— “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is His name”
The Lord is a man of war in every capacity. He had just defeated the mightiest field army on the face of the earth, and did so without using a single human soldier. But to be frank, His capacity in the realm of spiritual warfare is of even greater magnitude.
At the Cross of Calvary, the Lord Jesus totally and completely defeated Satan. He did it not through mortal combat, as would be obvious, but rather by taking away Satan’s authority. Sin gives Satan the authority to do what he does, but with all sin atoned, as it was at the Cross, his authority has been removed. If it seems as if he presently has authority, we must remember also, as stated, that it is a pseudo-authority. This refers to an authority which Christians allow Satan to have simply because they do not know their place and position in Christ. The reason they don’t know that place and position is simply because they do not understand the Cross. While most Christians do understand the Cross as it refers to salvation, they have little knowledge at all as it refers to sanctification. This is the tragedy!
The Lord is the man of war, not we ourselves. When we try to place ourselves in that position, we get defeated every time. In fact, the only fight that we are called upon to fight is “the good fight of faith” (I Tim. 6:12).
“The LORD is His name,” could be translated, “Jehovah, the alone-existing One.” Before Him, all other existence fades and falls into nothingness.
Let us say it again: In looking through the various notes of this song, we do not find a single note about “self,” its doings, its sayings, its feelings, or its fruits. It is all about Jehovah from beginning to end, and that’s the way it ought to be.
“Pharaoh’s chariots and his host has He cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea” (Ex. 15:4).
It is not known as to exactly what percentage of Pharaoh’s army is included here. Irrespective, the ones who did come after Israel seemingly were the chosen and the best. For sure, his finest charioteers were lost, as well as his “chosen captains.”
Another thing is for sure: it would be some time before Egypt’s army was back up to full potential.
“The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone” (Ex. 15:5).
The warriors who fought in chariots commonly wore coats of mail, composed of bronze plates sewn onto a linen base and overlapping one another. These coats covered the arms to the elbow and descended nearly to the knee. Consequently, being as heavy as they were, these warriors would have sunk at once, even without a struggle, like a stone or a lump of lead, as the waters cascaded down upon them.
THE RIGHT HAND OF THE LORD
“Your right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: Your right hand, O LORD, has dashed in pieces the enemy” (Ex. 15:6).
The “right hand,” as it refers to the Lord, is used as a figure of speech. It signifies power. Consequently, when it is said that Christ is now seated “on the right hand of the Majesty on high,” though that is literally true, it also signifies power.
That right hand of power, as it refers to the Lord, can and will be used on our behalf, as well, providing our faith is placed 100 percent in Christ and what Christ has done for us at the Cross. Then the Holy Spirit, who is God, and who can do all things, will saturate the believer with power.
What kind of power?
This is not power or authority over other people, but rather over the spirits of darkness (Lk. 10:19; Eph. 6:11-18).
While, of course, all Christians fight the Devil, we must understand that it’s always indirectly. Christ has already defeated him, and we fight him simply by fighting the good fight of faith, which refers to faith in Christ and His Cross.
THE WRATH OF GOD
“And in the greatness of Your excellency You have overthrown them who rose up against You: You sent forth Your wrath, which consumed them as stubble” (Ex. 15:7).
The verbs in this verse are future. Consequently, it should read, “You will overthrow them who rise up against You.” Then, “You will send forth Your wrath.”
The last phrase, “Which consumed them as stubble,” is present tense and concerns the victory over the Egyptians.
So, in this verse, we have an account not only of what the Lord has done regarding the Egyptians, but the promise that He will fight thusly for us as well!
The first song in the Bible was sung on a shore heaped with dead men - an appalling scene of divine wrath - and the last song in the Bible will be sung in a scene of greater wrath and destruction (Rev., Chpt. 19). These inspired records of God’s ways on earth and of His actions toward sin anger the self-righteous heart but thrill the soul of the one dependent on the righteousness of Christ.
GOD’S USE OF THE ELEMENTS
“And with the blast of Your nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea” (Ex. 15:8).
Moses described the east wind, which God set in motion, as “the blast” or “breath of His nostrils.” He then represented the waters as “standing in a heap” on either side and the depths as “congealed.”
