Here are a few questions to consider today:
- Do you PRAISE as much as you PLEAD?
- Do you express gratitude as much as you express need?
- Do you bless as much as you beg?
- Do you appreciate as much as you ask?
In an excellent article on this subject in Christianity Today, Kent Dunnington and Ben Wayman say this:
Christians should…be a grateful people, perhaps the most grateful of everyone. And considering the malaise of post-pandemic life, our embittered political polarization, and the vitriolic cancel culture today—it’s hard to imagine a better time for us to double down on the value of gratitude. For Christians, of course, gratitude should begin and end with our thankfulness to God. And yet many of us do not experience this with the kind of frequency, intensity, and durability that seem appropriate given how extraordinary God’s benefits are. Why do we struggle to be consistently grateful to God, even when we believe—or at least say we believe—that God is our ultimate and incomparable benefactor? One problem is inattention. We may know in an abstract sense that God is the greatest Giver, but until we start paying attention to where God’s gifts show up, we’re not likely to experience gratitude. Another issue is resentment. We know God is often good to us, but we’re also mad when God doesn’t give us what we want, so we withhold our gratitude.
This is the first song in the Bible. Some might argue that when Adam saw Eve for the first time, the “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh” is a song, but most would agree that this is truly the first song recorded in the Bible.
Songs within narrative are really important. Don’t skip over them. Songs in narrative ought to perk up our ears and eyes to note that something really important has happened in the story.
- Hannah’s song when she conceives after being barren (1 Samuel 2)
- The song of David’s victory of Goliath (1 Samuel 18)
- Asaph’s song when the building of the temple is completed (2 Chronicles 5)
- The Magnificat (Mary’s song) that she sings after learning that she would be the mother of the Messiah.
Section #1 – Praising Yahweh for what he HAS done (past)
I will sing to Yahweh because HE has triumphed gloriously.
Section #2 – Praising God for WHO HE IS (present)
- Yahweh and Yahweh alone is God.
- He is awe-inspiringly perfect.
- He is all-powerful and perfectly just.
- God is perfect in power.
- He is overflowing in covenant-keeping love.
- He is a Savior.
God is perfect in power – strong enough to pick up seas and throw them down again, but he is also a God of justice – he always does what it right. He is overflowing in covenant-keeping love. The Hebrew word here translated steadfast love is hesed.
God, I thank you that you are ______________ (characteristic)
knowing this about you helps me to _______________ (response).
God I thank you that you are __________________ (characteristic)
I have seen this so clearly in __________________ (experience of his character)
Section #3 – Praising God for what He WILL DO (future)
God has already told Moses what is going to happen and where he is leading this people – to the Promised Land – the land of Canaan. And Word of the God of the Hebrews is spreading – even without modern communication, word is getting around that Yahweh just took down one of the greatest kingdoms and leaders in the known world.
This is but a glimpse of the reality of what awaits all of those who trust Jesus to be the leader and forgiver of their lives. God will fully and finally defeat all of his enemies and justice will be fully and finally realized. And he will bring us into the land and plant us in the land perfectly suited for us – to enjoy all of the really good things that he made us to enjoy. And his presence will not be a pillar or fire, or a cloud, or in one specific place like the temple. But God himself will dwell with his people – his sanctuary will be among us. And the Lord will reign forever and ever! This is what God WILL DO. He proves to be a promise-keeper to Moses, to the Hebrews, and throughout all generations. And he will be a promise keeper to the end.