“The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. . . . Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” –Exodus 15:2, 11
If only we could see the seas God held back to deliver us from sin, how much more prone might we be to stop and sing about his majesty?
We can only comprehend a fraction of the power of Satan, the hideousness of our sin, and the fury of hell. Before Christ pulled us from the stormy waves, Satan ruled over every fiber and impulse of our being, leading us on the path of death with his breadcrumb trail of lies. Before God sent his Son to the cross, and broke into our lives by his Spirit, sin filled our souls like water in a sinking ship, drowning our hope with our own filth. Before we received the gift of faith — and through faith forgiveness, joy, and eternal life — hell stood taller than the tallest wave in the worst hurricane, threatening a pain we cannot imagine that gets worse every day forever.
But God parted the seas, calmed the waves, and raised our sinking ship to life. And he has placed us safe on solid ground.
Lodged Between Deaths
Moses sings in Exodus 15 because God has done a miracle, rescuing his people from an enemy far bigger and stronger than them, parting the Red Sea for them, and then destroying Egypt’s army precisely where Israel walked safely. Moses celebrates, “When the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them, but the people of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea” (Exodus 15:19).
Has there ever been a more stunning picture of our salvation? Soldiers in chariots press God’s people from behind while the seas rage before them. They are lodged between deaths, suddenly even more aware of their weakness and desperation. Escape is improbable. Captivity is inevitable. Victory is inconceivable.
And then God pulls back the waves like linen curtains. He had brought them to the precipice of despair in order to show them just how small the soldiers and the seas were next to him. “At the blast of your nostrils,” Moses sings, “the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea” (Exodus 15:8). Waves don’t pile up. Floods don’t hold back. Seas don’t stand still. Unless God blows his nose. He drove back miles of raging water with a breath from his nose. The Lord was their salvation.
He Is My Salvation
Before Jesus became our Lord, Savior, and greatest Treasure, we were in greater danger against a greater enemy with even more at stake. Pressing in behind us were a horde of demons, tempting, accusing, deceiving. Before us, the sea of our sin and all its consequences — an eternity of torment apart from God. We had no weapons with which to fight, and we had no idea how to swim. We were lodged between deaths.
Until God dove in and drowned for us. Isaiah paints that picture for us: “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. . . . He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities. . . . All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned — every one — to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:4–6). He died to give you dry ground.
There is a more stunning picture of our salvation: a man lodged between two beams of death, carrying the hideousness of our sin and facing the fury of hell. When God drove back the seas for us, he drove the nails into Jesus’s hands and his feet. He was not weak like us, but he became weak for us. He had not sinned like us, but he became sin for us. He was not condemned like us, but he took our wretched seat on the cross. Even the Red Sea looks small and insignificant compared to Calvary.
More Than My Salvation
But God is more than our salvation. In fact, if he is not also our song, he is not our salvation. Again Moses sings, “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” (Exodus 15:2). When we stand before the cross, with dry and safe ground under our feet, it would be outrageous to remain silent.
When God led his people out of Egypt, he meant for them to parade like a choir. He wanted the joy dripping from their songs to announce his strength, his mercy, his wisdom, his justice to anyone listening. So, they sang, “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11).
They were rescued from Pharaoh; we were rescued from hellfire. They were given Canaan; we’ve been given heaven. They were entrusted with a promise; we have met the Messiah. So, what will we sing?
Glory be to God the Father.
Glory be to God the Son.
Glory be to God the Spirit.
The Lord is our salvation.