Praising the Lord

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After safely crossing the Red Sea, the children of Israel raised their voices to praise the Lord with a song of joy. They thanked the Lord for delivering them from their enemies. Then Miriam the prophetess, sister of Moses and Aaron, took a timbrel and led the women in making music and dancing. “Sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously!” (Exodus 15:21).

As Miriam’s actions show, music is a powerful way to praise the Lord with joy in our hearts. But there are other ways as well. We praise Him with our actions when we work to obey His Word and help others.  

The Story

Read in Exodus 15:1-21.

Retell the story for younger children or read selected portions, such as Exodus 15:1-2, 12-13, 17-21.

Ideas for discussion  

  1. Why were the children of Israel praising the Lord after crossing the Red Sea? (The Lord worked a miracle to help them cross on dry land and prevented the Egyptian army from reaching them. They were delivered out of Egypt and ready to journey to the land of Canaan.)
  2. First the people rejoiced with a song that included these words: “The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him” (Exodus 15:2)
  3. Then Miriam and the women celebrated with timbrels and dances. Who was Miriam? (A prophetess who was the sister of Moses and Aaron) What is a timbrel? It can be a small hand drum or tambourine.
  4. Language helps us express our thoughts, while music expresses affections. Singing actually combines thoughts and feelings, since words are set to music. When songs are mentioned in the Word, they symbolize glorifying or praising the Lord with thanksgiving.
  5. Music stirs our affections and has the potential to lift our thoughts from what is mundane to what is spiritual. And when we sing about the Lord, the angels touch our hearts with happiness, increasing our joy.
  6. How can we praise the Lord? First, we need to acknowledge that that everything good is from the Divine Creator. To praise the Lord is to acknowledge and worship Him. When we humbly thank the Lord for all that He gives us—recognizing that without Him we would have no life at all—then we can praise Him with our thoughts, our hearts, and our actions.
  7. In a sense, though, we offer our greatest praise to the Lord when we choose to live according to His Word. Though we may not always be consciously thinking of Him, when we act from a good understanding and a wise love, we are honoring the Lord. For in receiving His spiritual gifts and acting from them, we reflect His love and wisdom, and so glorify the Lord in our lives.

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