Concerning the word congealed, some have taken this phrase to mean that the waters froze; however, considering the climate of Egypt, that is unlikely, although it definitely could have happened.
Still others have asked the question, “Are we justified in taking literally the strong expressions of a highly wrought poetic description?”
We definitely are justified. It is the Holy Spirit Who gave Moses these very words, and to be sure, as highly poetic as they might be, still, the description in no way stretches the truth as it regards what God has done, and above all, what He can do. In fact, with Him, all things are possible!
THE ENEMY SAID
“The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them” (Ex. 15:9).
This verse is very important simply because it shows the thoughts of the soldiers who flocked to Pharaoh’s standard, in regard to the pursuit of the children of Israel.
The words, “I will divide the spoil,” proclaim the fact that Israel had gone out of Egypt laden with ornaments of silver and gold and, as well, accompanied by flocks and herds of great value. Pharaoh probably told these soldiers that this plunder would be theirs, and they intended to appropriate it. They then boasted, “My hand shall destroy them.”
As well, we must not forget that the Egyptians had given the children of Israel the finest clothing that was available at that time, meaning that when they crossed the Red Sea, they did so dressed in the finest that the world had to offer of that particular day. In other words, they did not leave Egypt as beggars dressed in rags, as slaves generally wore, but dressed in the finest and loaded down with silver and gold.
What a mighty God we serve!
There is much to be learned from this statement, “My hand shall destroy them.”
The enemy declared fully as to what they intended to do and full well meant every word; however, they were not able to do anything and, in fact, even as the next verse proclaims, were destroyed themselves.
Here’s the point I wish to make: Countless times, the Devil has told you that he is going to destroy you, your children are going to be eternally lost, you’re going to die from some terrible disease, you will go bankrupt, etc. But have you ever stopped to think that none of that has ever come to pass?
To be sure, if Satan could do all these things, or any part of these things, he would have done them a long time ago. He hasn’t done them simply because he can’t do them. He doesn’t have the power! The truth is: “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He (the Holy Spirit) who is in you, than he (Satan) who is in the world” (I Jn. 4:4).
I was preaching a particular service in one of our Campmeetings when I began to bring out this thought about Satan not being able to do what he claims that he is going to do. The power of God swept the congregation as every single Christian in the place understood what was being said. Even though my message was not yet concluded, they could not contain themselves and, therefore, began to praise God, with the entire service erupting in praise.
I want you the reader to understand fully what is being said. The enemy has said much to you. He hopes to strike fear into your heart; however, never forget, if he could do all the things that he claims he’s going to do, he would have done them a long time ago. He hasn’t done them because he can’t do them because the power that’s in you is greater than that which is in him.
So, the next time he tries to feed you his negative line, just shout the praises of God because whatever he says, you know better.
THE LORD’S ANSWER
“You did blow with Your wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters” (Ex. 15:10).
Here we have another fact that is not mentioned in the account, but yet, which is implied. The immediate cause of the return of the waters was a wind. As a strong east wind had caused the waters to part, now this new wind - that which had been devised by the Lord - must have arisen contrary to the former one, blowing from the northwest or the north. This would have driven the water of the bitter lakes southward and thus produce the effect spoken of.
WHO IS LIKE UNTO YOU?
“Who is like unto You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”
The gods mentioned in this verse pertain to the gods worshipped by the Egyptians. They were pitiful up beside Jehovah. In fact, they were no gods at all, but rather figments of the imagination of evil men. If there was any power there at all, and to be sure, there was some power, it would have been in the realm of demon spirits.
In this setting, all the gods of Egypt — and the Egyptians worshipped many gods — we find the whole series of miraculous visitations, which proclaim the fact that the true God, Jehovah, should be exalted far above all the gods of
THE THREE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
Moses made all of this the foundation of his praise. He pointed to the three attributes of God, which cannot be equaled elsewhere. They are:
1. Holiness: in fact, God is thrice-holy, hence, the cherubim saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (Rev. 4:8).
