Psalm of Praise: Psalms 113:5,7-9
Who is like the Lord our God?
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord.
Bible Reading: Exodus 14:31-15:2
When the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant. 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. "The Lord is my strength and my defence; he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.
It I good to show appreciation, to say, ‘thank you’ for a gift, for some help received, for an unexpected act of kindness, or just as a matter of courtesy, maybe to the person on the checkout at the supermarket.
It is also great to receive thanks. I have a small card written by a five-year old granddaughter, almost legibly saying thank you for a birthday present. I have kept it and use it as a bookmark.
It is also sad when you have chosen a gift for someone and they fail to say thank you, or to show any sign of appreciation. Not that we need the thanks, true love is unconditional, but we all like to feel appreciated.
If we value thanks for small acts of kindness or expressions of love, I wonder how much more God values our appreciation for the amazing things he has done for us, for life itself, for the many blessings each day, for salvation and for eternal life.
The Israelites had escaped hundreds of years of captivity in Egypt but, when they found themselves trapped between Pharaoh's chariots and the Red Sea they moaned and complained. Now, having passed through the Red Sea and seen their enemy destroyed, they put their trust in him and sing his praises. ‘He is my God’ they say, ‘and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him’. And yet, three days later they will be complaining again, this time because there was no water to drink.
There are times when we can all be like the Israelites, full of praise when things work out and then complaining when things go wrong. Words like, ‘I will praise him, I will exalt him’ sound good at the time but can have a very short ‘sell by’ date.
As they journeyed, the Israelites began a new relationship with God. Let us journey with them and put our trust in the God who delivered us, and let us not forget to praise him for all he has done.
Lord God, you are worthy of praise, whether the sun is shining or whether there are storms overhead.