The emotional roller coaster was in full display the day Israel left Egypt. Each plague wrought havoc on the Egyptian family while Israel stood unscathed. Ultimately, they left carrying the treasures of their captors. One cannot imagine the exhilaration of that moment. Freedom.
Then came the Red Sea; that impassible obstacle. To make matters worse a cloud of dust confirmed that pharaoh had changed his mind. Death was on the way and Israel knew it. Instead of thanking Moses for bringing them out, they sought to stone him. Instead of seeking his counsel for God’s next move, they desired to return to a life of slavery.
It was Moses’ turn. He raised his staff and the gushing waters rolled back like a blanket exposing the seabed. The mystery of that moment took their breath away as they walked through on dry ground.
Nevertheless, Egypt’s armies caught up and Israel turned to see the enemy racing through those same open waters. Again, another moment of panic. However, God caused the waters to collapse and the Red Sea consumed the armies of Egypt. Their enemies were destroyed.
The next line of the scripture shows rejoicing, dancing, and singing. There’s a tambourine and a choir echoing the praises of God…”the horse and the rider He cast into the sea.” It didn’t last long. Three days later they happened upon the bitter waters of Marah and sank into deep depression. Dry and thirsty, they murmured against Moses as they cursed the rancid water.
Each present moment dictated their emotions. If they saw victory, they worshiped. If they faced trouble, they cried. If it looked like a poor decision was made, they denounced the leadership of Moses. Every situation provoked an in-kind response.
I wonder what would happen if we responded based upon the nature of God and not upon our present circumstance? What if the response was in consideration of our relationship to the Father and not to our environment? I know we praise Him when the report is good, but what if we praised Him because He is Good? I know we give when we have plenty, but I wonder if we would give because He is Faithful? I know we worship when there is Joy, but I am hoping we will worship because of Who He is.
While I cannot offer an answer to all of life’s dilemmas, the Bible commands me that in everything I am to give thanks.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole