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When they had sung a hymn, they went out
to the Mount of Olives. ~ Mark 14:26

READING: Exodus 15:1-3; Psalm 118:13-24; Isaiah 12:1-3

Standing by the Red Sea, little did Moses know he would forever bless God’s people. Sure, people had seen miracles before. Lots of them. But for the first time someone recorded a praise song about one. “The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation” (Ex. 15:2). Moses’ song recounted how God saved them from dangers. “The horse and his rider He has hurled into the sea.” It penned new names for God and celebrated God’s glory.

Like waters from the Red Sea, this song rippled out to future believers, extending even to Jesus Himself, singing a hymn with His disciples. The hymn- writer of Psalm 118 told the story of a time he was “about to fall, but the Lord helped me.” Searching for words, the psalmist borrowed the refrain from the Song of Moses – “He has become my salvation.” Isaiah the prophet also quoted from the Song of Moses when he broke into song about the Messiah who “has become my salvation.”

As we search for vocabulary to express what God has done for us, songwriters lend us phrases to articulate our feelings. Like the psalmists and prophets of old, we can add a church planter’s stanza, making it our song, too. Other people need our songs. Praise songs can sustain believers when their hearts are too heavy to think up new words.

Tradition suggests that Psalm 118 might have been the hymn Jesus sang on the way to the garden that holy, awful night. I think about Jesus leaning on those ancient lyrics as He walked toward betrayal. And I think about Moses, offering those beautiful words to Jesus, our Messiah, who has “become our salvation.”

Dear Father, Please fill my heart with a song of praise today. Amen.

Dionne Carpenter