      Moses was the only one who prayed to God, and the only one God showed the solution to.

1.       He was the spiritual leader.

2.       He was the only one who cried unto God!

3.       The rest of the people complained to Moses instead of praying to God.

4.       The lesson also applies to Moses.

a.       It is most important that the leader of Israel understand and believe that God is able to supply every need.

b.       If the leader doesn’t understand this very important truth, there are certain other things the common people can’t learn.


III.   The lesson of bitter waters (Marah).

A.     We can either complain or pray.

1.       We can’t do both.

2.       Our complaining will lead to more complaints.

3.       Our praying and rejoicing will lead to more praying and more rejoicing.

B.     Only God can turn bitterness into sweetness.

1.       God wants Israel to understand that He and He alone has the power to protect Israel, and provide for their everyday needs.

2.       This is also a very important lesson for all of us to understand.

3.       If we will learn this lesson well, we will understand more and more what being a Christian is all about.

C.     God is teaching Israel OBEDIENCE (absolute truth) in the face of trials.

1.       He made a statue (decreed limit, decree) and ordinance (judgment, punishment).

2.       “Prove” them - that they would know what God would do if they continued in this same line of thinking.

3.       Obedience - I Sam. 15:23 - Samuel told Saul, “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.”

D.     The statue and ordinance is: (The threat is implied, the promise expressed).

1.       Statue:

a.       Diligently hearken to the voice of God, (listening to Moses causes them to hear God.)

b.       Do right in His sight.

c.       Give ear to commandments.

d.       Keep statutes.

2.       Ordinance.

a.       God will not bring the diseases of Egypt upon Israel.

E.      The Lord healeth.

1.       Israel, like all mankind, was headed in the same direction taken by Egypt before God stepped in to heal them.

2.       Mark 2:17 - Christ is the Great Physician, who came not to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.

F.      The healing tree.

1.       There is no record of what kind of tree this is.

2.       I do not believe the healing was in the kind of tree it is.

3.       The healing of the waters was in obedience to God’s command.

4.       Some have compared the tree to the cross of Calvary.

a.       I have no difficulty in seeing the symbolism this case presents.

b.       True, everlasting healing of the sin sick soul, comes only through the blood shed by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.


Point # 3 - Verse 27 – Plenty of Good Water


Verse 27, And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.

I.   At Elim.

A.     Elim is only about 10 miles further south of Marah!

1.       Sometimes it is a very short distant from the cursing of God to the blessings of God.

2.       When the waters of Marah were made sweet, they left those waters and traveled to another place.

3.       The same principle applies here as applies when Israel left the Red Sea, and traveled on to another place.

B.     Note the changing circumstances of Israel - compare to ourselves.

1.       Nothing remains the same - not intended to stay the same.

2.       Circumstances go from better to worse and worse to better.

C.     A comfortable place - prepared by God for His children.

1.       God can and does find places of rest and refreshment in the wilderness of this world.

2.       Twelve wells of water - one for every tribe - enough centrally located water for everyone.

3.       Seventy palm trees - One for every elder of Israel - Num. 11:16 - Moses appointed 70 elders for judging Israel.

4.       Palm trees - Considered that which is befitting to majesty.

a.       Ps. 92:12 - The righteous shall flourish as a Palm Tree.

b.       Perpetually green, strikingly beautiful, and upright.

c.       Starts bearing fruit after 6 or 8 years and continues for a hundred years, (thus long life) and bears its best fruit in old age.

d.       Bears fruit at top (near heaven and as far as possible from the earth).

e.       Grows to 80 feet, commonly 40 to 50 feet.

f.        Elasticity of fiber of palm - continues to grow upward through loaded with weights.

g.       Concerning the palm tree growth - it is endogen, and grows from within, while many other trees grow from the outside.

h.       Useful - the Syrians have listed 360 different uses of the tree.

D.     God intended Israel to leave this place also.

1.       The lesson is not for us to move our dwelling place (home) often.

2.       Or to move our church membership often.

3.       But to continue looking for the promised land.

4.       Don’t get so comfortable on this earth that we fail to prepare for the world to come.

5.       Heb. 11:9 - Like Abraham, we are “sojourners” on this earth.


II.   This place completes the lesson taught by God.

A.     God is able to put Israel in a place where they need water.

B.     God is able to put Israel in a place where they have everything they need.

C.     The key is not to look for those things we need, or enjoy having.

1.       The key is to look to God who is able to supply all our needs.

2.       He will never let you down.

3.       If times are full of trouble, look to God.

4.       If times are very good and prosperous, look to God.

D.     Numbers 33:10 - After God has shown them what He can do for them, he takes them back to the Red Sea.

1.       When Israel got back to the Red Sea, they saw it was exactly like it was before God destroyed Egypt.

2.       The only difference is that now they are on the other shore.

3.       Israel should understand they have spiritually matured, but everything else is the same.

4.       Israel should understand that God delivered them, that there is no “magic” in the Red Sea itself.

5.       We must understand that our strength lies in God, not in things.

6.       God controls things, things don’t control God or anything else.


Exodus 6:1 compare to Numbers 33:9,10 - They go back to the Red Sea


III.   Exodus 16:1 is point # 4, Exodus 6:1 compare to Numbers 33:9,10 - They go back to the Red Sea.

[1] Preached to here 03/20/02 IBC Wednesday Evening

[2] Preached to here 04/10/02 IBC Wednesday Evening

[3] Preached to here 04/24/02 IBC Wednesday Evening

[4] Preached to here 05/08/02 IBC Wednesday Evening