“Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” (Exodus 15:1-3)
When Moses and the children of Israel sang this song of praise, they had just been rescued by a miracle. The Egyptian military had followed them when they left Egypt, and the Israelites knew they were in trouble. The LORD opened up the Red Sea for them so that they could cross it on dry land. Once all of His people were safe on the other side, the LORD let the water come crashing down on top of the Egyptian soldiers who were chasing them.
These Egyptian soldiers did not understand or care Who God was, and it cost them their lives. They did not understand or care that God protects His glory, and God protects His people. If they had believed the truth about God, they never would have chased His people down in the first place.
When you see it all capitalized in the Bible, the name “LORD” means “Jehovah” (juh-HO-vuh). It is a name full of meaning, and it is what God answered Moses when Moses asked what to call Him. It means “I AM.” In other words: God was, is, and always will be Who He says He was, is, and always will be. It is not for humans to change Him or to think of Him in other ways, or as less than He is. He is the King of the universe. He is not just a human being. He is all-powerful, everywhere at once, and all-knowing. Nobody alive compares to God. If people really understood and believed Who God is, they would not be surprised to read the Israelites’ song. They would not be surprised to learn that the LORD is a “man of war.”
The LORD is a warrior. He is willing and able to fight for the glory of His name and to fight for the good of His people. He is mighty. He is unstoppable. He is unbeatable. Clearly, the Egyptian soldiers did not know Whom they were up against. Or if they knew it, they did not really believe it.
That God is a warrior does not mean that He is only a warrior. Defending His name and defending His people are noble reasons for Him to fight. There are other sides to God. Many verses teach about God’s compassion, His love, His wisdom, His longsuffering, His generosity. Being a “man of war” is only a part of Who God says He was, is, and always will be.
The Israelites’ praise song reminds us that our God is strong and sovereign, unable to be conquered. It reminds us that our God is willing and able to show rebellious enemies Who is really in control. It reminds us that God is bigger than any problem or enemy we could ever face. He will take care of us and He will see to it that His name is magnified as it should be.
The LORD is willing and able to conquer the enemies of His glory and His people.
» Do I act like an Egyptian sometimes, forgetting or refusing to believe that God was, is, and always will be Who He says He was, is, and always will be?
» Am I trusting and obeying the sovereign and all-powerful God of the Bible?