BeShalach relates Bnei Yisrael’s miraculous crossing of the Yam Suf and the Shirah which followed. In the Shirah, Az Yashir, why does the Pasuk “Sus VeRochevo Ramah VaYam” “His horse and rider [God] has thrown into the sea” (Shemot 15:1) precede the phrase in the following Pasuk of “Zeh Keili Ve’Anvehu,” “This is my God and I will exalt him” (Shemot 15:2)? It seems out of place. Why don’t we declare that Hashem is our God in the pasuk before we talk about defeating the Mitzrim? One would think that we should declare that Hashem is our God before we give the reasons!
There are three approaches to explain this connection. Rashi takes a more classical approach and states that the purpose of the phrase “Zeh Keili VeAnvehu” is to make Hashem’s glory great. This means that we are adding the idea of Hashem’s glory into the Shirah as it connects the two Pesukim; it transitions from Pasuk Aleph’s ideas of the miraculous wonders Hashem performed for us in Egypt to Pasuk Gimmel’s declaration of “Hashem Ish Milchamah” “Hashem is a God of war” (15:3).
The Sforno states that that “Zeh Keili VeAnvehu” means that Hashem is my champion, my God. Meaning that Bnei Yisrael accepted Hashem as their God based on the miracles and deeds He performed at the Yam Suf, with the expectation that he would perform more miracles for them in the future.
Thirdly, the Ramban explains that the Pasuk is to be understood as “Hashem is the God of my nation”. This is quite similar to the Sforno’s response, the Ramban explains that Bnei Yisrael were accepting Hashem through his miracles. The Ramban differs from Sforno in that he sees “Zeh Keili VeAnvehu” as a segue to Pasuk Gimmel: first Bnei Yisrael will accept Hashem and then Hashem will act for them as a God of war.
When we are in times of distress, we can always look to Hashem for help. These three approaches can be our focus when we daven to Hashem. We can consider, as Rashi did, the miracles that he has already performed, such as at the Yam Suf, we can look to the future with Hashem as our champion who will continue to perform miracles for us, as Sforno did, or we can merge the two as the Ramban did and keep both in mind when davening. May these intentions during Tefillah elevate the Tefillot so that they be accepted speedily by Hashem.