Summer of Praise: Praise for His Salvation

Read Exodus 15 and Colossians 2:11-15

A misguided view of salvation will inevitably lead to a misguided view of praise.  If we define salvation in political, social  or economic terms we will end praising the wrong things or wrong people.

The Song of the Sea in Exodus 15 celebrates Yahweh’s triumph over Pharaoh (“the enemy”) and his chariots (“the horse and rider”).  This epic passing from death to life  through the parted waters becomes the paradigm for praise: Yahweh alone is God and He alone saves. “Who is like the Lord among the gods?” Moses asks…The answer is (in a sort of silent responsive reading): NO ONE! and this is why we praise Him (Exodus 15:1, 11).

David Garland, in his comments* on Colossians 2:11-15 reminds us that the triumph of the sea over Pharaoh’s mighty wooden chariotry (600 of them!) is now the triumph of the Cross, also made of wood.  In fact the image of triumph in Colossians 2:15 is one that is directly represented in Roman imperial tradition where the victor rides into town on his chariot and white horses to receive praise and honor for his great victory.  Paul picks up this precise image in Colossians 2 and now makes the wooden vessel in the shape of a cross rather than a chariot.  King David essentially says the same thing: some trust (literally ‘remember’) in horses, some in chariots, but WE (emphatic!) trust/remember the name of the Lord our God! (Psalm 20:7).  Salvation is from the Lord; He alone saves us; therefore He alone is worthy of our praise!

*NIV Zondervan Study Bible (2015 edition)

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