Lessons in Praise and Thanksgiving


Moses and Miriam are great examples of a practice I need to do more in my life and which our churches can amp up as well.  When God answered the cries of the people and rescued them, they turned his mercy and provision back to God in praise and thanksgiving…

1 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:

“I will sing to the Lord,
for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
he has hurled into the sea.

2 “The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

13 In your unfailing love you will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling.

17 You will bring them in and plant them
on the mountain of your inheritance—
the place, Lord, you made for your dwelling,
the sanctuary, Lord, your hands established.

18 “The Lord reigns
for ever and ever.”
Exodus 15:1-2, 13, 17-18

A few days ago I read Psalm 102, in which the prayers of the afflicted rise up to God. That is exactly what happened with Israel in Egypt.  Their prayer and cries rose to God.  God heard them (Exodus 2:23-25) and remembered his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Once they are out of Egypt and in the desert, God then saved them again by parting the Red Sea and swallowing up Pharaoh’s army in the ocean. After 400 years of affliction and slavery, God saved them and became very active in their lives.

Notice how they respond to God.  Moses and his sister, the prophet Miriam, led the Israelites in a song of praise to God.  They proclaimed what God did, they declared that God is their strength and defense and salvation, and they recognized God’s unfailing love for them.

Israel could see that God was bringing them along – leading the people whom he had redeemed.  The Lord reigns for ever and ever, they sang…

Quite often in my own life, when God releases me from my affliction (which I acknowledge has not included slavery in Egypt), I am relieved. That’s it.  Relieved.  In fact, if I have been praying for God’s help, and he answers my prayer, I can easily move on and never look back.  Not even in thanksgiving.

I am so relieved that the pain or stress or worry or trouble is gone that the relief ends up being the ultimate focus.  Which is all about me.  And not about God who saved me…

Moses and Miriam are a great example of turning God’s provision and salvation back to him in praise.  I need more of this in my life.  We need more of this in our church.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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