After God drowned Pharaoh’s entire army in the sea, for the first time in history Israel found herself living in the Egyptian desert, out in the open, completely on her own. The Hebrews had begun their journey to the land of Canaan. God had proven Himself faithful; the nation had walked through the sea on dry land. How awestruck they must have been! As a result, they sang a song of great praise to God. All the way from verse 1 to verse 21 of Exodus 15 they continue to sing.
Have you ever done that? Have you ever, on the spur of the moment, scratched out a song of praise to the Lord? I recommend it to you; it’s actually an exciting experience. You say, “Well, Chuck, that’s fine for you, but I’m not some kind of eloquent, creative poet. I don’t have that gift. Words don’t flow through me like that.”
Really? How do you know if you never try? The next time you go through an experience, and God proves Himseld faithful, stop and think, Maybe I could write a song. (Even if it’s for an audience of One.) That’s how praise songs are born. Why not compose one today?
On the heels of this Hebrew song of triumph and gratitude comes a word denoting a particular time; “then.” When? After the Red Sea. After the first flush of freedom. After their wonderful song of praise. Scripture records, “Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur.”
What a description of the Christian life! All of us have been through the Red Sea. Spiritually speaking, believers have all been placed in God’s family through the cross. We have come to know the Lord Jesus. And in coming to know Him, we have been delivered for the first time from bondage to the old life. How glorious! Freed from the domination of our old master, we have been given a new song, a new life, a new beginning. But in this beginning we quickly discover we must endure some wilderness experiences. Looking back, we later realize they were deserts designed by God for a very real purpose. But what a come-down after our Red Sea conversion.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.