Summary: The song of Moses - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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God's victory is announced (vs 1-5),

God's weapons are described (vs 6- 10),

God's character is extolled (vs 11-16a).

God's promises are fulfilled (vs 16b-18).



• It was the late American pastor and author Donald Barnhouse;

• Who stunned his congregation one Sunday morning by declaring;

• “Prayer changes nothing”.

• The church was packed full of people, they were shocked;

• The people were stunned, the silence was deafening;

• You could have heard a pin drop.

• Now his comment was deliberately designed to make folks think.

• And the point he wanted to make was this;

• “It is God who THROUGH prayer changes things!”


• Talking of prayer, I like the story of the 72 year old woman;

• Who was getting ready for bed one night and as she looked in the mirror;

• She noticed her grey hair, her wrinkled brow and so she sighed;

• And prayed this prayer;

• “Please God give me the skin like a teenager’s”

• The next morning she woke up covered in acne!

• So be careful what you pray for!


• The number one thing you are commanded to do in scripture is pray.

• The number two thing you are commanded to do in scripture is to sing.

• This prayer in chapter 15 is actually a song;

• So this morning you are getting the best of both!


• I wonder how many of you watch the TV shows ‘Britain’s got talent’?

• Or ‘The X Factor’.

• Or ‘Pop Idol’ or its U.S. counterpart, ‘American Idol’.

• There are a whole load of shows with a similar format on the various channels.

• I was channel hoping not so long ago and came across another variation;

• This programme was called; ‘Don’t forget the lyrics’.

• It is not a complicated idea;

• The host would play part of a well-known song;

• And when the artist faded out the contestant had to carry on and sing the lyrics.


• How many of you could sing or repeat the lyrics to the Song of Moses?

• If we are honest - not many of us!

Question: Did you know?

• This is the first recorded song that we have in the Bible;

• So that gives it a novelty factor.

• But more importantly if you turn in your Bibles to the last book called Revelation;

• (For time don’t do it now – that is your homework!)

• But if you read chapter 15 (verse 3) you will find this song of Moses!

• In a kind of paraphrase format.

• But this song tops and tails your Bible,

• It’s at the beginning and end of your Bibles;

• So it is an important song to enjoy and to study.

We often call this song in Exodus chapter 15 ‘The song of Moses’:

• If you were Jewish you would call it by another name:

• The Jews call it ‘The song at the sea’.

• Hebrew: ‘Shirat ha-Yam’ (lit. “Song of the Sea”)

• This song/poem is included in Jewish prayer books,

• And recited daily in the morning ‘shacharit’ services.

• Which is the daily morning-prayer time (‘Tefillah’) of the Jewish people.

• So I guess most religious Jews would know the lyrics of this song!

• It would be as familiar to them as Psalm 23 is to us.

• Like most songs, this one also has a story behind it;

• So before we look at the song let’s remind ourselves of the background.

Background to the song: Victory!


• The year 1263.

• The place Scotland.

• The enemy the Danes.

• Scotland and Denmark were at war;

• And one night the Danish army managed to land unobserved on the coast of Scotland.

• Under cover of darkness the Danish invaders removed their boots;

• And crept on bare feet toward the unsuspecting Scottish army.

• Victory seemed certain for the invaders;

• When suddenly a sharp cry of pain shattered the stillness.

• A Danish soldier had stepped on a thistle and ruined the surprise.

• The alerted Scots sprang into action;

• And managed to fend off the invaders who soon fled from the country’s shores.

• TRANSITON: Like the people of Scotland;

• The Hebrew people had an enemy attack them.

• If you know the story then you are aware that;

• God chooses Moses to lead the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt;

• And into the land of Canaan, which God has promised to them.

• After much persuasion;

• In fact it took 10 plagues that grew increasing worse in intensity,

• The Egyptian pharaoh finally agreed to their departure;

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