1. So overwhelming was it what the Lord had done, what could be a better way to celebrate but to break out into a song that magnifies the Lord. That is exactly what Moses and the people of Israel did. When this song was composed and sung we are not told, though it is not unreasonable that it occurred immediately after the catastrophic event for the Egyptians.
2. The first song I have broken down into four parts; however, “From a literary point of view the song is divided into three strophes or stanzas. The first is contained in verses 2 through 6, the second in verses 7 through 10, and the final is verses 11 through 18” (Davis, p. 183). (a). The Lord is glorious (15:1-3). It is not PC to speak of the Lord as a “man of war,” but that is what Moses and the Israelites thought. No doubt Egypt felt this! (b). The Lord defeats Pharaoh’s army (15:4-10). It is ironic that the “stubble” used by the Israelites to make brick (5:12), the song of Moses expressed the defeat of the Egyptians as mere ‘stubble” (15:7). (c). Who can compare to the Lord (15:11-12)? (d). The Lord’s reputation (15:13-18). Moses was a man who had doubt, but whatever doubt he had about himself there was no doubting of the Lord.
3. It is interesting to note that in Jewish theology there are Ten songs that are of note (no pun), and not one song composed by David, Isaiah, or other of the prophets have one of those ten (Chumash, p. 375). This song composed by Moses (presumably) was one of those songs. “The Torah’s concept of song is the condition in which all the apparently unrelated and contradictory phenomena do indeed meld into a coherent, merciful, comprehensible whole” (Chumash, p. 375).
4. As the Israelites traveled toward their destination, after three days of journey they were in need of water. The water they came upon was bitter and their complaints piled up against Moses. Why did they pile up against Moses? They experienced a year’s worth of protection when the Lord plagued Egypt; they walked on dry ground when the Lord ultimately vanquished the Egyptians, and now they complain against Moses. The only reasons I can offer would be that Moses was the humanly visible, tangible, leader of the nation during this whole time. The Lord, in His mercy, provides the cleansing remedy to the problem (15:25) and a challenge to the Israelites to trust Him (15:26). It was not long (C-16) before we note their failure again.
5.Application: As great as the occasion of the Red Sea parting, the greater purposes of the Lord were for the Israelites to trust Him who “reigns forever and ever.” No sooner, however, than for a man to experience aggravation that the same man gives up what hope he thought he had. The hope was real, but the “trust” was not. Our hope is real, is our trust?