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
- 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.)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Read more about this miracle:
- “Sing to the Lord” by Lorentz R. Soneson (ages 7-14)
How can we say “thank you” to the Lord? One way is to sing aloud our thanks with love and energy. We say what we think, but singing is often the best way to express what we feel.
- “Songs and Worship” by Alfred Acton (ages 7-14)
Singing songs in worship is a way for people to join together as one in worshiping the Lord. And when we worship together, the Lord hears one voice.
- “Music: A Gift from the Lord” by Brian W. Keith (ages 18 and up)
Music is a gift of the Lord to us. It draws us out of ourselves in times of trouble. It is a source of comfort. We relax with it and are lifted up by it. When we sing, we contribute to the perfection of the whole.
- “Confessing the Lord from Joy of Heart” by Norman Reuter (ages 18 and up)
For a person to receive the full benefit of worship, he must open not only his mind but also his heart to the Lord. This opening is symbolized by the act of singing.
Projects and activities for various ages:
- Love Him, Thank Him Song
A song for young children, sung by Elise Genzlinger.
- Praise the Lord with Music (ages 3-6)
Make simple instruments and then praise the Lord with song, dance, and music.
- Miriam and the Women Praise the Lord Coloring Page by Marguerite L. Acton
Women praising the Lord as they sing and dance.
- Video: The Power of Music
A short video showing how much music can influence our emotions.
- Write a Poem of Praise (ages 7-14)
Let Psalm 96 inspire you to write a poem of praise to the Lord.
- Lord, for Countless Gifts We Thank Thee Song
Song of praise, sung by Rebekah Maddock.
- Acrostic Poem of Praise (ages 7-17)
- Write an acrostic poem praising the Lord our God.
- Praise Cards
Cards with beautiful passages of praise from the Psalms. Use the cards to focus your mind on praising the Lord in all aspects of your life. Can also be read aloud with a group.With a group, let everyone choose one of the Praise Cards to read aloud
- Come, You Thankful People, Come Song
Children’s voices sing this son of thanks to the Lord.
- Praise in the Morning and Night (ages 15 and up)
Photograph illustration of "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night" (Psalm 92:1-2).
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