The LORD Is a Man of War
"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?
Truth In Real Life
“I am so glad that Jesus loves me!”
Born on July 9, 1838, Philip Paul Bliss is one of the renown hymn writers of Christian history. An accident cut his life short, but if he had lived as long as other writers such as Fanny Crosby and Ira Sankey, he might have written even more hymns.
Having been born in a log cabin to a poor family, Bliss knew at an early age that he would have to work hard to survive. He was given very little education, yet he was wise in the things of God. For the first ten years of his life, his only schooling came from his study of the Bible. His father loved music and encouraged young Philip to sing and to write.
Bliss’ childhood was not easy, but God had His hand upon him. At age 10, Bliss heard a piano for the first time. At age 11 – because his family was so poor – Philip left home to make a living for himself. At age 12, he came to understand the Gospel, and he trusted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
One summer night in 1869, Bliss went to hear the great evangelist, Dwight L. Moody preach in town. Moody was without a music director for the service and Philip Bliss offered to help. That night was the beginning of one of the greatest evangelistic teams ever. Bliss gave up his business and become a singing evangelist, traveling around the country.
Bliss wrote both the music and the words to some well-known songs such as “Dare to Be a Daniel”; “Hallelujah, What a Savior!”; “Jesus Loves Even Me”; and “Wonderful Words of Life.”
God took Philip Bliss and his wife home to heaven by a train accident caused by a bridge collapse. Bliss lived through the accident, but died trying to save his wife. He was thirty-eight years old.
His hymns continue to encourage Christians everywhere. The chorus of “Dare To Be a Daniel” reads: “Dare to Be a Daniel; dare to stand alone! Dare to have a purpose firm! Dare to make it known!”
Are you sure of God’s purpose for you? Are you doing your best to trust Him and obey His leading for your life?
1 Corinthians 16:13 – Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.