God goes by many names in the Bible: Jehovah (I AM), Elohim (Strength), Abba (Father), Love, Comforter, Savior.
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2)
This name is actually first seen in Exodus 15:1-2, when Moses celebrates the miraculous deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt.
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spoke, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider has 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 a habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.
It's worth noting that when Moses says "the LORD is my song," he is actually saying "the LORD is my Psalm." Psalms were understood to be the habitation of God (Psalm 22:3 - "Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel"). So when we exalt God through song, our music becomes a legitimate space that God inhabits! Musical worship ushers us into His presence.
Moses had to sing because his heart could not contain the gratitude and awe he felt towards God for transforming the Red Sea into a walking trail for millions of Israelites. God freed His people through a medley of miracles - how could Moses not praise God for being their Song of deliverance?
How can we not, as well?
"When You Believe" was the first song I solo-ed in SBSB, and yes, it comes straight from this scene in the Bible. Go to 2:30 and listen to the Israelites sing. Their joy - even in the animated version - is irresistible.
A-shi-ra La-do-nai ki ga-oh ga-ah (I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously) Mi-kha-mo-kha ba-elim A-do-nai (Who is like You, oh Lord, among the celestial) Mi-kha-mo-kha ne-dar- ba-ko-desh (Who is like You, majestic in holiness) Na-hi-tah ve-has-de-kha am-zu ga-al-ta (In Your love, You lead the people You redeemed) A-shi-ra, a-shi-ra, a-shi-ra (I will sing, I will sing, I will sing)
I'll close with two songs by one of my favorite musicians, Tim Ouyang: Symphony no.1 (Compose Me) and The Rising Sun. He attended my home church, and he's experienced a lot of pain in his life. Yet just as our very own Mikayla is sharing her experience with clinical depression by writing songs of hope, it's the broken places that give birth to the beautifully raw songs we sing to The Song who sings over us every day.
Reflection inspired by the Bible Gateway devotional "The Power of A Song" by Gwen Smith.