WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday January 29, 2012
FOLLOWING A TRUSTED LEADER
(Look to GOD as your leader)
The song, or “psalm”, that was written and recorded by Moses in chapter 15, verses 1-18 of the book of Exodus, celebrates GOD’s victory over the Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea following the Israelites dramatic exit from servitude in Egypt. In fact, it is more than just a song, in that it teaches with words that are easy for future generations to remember.
In every generation, almost since the beginning, songs, music and lyrics, have served as powerful tools to influence the minds of mankind for better, or, for worse. In Moses’ day, such songs had a GODly, wholesome influence, because they were written mostly by men and women who had a healthy respect and reverence for the almighty GOD WHO created them. In today’s society, that may not necessarily be the case, in fact, now, it seldom is.
It is extremely important to recognize that music is the only thing that can enter our human minds without our permission. That is why we have to make certain that we monitor the kinds of music that we and our children listen to, very closely in this day and age. There are many worshipers of satan, and other groups with anti-CHRIST agendas who use hip hop, rock, neo-soul, and even gospel music to program satanic, Luciferic, or anti-CHRIST messages in our heads. We have to make sure, by knowing GOD’s word for ourselves, that the music we listen to, promotes godliness, and not the attitudes, and messed up values of this lost society that we now live in.
This song by Moses praises GOD for HIS deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Egyptians. It contains three distinct sections, and a conclusion (Vs. 17-18). The first section (Vs. 1-6), which is the theme of the poem, talks about the destruction of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea. Here Moses acknowledges GOD’s great strength and power, and he rejoices in HIS awesome salvation.
In the second section (Vs. 7-11), Moses details GOD’s crushing victory, as he praises HIM for HIS sovereign power and control over nature, (the parting of the Red Sea, and then closing it up on the Pharaoh’s army of chariots) sinking like lead, the most powerful military in the world at that time.
And thirdly (Vs. 12-16), we see Moses’ description of the consequences of Israel’s deliverance and the results of GOD’s wonderful triumph for HIS people. As their LEADER, GOD was personally guiding them into HIS promised rest, or, Holy Dwelling in the “Promised Land”. By HIS miraculous actions, GOD also caused other nations to have a pre-disposed fear of HIMSELF as leader and guide of the nation of Israel, even up through the lifetime of Joshua.
In verses 20-21, we see, even the prophetess Miriam, Moses’ sister, add her own verse to the song. Her words of praise to GOD for HIS glorious leadership and victory over a confident Egyptian army, mirrors that of her younger brother Moses. The Egyptians had dared to follow in hot pursuit of the Israelites into the parted Red (Sea of Reed) Sea crossing, and had paid for it with their lives.
After leaving the lakes region, Moses led the Israelites into the Shur Desert. They traveled for three days without any water. When they finally came to a place called “Marah” (which means “bitter”) the people found out why the place was called that. The water was so bitter that no one could stand to drink it. This caused the thirsty Israelites to once again, turn on Moses, cursing him because he had led them there.
So Moses cried out to GOD, his LEADER, for help, and the LORD showed him a branch and told him to toss it into the bitter water. After tossing the branch into the water, it suddenly became sweet and drinkable. Then the LORD laid before them, these instructions that still hold true, even to this day; “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your GOD, and do what is right in HIS sight, obeying HIS commands and laws, then I will not make you suffer the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I AM the LORD WHO heals you” (v. 26) (NLT). Then, after leaving Marah, they came to Elim, a place where there were twelve springs of fresh water, and seventy palm trees, and they camped there for a time, beside the cool springs.
Oftentimes we forget that GOD remains with us, even in difficult times. In verse 24 of this passage, the Israelites seem to exhibit very little of the faith, depth, and understanding that they showed immediately after the Egyptian army was destroyed by GOD on their behalf. We learn from this passage that a faith that depends on circumstances is no faith at all, or is at best, a “weak faith” that GOD will not honor.
The Israelites were singing praises of glory to GOD, right along with Moses, only three days earlier, and now, at the first sign of trouble, they show that their hearts were really not with GOD, in earnest. They had not learned to trust GOD as their LEADER, or trust the man of GOD, Moses, whom GOD sent to represent HIM in the flesh. But I guess, if you really don’t know GOD for yourself, you can’t possibly recognize a leader who displays GOD-like qualities, or, anti-CHRIST-like behavior, right before your very eyes. We, as a Church, need to wake up “individually”, and get to know and trust GOD as our LEADER, through JESUS CHRIST, for ourselves. And the time to do that is “Right Now”.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
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