WHAT IS THE SONG OF REDEEMING LOVE
The Song of Redeeming Love is the first recorded song of praise in the Bible. The Prophet Isaiah tells us that this song of redeeming love was sung on the night of Passover:
You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel. (Isaiah 30:29)
This song was sung by Moses as they left slavery in Egypt. It is a song of hope and faith as Israel looked to God after his promised deliverance from Egypt and the armies of Pharaoh. This song that was sung by the Red Sea was so precious to Israel that even to this day this song is still sung and remembered by Israel. It is a song of celebration and awe at God's delivering right hand. It is perhaps one of the greatest songs ever written. In the book of Revelation it becomes not only the song of Moses but the victory song of the Messiah who has brought each one of us out of slavery to sin and praises Him as the author of life and salvation.
The Song of Redeeming Love
Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord:
“I will sing to the Lord,
for he has triumphed gloriously;
he has hurled both horse and rider
into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my song;
he has given me victory.
This is my God, and I will praise him—
my father’s God, and I will exalt him!
The Lord is a warrior;
Yahweh is his name!
Pharaoh’s chariots and army
he has hurled into the sea.
The finest of Pharaoh’s officers
are drowned in the Red Sea.
The deep waters gushed over them;
they sank to the bottom like a stone.
“Your right hand, O Lord,
is glorious in power.
Your right hand, O Lord,
smashes the enemy.
In the greatness of your majesty,
you overthrow those who rise against you.
You unleash your blazing fury;
it consumes them like straw.
At the blast of your breath,
the waters piled up!
The surging waters stood straight like a wall;
in the heart of the sea the deep waters became hard.
“The enemy boasted, ‘I will chase them
and catch up with them.
I will plunder them
and consume them.
I will flash my sword;
my powerful hand will destroy them.’
But you blew with your breath,
and the sea covered them.
They sank like lead
in the mighty waters.
“Who is like you among the gods, O Lord—
glorious in holiness,
awesome in splendor,
performing great wonders?
You raised your right hand,
and the earth swallowed our enemies.
“With your unfailing love you lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your might, you guide them
to your sacred home.
The peoples hear and tremble;
anguish grips those who live in Philistia.
The leaders of Edom are terrified;
the nobles of Moab tremble.
All who live in Canaan melt away;
terror and dread fall upon them.
The power of your arm
makes them lifeless as stone
until your people pass by, O Lord,
until the people you purchased pass by.
You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain—
the place, O Lord, reserved for your own dwelling,
the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established.
The Lord will reign forever and ever!”
THE CAPTIVITY OF SIN EVEN AS THE CAPTIVITY OF OUR FATHERSThe Book of Mormon is a covenant record for our time and land. Like Alma's Church we are living in a day of Iniquity when the Iniquity has not only infiltrated the Church but also the hearts of the people. We see sin and lawlessness enthroned while holiness and righteousness are shunned and scorned. But, for those whose hearts have been pricked by the message of the Everlasting Gospel, the Book of Mormon turns us from the path of covenant rebellion to the path of covenant oneness with God. To see this path requires a change of heart--a desire to be free from the bondage of sin and iniquity. To walk this path requires the intervention of Jesus Christ-the right hand of God.
In true Passover (Pesach) tradition demonstrated in Alma Chapter 5, Alma draws upon an ancient song of praise that has been preserved by Israel to this day. He draws the peoples minds to the captivity of their "fathers". In true Israelite fashion, he turns the minds of Zarahemla (The Descendants or Seed of Life) back to the captivity of their fathers even Israel in Egypt and also their fathers --the people of King Noah in captivity to the Lamanites in the Land of Nephi.
" I, Alma, having been consecrated by my father, Alma, to be a high priest over the church of God, he having power and authority from God to do these things, behold, I say unto you that he began to establish a church in the land which was in the borders of Nephi; yea, the land which was called the land of Mormon; yea, and he did baptize his brethren in the waters of Mormon. And behold, I say unto you, they were delivered out of the hands of the people of king Noah, by the mercy and power of God.
And behold, after that, they were brought into bondage by the hands of the Lamanites in the wilderness; yea, I say unto you, they were in captivity, and again the Lord did deliver them out of bondage by the power of his word; and we were brought into this land, and here we began to establish the church of God throughout this land also.And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, you that belong to this church, have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? Yea, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? And moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell?
Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them. And now I ask of you, my brethren, were they destroyed? Behold, I say unto you, Nay, they were not.
And again I ask, were the bands of death broken, and the chains of hell which encircled them about, were they loosed? I say unto you, Yea, they were loosed, and their souls did expand, and they did sing redeeming love. And I say unto you that they are saved." (Alma 5:3-9)
HAVE YOU FELT TO SING THIS SONG OF REDEEMING LOVE?When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the Lord had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the Lord and in his servant Moses. Like a shepherd, Moses led the children of Israel to the Mountain of the Lord where God himself dwelt. Even so Alma calls us to heed the voice of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ:
"O ye workers of iniquity; ye that are puffed up in the vain things of the world, ye that have professed to have known the ways of righteousness nevertheless have gone astray, as sheep having no shepherd, notwithstanding a shepherd hath called after you and is still calling after you, but ye will not hearken unto his voice!
Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd." (Alma 5: 37-38)
When we are in a state of covenant rebellion our sins become as if it were the captivity of our Fathers. Outside the bounds of God's covenant relationship and kingdom is a world of trials and tribulation. Like the trials and tribulations of Egypt, the conditions of covenant rebellion place us under the dominion of our adversary. Make no mistake, the kingdom of trials and tribulations is powerful and seeks to rival the kingdom of God himself. The chains of this kingdom are real and like Pharaoh's armies they seek to encircle us with the bands of death, hell, and destruction.
"And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" (Alma 5:26)