Chapter 15 contains the Song of the Sea that was sung by Moses and the men of Israel after the LORD had just delivered the Israelites and decimated the Egyptian forces. As they were singing verses 1 – 18, Miriam and the women contributed to the LORD’s praise by singing (v. 21).
Starting in verse 22, the people of Israel begin their journey to the land that the LORD promised to them. They travelled to Marah in search for drinkable water, and when they found none, they rebelled against Him. In His grace, the LORD miraculously provided all the water the people needed. This showed the people that He was not only their Deliverer, He was their Provider as well.
Chapter 15 can be outlined as follows:
Moses and the Israelites sang a song of praise to God.
In the second part of the song (verses 4 – 13), the singers proclaim why they needed to lift up praises to the LORD for His great deliverance.
In the third part of the song, the singers celebrate the result of their deliverance. This was not something that got swept under the rug. The surrounding nations heard all about it. God is honored, and the surrounding nations now fear Him. God’s sovereign rule is acknowledged.
The song that was sung by the men in verses 1 – 18 is followed by a reminder of the reason for the song (v. 19) and the celebration by Miriam and the women (vv. 20-21).
Verses 22-27 is the first account of a larger section of Exodus describing the three-month journey (19:1) from the Red Sea to Mount Sinai (15:22 – 18:27). This passage contains the Israelites’ first encounter with life in the wilderness. After three days of traveling in an area that had no water, they came to a place called Marah that had water, but it was undrinkable. The people became angry and confronted Moses about this problem. Moses in turn cried out to the LORD who miraculously provided sweet drinking water for all the people. This problem, which was a test from the LORD, resulted in a statute that required the people to depend on the LORD for their needs. Failure to believe that the LORD could and would provide for all their needs would result in physical suffering through disease.