Wednesday, January 21, 2009

RIGHT SONG—WRONG SIDE

When the children of Israel were going through testing, were they really supposed to express gratitude and thanksgiving in the midst of it? When they were surrounded and in a hopeless situation, did God really expect them to have that kind of reaction?

Yes—absolutely! That was the secret to getting out of their difficulty. You see, God wants something from all of us in our times of overwhelming troubles and testings. He wants us to offer him a sacrifice of thanksgiving in the midst of it all!

I believe James had discovered this secret when he admonished, “…count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations…” (James 1:2). He was saying, “Don’t give up! Make an altar in your heart, and offer up joyous thanksgiving in the midst of your trials.”

Of course the children of Israel did offer the Lord praise and thanksgiving—but they did it on the wrong side of the Red Sea! Yes, the people rejoiced all night—but God had no pleasure in it. Anybody can shout in gratitude after the victory comes. But the question God was putting to Israel was, “Will you praise me before I send help—while you’re still in the midst of the battle?”

I believe if Israel had rejoiced on the “trial side” of the Red Sea, they wouldn’t have had to be tested again at the waters of Marah. Had they passed the Red Sea test, the waters at Marah wouldn’t have tasted bitter, but sweet. And Israel would have seen water springing up everywhere in the desert, rather than having to go thirsty.

God help us to sing the right song on the testing side of trials. This brings the highest delight to our heavenly Father.

Are you right now going through a most difficult time? Then sing! Praise! Say to the Lord, “You can do it—you delivered me before, you can deliver me now. I rest in joy.”