02Jun20 - Preacher Diary
Singular or Plural?
When God overthrew Pharaoh and his hosts in the Red Sea, Miriam led Israel in a worship. Her song was a revelation. Many times, we have sung her lyrics and preached her revelation, but lately I have begun to see another side to that revelation. We, or I should say, I, have often sung her song in the plural, but I realise more strongly now that it was in the singular.
I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea (Exodus 15:1, 21).
She sang about “the horse and his rider”; we have often sung about the horses and their riders. Who is wrong? Pharaoh had many horses and riders and chariots. It is recorded in Exodus 14:7, for example, that six hundred chariots had been involved in the Egyptian operation that ended in the Red Sea; six hundred armoured tanks; six hundred personnel carriers. Further in Deuteronomy 11:4, Moses reported that “the army of Egypt,” in that expedition, involved “horses” and “chariots.” If there were horses, then there were riders. From where then did Miriam come up a singular horse and rider? Or, what did she see or know differently from what everyone else saw?
Was there Another ‘Army’ of Egypt?
She must have been referring to a different ‘army of Egypt’ than the troops that eyes saw drowning in the sea. She may have been referring to horse and rider of another realm, an unseen realm, which gave strange powers to the visible horses and riders. Her song might not have made a logical or grammatical sense to ‘rational’ seers.
Drowned or Thrown Down?
Her song did not say that the horse and rider were drowned in the sea. It is something already in the water that drowns in it. She said they were “thrown into” the sea, suggesting that they must have been displaced or dislodged from a higher realm, and cast down into the sea. That seems to agree with Jesus’ remarks in the New Testament: “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18).
That again opens a new paradox. It says where Satan fell from, but not where he fell to. We may assume generally that he fell to the earth, but where on earth? Africa? Europe? China? The Atlantic Ocean? The Baltic Sea? The Sahara Desert? In Jerusalem? Manhattan? Bangalore? Where had Satan been until then, doing what? What had been his influence or activities until then and after he fell wherever he did? In Revelation 12:10, 12, we not only hear that Satan is cast down, but there is a lamentation for those into whose space he is “cast down.”
A Conflict of Forces
The verb throw, like the expression, “cast down,” suggests an action exerted by a stronger force upon a lesser force or object; it suggests a displacement from one location to the other; it suggests a downing from a previous elevation. Was that what Miriam’s upward-looking eyes saw, while sideways and backward-looking majority eyes focused on the army of Egypt? In each case, what had happened differently that brought about that fall or casting down? What did anybody do that caused that fall that day? In Egypt, the only significant pre-Fall event that one can point to was the Passover feast. In the night of the Passover, God killed the strongmen of Egypt, the first borns of animals and humans. In the day, He threw down the horse and rider into the Sea, as well as drowned the horses and riders. The sea was the instrument of both judgments. It would appear, then, that the sea can be a veritable spiritual instrument of judgment to physical and spiritual armies.
Some songs sometimes don’t make sense to everyone, depending on what each one sees, or the direction in which they are turned. O God, in this season, may the horse and the rider; may the terrorizing Red Dragon, be cast into the Sea of perpetual destruction. Amen.
From The Preacher’s diary,
May 30, 2020.