and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|June 14, 2009||
Volume 8 Number 12
The Song of Faith
This Proverb tells us how we should trust in God:
5 Trust in Yahweh with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. -Proverbs 3
Many of us say that is exactly what we do. But do we? It is easy to say that we completely trust in God when we can see our way clearly. However, what happens when we find ourselves trapped between the Red Sea and the approaching Egyptian army like the children of Israel?
Instead of trusting in Yahweh with all of their hearts and singing His praises, they were overcome with fear. They cried out to Yahweh and complained to Moses:
10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were very afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto Yahweh.
11 And they said to Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? why have you dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
12 Is not this the word that we did tell you in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. -Exodus 14
Had they already forgotten what had happened during that Passover night? The Egyptians had cried throughout all of Egypt because there was death throughout the land. At midnight a plague had suddenly come upon every Egyptian household and struck down the firstborn of their families and livestock:
29 And it came to pass, that at midnight Yahweh smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.
30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. -Exodus 12
Meanwhile, the families of about six hundred thousand slaves who were descendents of Jacob (also named Israel), who were also living in Egypt, were untouched by the plague. They had trusted in Yahweh and obeyed Him. According to His command, they had killed a lamb called the "passover," put its blood on their door posts, and then stayed in their houses under Yahweh’s protection until morning:
21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said to them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.
22 And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the upper door post and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.
23 For Yahweh will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, Yahweh will pass over the door, and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you. -Exodus 12
Yahweh had miraculously preserved them, even while great destruction came upon all the other families in Egypt. They waited in peace inside their homes while chaos erupted all around them.
Their families had been trapped in Egypt for four hundred and thirty years. Finally, in His timing, Yahweh used the great plague upon the Egyptians to cause the Pharaoh to set Israel free from their bondage:
41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the very same day it came to pass, that all the hosts of Yahweh went out from the land of Egypt.
42 It is a night to be much observed unto Yahweh for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of Yahweh to be observed by all the children of Israel in their generations. -Exodus 12
As Israel was fleeing, however, Yahweh hardened the Pharaoh’s heart, causing him to change his mind. Trapped by the Red Sea in the face of the approaching Egyptians, Israel turned to fear instead of faith in Yahweh. Moses told them, don’t fear, stand still, and see that Yahweh is going to save you! Let Yahweh fight for you! Hold your peace!
13 And Moses said to the people, Fear you not, stand still, and see the salvation of Yahweh, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall see them again no more forever.
14 Yahweh shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. -Exodus 14
Yahweh did fight for them. He miraculously parted the Red Sea. The children of Israel escaped and the Egyptians were destroyed by the sea. When the people of Israel got to the other side, they started singing and rejoicing! Moses led the singing:
1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto Yahweh, and spoke, saying, I will sing to Yahweh, for he has triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea.
2 Yah is my strength and song, and he has become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3 Yahweh is a man of war: Yahweh is his name. -Exodus 15
Then, not to be outdone by her brother, Moses, Miriam, who is here called a prophetess and the sister of Aaron (not Moses), picked up her tambourine and led the women in both singing and dancing:
20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dances.
21 And Miriam answered them, Sing you to Yahweh, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea. -Exodus 15
How easy it was to trust in Yahweh and sing His praises after the victory was won! The singing and celebration came easy for Israel then. Where, however, was the singing and dancing on the other side of the Red Sea, in the face of the approaching Egyptian army? Where was their faith then?
When King Jehoshaphat of Judah learned that they were going to be attached by a great multitude of Moabites and Ammonites, they were also afraid. However, rather than crying and complaining, the King’s first response was to fast and pray to Yahweh for help:
2 Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There comes a great multitude against you from beyond the sea on this side of Syria; and, behold, they are in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.
3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek Yahweh, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of Yahweh: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek Yahweh. -2 Chronicles 20
Their prayers were answered. The Spirit of Yahweh spoke to them through a prophet. He told them not to fear the great multitude because this wasn’t their battle, it was God’s:
15 And he said, Listen you, all Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you king Jehoshaphat, Thus says Yahweh to you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. - 2 Chronicles 20
The prophet continued:
17 You shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand you still, and see the salvation of Yahweh with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for Yahweh will be with you. - 2 Chronicles 20
Hearing the Word of God, Judah responded in faith:
18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before Yahweh, worshipping Yahweh.
19 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise Yahweh God of Israel with a loud voice on high.
20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in Yahweh your God, so shall you be established; believe his prophets, so shall you prosper.
21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto Yahweh, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise Yahweh; for his mercy endures forever. - 2 Chronicles 20
By faith, they saw the victory and went out singing. Yahweh miraculously delivered Judah from the great multitude.
Like Abraham, those who believe Yahweh, regardless of their past, are counted among the righteous:
6 Even as Abraham believed God Yahweh, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know you therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. -Galatians 3
His Word tells us:
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but Yahweh delivers him out of them all. -Psalms 34
When we find ourselves trapped against the Red Sea or surrounded by a great multitude of enemies, must we wait to see if Yahweh will keep His promises before we praise Him? Or can we believe Him and trust Him enough to sing the "song of faith" before we see His victory?
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Scriptures are taken from the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible.
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