2. Fearful: The word in the Hebrew is yare and means “to revere, dreadful, reverence, terrible.” The Lord is “fearful” because of His holiness. He deserves praise, in fact, all the praise that humanity can give Him, because He is our Creator and, as well, has delivered us from the powers of darkness.
3. Miraculous power: He is to be viewed with awe even when we praise Him.
How entirely different is the Lord - omnipotent, immutable, sovereign, triumphant - from the feeble, changeable, disappointed, and defeated “god” that is the object of “worship” in thousands of churches! How few today glory in God’s holiness! How few praise Him for His fearfulness! How few are acquainted with His wonders!
THE LORD’S RIGHT HAND
“You stretched out Your right hand, the earth swallowed them” (Ex. 15:12).
The idea is, all the Lord had to do to defeat the Egyptians - even though this was one of the mightiest armies in the world - was to simply stretch out His right hand. This means to exert His power, which was done at His Word. As a result, the “earth swallowed them,” which refers to the sea and, of course, is a part of the earth.
THE STRENGTH OF THE LORD
“You in Your mercy have led forth the people which You have redeemed: You have guided them in Your strength unto Your holy habitation” (Ex. 15:13).
Several things are said in this verse:
Six times the pronoun Thou or Thy is used, which we have translated into the words “You” or “Your,” signifying that salvation, and everything that pertains to that word, is found totally in God and not at all in man. As the Holy Spirit gave this song to Moses, and the Holy Spirit was most definitely the author, He emphasized the fact that the Lord had done all of this. This means that man could not receive any credit simply because man was not due any credit.
This of which I speak is probably the greatest bone of contention between God and man that one could name. God gives His way, and man attempts to change it to something else. God has one way for the sinner to be saved, and that is by simple faith and trust in Christ and what Christ has done for us at the Cross (Jn. 3:16). He also has one way of sanctification, and that is by simple faith and trust in Christ and what Christ has done for us at the Cross (Rom. 6:3-14; 8:1-11; I Cor. 1:17-18, 21, 23; 2:2, 5; Eph. 2:13-18; Col. 2:10-15).
Regrettably, most in the world try to change God’s way of salvation, and sadder still, most Christians attempt to change His way of sanctification. Both parties, the unredeemed and the redeemed, revert to “works.” It is ironic that the redeemed will shake their heads sadly at the world and plainly tell them that they cannot earn their salvation, which is certainly correct, but then they turn right around and try to earn their sanctification by the same method they have told the world it cannot be done.
The word redeemed in Hebrew is gaal and means “to deliver, to purchase, to ransom.” It also means to “set free,” which is the same meaning as its Greek derivative, “to purchase the slave out of the marketplace.” God’s redeemed are a people whom He has purchased for Himself to be with Him forever - “that where I am, there you may be also.” We are redeemed to be placed in His “holy habitation,” which we will address momentarily.
The unredeemed never think of themselves as being slaves, much less slaves to Satan, but that’s exactly what they are. As such, only the strength of the Lord can extricate them from this terrible bondage of darkness. Man is only fooling himself if he thinks otherwise.
Most, if not all, believers would agree with what I’ve just stated, but then, some seem to think that because they are saved, thereby, new creations in Christ Jesus (II Cor. 5:17), they have the strength to sanctify themselves, i.e., to live a godly life. While they claim to trust God, to stand upon the Word, or to trust Christ, most Christians are trying to do this outside of the Cross. In other words, they do not understand the part the Cross of Christ plays in their sanctification experience, which has to do with their everyday life and living before God, which is of supreme significance.
The truth is, the Christian has no more personal strength after salvation than he did before salvation. While it is certainly true that we have strength, even great strength, it is all in the Holy Spirit and not at all in us. The Holy Spirit, who lives and resides within our hearts and lives (I Cor. 3:16), works and functions in one way, and one way only. That one way is the Cross of Christ. Everything the Holy Spirit does is within the parameters of the finished work of Christ, which has given Him the legal right to do what He does (Rom. 8:1-2, 11). In other words, it was the Cross that opened up the way simply because the sin debt was totally and completely paid, making it possible for the Holy Spirit to live within our hearts and lives on a permanent basis. This means that we the believers must anchor our faith at all times in the great sacrifice of Christ. Listen again to Paul: “But God forbid that I should glory (boast), save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14).
