Remember and Rejoice

Pharaoh’s army has been swallowed by the same sea that just opened the way for Israel. Then the last verse of Exodus 14 reads, “Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and his servant Moses.”

So, they believed. Now they believe?

The beginning of Exodus 15 is a song of praise. God is powerful and loving and holy and awesome. He is the strength, and song, and salvation of His people. The Israelites sing and dance and praise His name. Why? Because now they believe. At least for the moment.

On the other side of the sea, they didn’t believe. On the other side of the sea, they were grumbling and complaining about their so-called deliverance that wasn’t going as they had wanted. On the other side of the sea, they weren’t even sure they wanted deliverance.

On the other side of the sea, they had seen God deliver them from death as the Egyptians around them suffered. They had seen God’s deliverance. And yet, they weren’t believers.

Their beliefs were tied up in their experiences, not bound up with their knowledge of who their God is. God, to them, was only as good as it was going.  God, to them, was only as loving as they were comfortable. God, to them, was only as powerful as the state of the obstacle to be overcome.

To many of the Israelites, their gods were their senses. What they could see, hear, feel, taste, and touch was what was real to them. Those things had the power. They could see Pharaoh’s army, so that became what was most real to them. Now that Pharaoh’s army was gone, they could see that and suddenly God was a deliverer and a loving God and a God worthy of their praise instead of complaints.

It will just be three days until their next big problem. When they are faced with the problem, will they rejoice, knowing their God, or complain, knowing only what their senses tell them?

What do you do when a problem looms? Does it turn you to complaining or rejoicing?