The praise song The Horse and Rider- What it teaches us about the Joy of the Lord

Recently the praise song The Horse and Rider has been on my mind.  The song when sung is often done in a round. It is catchy tune but rarely have taken time to reflect more on the meaning of the little song.  Here are the lyrics (sadly could not find a video.)

THE HORSE AND RIDER:

I will sing unto the Lord
for He has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and rider thrown into the sea…

The Lord my God,
My strength and song
Is now become my victory.

The Lord is God
And I will praise Him,
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

The song is based on Exodus 15:1-2 when God delivered Israel from Egypt in the Red Sea. It is known as the Victory song. It celebrates God supernaturally intervening and giving Victory. God served as the defender of His people who he brought out of the slavery of Egypt. It is no different for those of us who have become His children and entered into His Kingdom through Jesus.  God is our strength and our defense.  The enemies are powerless even if it looks like all  is lost and darkness will overwhelm and win.  God assure victory. In fact the ultimate victory has already been declared through the death and resurrection of Jesus. 

So reflecting on this there are simple facts clearly stated.  God is our strength and song.   God as our strength  easier to grasp. God is our defense, or shield our covering, our attack force, and so on.  All measure and concept of strength is found in God and He shows it on an ongoing basis. 

The harder to grasp concept is God is our song.  In thinking about this song really is about a response.  Now often the words have been used as shield and reference defense but the concept of praise and source of joy is also appropriate. In essence, a response to the difficult and trying times including times of wilderness call for response beyond self.   In a sense this song and passage really reflects the concept of the Joy of the Lord. 

It is also interesting that if you think about strength and song they reflect male and female characteristics.  Strength is masculine and denotes the ability to take initiative.  Responding to others  a feminine characteristic and the use of song reflects that.  So the song really points to God being our initiative and response. In Him alone is totality and the source of all strength. 

In this is His Joy,  God’s initiative and response, including Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Godhead fully engaged, fully relating to us.  There is nothing that can stand, ever.  This is the source of Joy in the Lord.  Nothing can stand before Him. Not mountain, not sea, not armies, not disease, not sin, not suffering,  not anger, not hate, not a thing. If we grasp even a wisp of the totality of God and His initiative and His response we have no other response but to rejoice.  In God alone is victory and it has been declared and demonstrated with All that God is, His entirety. 

Now, these thoughts come at an interesting time here.  Prayer and thought has been going into writing an article on coping with acute stress relation in part to minister to the Livesay’s and others.  The writing has not come easy, the words have not yet really flowed.  The thought is that may be in part because the starting point is the Victory Song.  That whatever we have endured, gone through God has been there.  He has been our strength and song.  In the midst He is there.  So whatever words I say that point to skills and means of coping, they would be empty without first this recognition.  For the Joy of the Lord is our strength. The Joy of the Lord is in His Victory and His Victory involves His totality in both initiation and response.  It is His Love which is so Amazing. So take time and Rejoice and Rejoice again.  For YHWH is our Strength and Song.  He is our victory.

Question of week 10-1-2009: How big is your view of God?

This question comes as a result from reading the first chapter of Francis Chan’s book Crazy love.   Do we really appreciate the full extent of the bigness of God? The answer should be no.  We all to often accept a limited view of how great God is, one that our mind can wrap around.  God uses words and constructs to describe himself that result in paradox for the human mind.  How can God be future, present, and past tense at once for example?  Really we each have a rather limited perspective on God that reflects us and not God.  The limits to the understanding of  God comes from our limited mind.  We just cannot adequately describe God or fully understand. The understanding we have comes from how God has reveal himself to us.  So the question of how big a view we have of God ultimately turns to how have we limited our understanding of God.  How often do our thoughts make God after our own image and constructs verses truly understanding God.  Are we more able to accept a God that we limit to the constructs of our own understanding?  Do you believe you fully understand and grasp all there is to know of God? I know I do not, but yet it is easy to settle into our systematic views of God and be comfortable in our understanding. I got news for all us, understanding God was never meant to be comfortable.  Relating with God is not meant  to be comfortable.  Not once in any personal encounter with God was anyone left with any comfort.  So the question remains, how big is your view of God?