To be frank, our salvation and our victory depend upon three things:
1. The Cross.
2. Our faith in Christ and the Cross.
3. That which gives the Holy Spirit latitude to work (the Cross).
It is clear here that through divine revelation, Moses knew there would be a place in the land of Canaan where God would “put His name” (Deut. 12:5, 11, 14; 14:23-24; 16:6, 11; 26:2). It seems also that he knew where that place would be - Jerusalem.
But, as most, if not all, the Old Testament prophecies, it has even a greater reference than the temple in Jerusalem. In fact, in its conclusion, it is referring to the Holy Spirit ultimately dwelling within the child of God.
Jesus told His disciples, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter (Helper), that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him: but you know Him; for He dwells with you, and shall be in you” (Jn. 14:16-17).
Then Paul said, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells with you, and shall be in you” (I Cor. 3:16; Jn. 14:17).
To verify, the great apostle repeated himself by saying: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (I Cor. 3:16).
THE DWELLING PLACE OF GOD
First of all, one might say, “God dwelt in the sacrifices, which began at the very dawn of time” (Gen., Chpt. 4). In this manner, sins could be forgiven and the Lord could have communion with the sinner, but only in a limited way. The reason was that the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins (Heb. 10:4). So, this meant that the terrible sin debt remained.
Then, whenever the plans for the tabernacle were given, God dwelt between the mercy seat and the cherubim in the tabernacle. He then dwelt in the temple in the same manner, but His ultimate dwelling place, which was brought about by what Jesus did at the Cross, was and is the human heart. Before the Cross, He could not make the human heart and life His habitation simply because, as stated, the blood of bulls and goats was woefully insufficient to take away sins (Heb. 10:4). But when Jesus came and died on the Cross, He took away all sin, at least for all who will believe (Jn. 1:29).
By simple faith in Christ, one becomes “His holy habitation.” This is a new standing, which means that we are literally placed in Christ, which is made possible by the Cross and our faith in that finished work. In fact, this is the position of all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. “For Christ also has once suffered for sins (the Cross), the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (I Pet. 3:18). This is our place as His redeemed.
GOD’S WHOLE MORAL NATURE
With God’s whole moral nature having been satisfied in the death of Christ, He can now rest in us in perfect complacency. Jesus said, “At that day (after Christ had gone to the Cross) you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (Jn. 14:20).
The old hymn says,
So near, so very near to God,
I nearer cannot be,
For in the person of His Son,
I am as near as He.
This place was all made possible by the Cross and our faith in that great sacrifice. It is indeed accorded to us in grace, but nonetheless, in righteousness, so that not only are all the attributes of God’s character concerned in bringing us there, but He Himself is also glorified by it. It is an immense thought, and one which, when held in power, imparts both strength and energy to our souls - that we are even now brought to God.
The whole distance - measured by the death of Christ on the Cross when He was made sin for us (a sin offering), which means that He took upon Himself the total and complete sin penalty — has been bridged over, and our position of nearness is marked by the place He now occupies as glorified by the right hand of God (Heb. 1:3).
In fact, even when we are transported to heaven itself, we shall not be nearer, as it regards our position, than we are now because it is “in Christ.”
Because we are “in Christ” and have that standing as the result of the Cross, God looks for a state corresponding with our standing.
Pink says, “State and walk must ever flow from a known relationship. Unless therefore we are taught the truth of our standing before God, we shall never answer to it in our souls, or in our walk before God.”
This is the great truth, the manner of sanctification for the saint, that I am continually trying to bring out in this volume. I am doing so, addressing it from every angle that I know, even in the fear of being overly repetitious. But I do so because I realize how hard Satan fights this truth of truths, and due to the flesh, how difficult it is for the believer to grasp what is being said.
The Lord has given me the revelation of how to live for God, which is not new but actually that which He gave to Paul, and if I said otherwise, I would not be telling the truth. But yet, it is so difficult to get Christians out of the spiritual lethargy in which they sleep. That’s why Paul said, “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (I Thess. 5:6).