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The Theology and Place of Song & Music in Worship

Parts from KD Manes Bible Study, March 31, 2017  

Oct. 16, 2017

The people of Israel sang to the Lord (Exodus 15:1-21)

There is no record of the Israelites praising God when enslaved in Egypt. Their journey out consisted mostly of complaints. But now with freedom secured and enemies drowned, the Israelites burst into an epic praise song led by Moses.

There are four divisions of their praise to God.

1) God’s victory announced (vv. 1-5). Pharaoh had ordered the Jewish boy babies to be drowned, but now God gives him what he dished out. I imagine the Jews sang from their hearts: “I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea . . . . The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone. . . . They sank like lead in the mighty waters . . . . In the greatness of your majesty you threw down those who opposed you. You unleashed your burning anger; it consumes them like

We often praise God in song for victories He has provided.

2) God’s weapons are described (vv. 6-10). Although God doesn’t fight with conventional weapons, Moses uses human characteristics to describe God’s divine attributes: “Your right hand was majestic in power. . . . By the blast of your nostrils the water piled up. . . . You blew with your breath, O LORD, and the sea covered them.”

We continue to recognize God’s divine attributes of care for his believers.

3) God’s character is exalted (vv. 11-16a). If any doubt of God’s power lingered in the Jews’ minds after the 10 plagues, His mighty deliverance left no room for disbelief. In this victorious moment they sang: “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” Of course by now they knew the answer—no one!  God was praised  for His power, His mercy of deliverance, His wise guidance, and His awesomeness in bringing fear into our enemies’ hearts.  

We still exalt God’s character in song.

4) God’s promises are fulfilled (vv 16b-18). This part reiterates that God purchased Israel and they are His people, also looking forward to Israel’s conquest of Canaan. God would dwell with His people in glory when He places His sanctuary among them. The climax of this song points out that God is sovereign and eternal.

Our songs also recognize that God’s promises are fulfilled.


Do these four parts cover all of the reasons we sing to God?             Certainly not. 

What reasons do you sing to God?                 

Post your “one line reason”.               

Let’s make a list.

Ol' man John


Linda Saunders
Pastor Craig, you certainly can sing a tune just fine. Stop being modest. I love to sing. When singing praises I am just so happy because Jesus loves me and has shown me that he cares by saving me and delivering me time and again.
evelyn shirley-head
When we sing we are obeying a command (Colossians 3:16) also singing comes with a promise that the words of Christ will dwell in us and it glorifies God.
Suzanne Simko
I love to sing, really making a joyful noise, to the Lord because it ushers me into the throne room....into his presence! I like being "near Him"!
Pastor Craig
I love to song to him, despite my perennial inability to carry a tune, because He is so worthy to receive praise and because it puts me in the spirit!
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