Title: How Concrete is God?

Focus: When we worship God, we should spend time praising him for specific things he does for us.

Function: To challenge the hearers to be more specific in the prayers and praise to God

Text: Exodus 15:1-21

I.  Introduction:  What is the High Point/Climax in the Book of Exodus?
	A.  Some would say the meeting of God and Israel at Sinai
	B.  Others would say God filling the tabernacle
	C.  Others would say the crossing of the Red Sea
	D.  All of these are high points in Exodus, but there is one missing that is typically 

II.  I want to suggest that this morning’s text is a high point in Exodus
	A.  The scene is by the sea
	B.  God has just destroyed the pursuing Egyptians
	C.  Now Israel begins to sing their very first song
	D.  You may be wondering why I am suggesting that this is a high point in the 
	       book of Exodus
		1.  Why did God want to deliver Israel?
		2.  Of course it is connected to the promise to Abraham
		3.  But what were the reasons given to let Israel go?
			a.  It wasn’t just to turn them loose
			b.  3:18 - That they might sacrifice to God
			c.  5:1 - So they can observe a feast to God
			d.  8:1 - So they can serve/worship God
		4.  God’s desire was for Israel to worship and serve him
	E.  Here on the banks of the sea Israel just begins to fulfill God’s desire
	F.  How do they do this?

III.  Let’s Notice What Israel says  (Exodus 15:1-21)
	A.  Praise to God
		1.  God is called “Yahweh”
		2.  He is their strength and might
		3.  He is a warrior
		4.  He is incomparable among the gods, majestic and powerful
		5.  God terrifies his enemies
	B.  Why is God called all of these things?
		1.  He cast Pharaoh’s army into the sea with his breath!
		2.  He “congealed” the deeps of the sea so Israel could cross
		3.  God is bringing his people to his mountain abode
	C.  Then Miriam and the women respond in song
	D.  The text could have just said that there was much rejoicing and then move on 
	       with the narrative.  But it doesn’t.  Why?

IV.  Looking at some characteristics of this song may help to answer that question
	A.  The song looks back and praises God for something SPECIFIC.
		1.  They do not praise God in the “abstract”
		2.  Every theological statement of God in the song is rooted in something 
		     specific that God has demonstrated
	B.  The song looks to the future, indicating that God’s leading of the people 
	      through the sea is not a one time event.
	C.  God is at the center of the Song, not Moses or the people.  God did it ALL
	D.  How does this song compare to the songs that we sing?

V.  Let’s Look at songs we sing
	A.  Let’s start by looking at what we have just sung.
	B.  Notice the types of songs in our song book
		1.  Many are self-centered
			a.  “Jesus is mine; When we all get to Heaven; To Canaan’s land 
			       I’m on my way; I’ve got a mansion; etc.
			b.  Not saying this are bad songs
		2.  Many are about Heaven.  Look at how many in the topical index
		3.  How many songs are praises to God?
		4.  How many songs praise God for what he “specifically” does
			a.  Fairest Lord Jesus - WHY is he the fairest?
			b.  Worthy art Thou - WHY is he worthy?
	C.  The songs are not bad songs, but maybe we sing too many songs that are 
	       either self-centered or that praise God in the “abstract”

VI.  But can we Sing this Song?
	A.  It is interesting that the victory song in Revelation 15 is called the “Song of 
	     Moses and the Lamb”
	B.  Remember that the Exodus is in the Old Testament what the Cross is in the 
	      New Testament
	C.  As God brought his people out of bondage through the sea, he brought all of 
	      us out of bondage to sin through the waters of baptism
	D.  So now we can sing of our “specific” victory in Jesus
	E.  So like Exodus 15, the high point is when God saves you and you begin to 
	      fulfill his desire, which is to worship and serve him.