Tomorrow is Sunday, November 23, and Thanksgiving Day is the following Thursday. I will be preaching this sermon in the morning, perhaps it will be a blessing to someone here as well. Anyone may feel free to use this material in a way that brings glory and honor to God.
We are going to begin with 4 scripture readings, used at different times during the service. You will note that there is one reading each from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and a Gospel. The final reading is the text of the sermon.
This song of Moses is sung after Pharaoh and his army are defeated at the Red Sea. There is another song of Moses toward the end of his life recorded in Deuteronomy 32, where he recounts all the events of the Hebrews’ exodus from Egypt. In the book of Revelation, the people of heaven are described as singing the song of Moses. Like Moses, they declare at that time “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O king of the Nations!” (Rev. 15:3) In this Exodus passage, Moses sings and the people rejoice because the LORD has defeated their enemies. Moses is an example for us who today offer thanksgiving to the Lord.
In verse one, he recognizes that the victory belongs to God. The Hebrews had been slaves down in Egypt. They were nobodies. God brought them out of Egyptian bondage with a mighty hand, and was going to give them the land of Canaan, flowing with milk and honey. The Hebrews would never be able to say “Look what we have done,” for they were in bondage and afflicted; it was God who had done it. They would soon enter a covenant relationship with God, in which he would be their God and they would be his people. Moses acknowledges that God has won the battle, the victory is his, and they were simply the humble recipients of his grace. We would do well to note his example, and learn of this humility.
In the second verse, Moses says “He has become my salvation.” This is more true for us than it was for Moses. God was the Hebrew people’s salvation that day, but for the New Covenant Christian, Jesus has become our salvation literally. He is our victory over sin. He has risen victoriously over death, hell and the grave. Isaiah 53:5 says “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.” Jesus is not our hope of salvation, or our promise of salvation; he IS our salvation.
Finally, read verse 17 very carefully. God brings us into his abode, into his sanctuary, into the very place established by his own hand. Read Ex. 15:17 and recall the words of Jesus before his ascension: “In my Father’s house are many rooms… I go to prepare a place for you.” By the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we are invited into the very presence of God. We could never accomplish this on our own, but only by God’s amazing grace. Moses leads the people in a song of thanksgiving that praises God and gives him all of the honor and glory for what has been done. As we bow our heads to give thanks, let us come humbly before him. Let us remember that we were nobodies, slaves to sin and to our own flesh, and that God called us out to be his people. He has set us free from bondage with a mighty hand. As the advent season and Christmas are right around the corner, let us remember the sacrifice Jesus made to become our salvation by leaving his place at God’s right hand and taking the form of a servant.
We have much to be thankful for.