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March 22—Lenten Devotional 2014

March 22—Lenten Devotional 2014

Lent2014Israel saw the great work that the LORD did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the LORD and believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses. Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: “I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my might, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him…In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed.”
Exodus 14:31-15:2, 13

Notice that the Israelites never sang while in the bondage of Egypt, but start singing as they experience God’s saving power at the Red Sea. Throughout Scripture salvation inevitably leads God’s people to worship, and that inevitably leads them to song.

We have watched as the Lord deliberately turned His people back into what seemed certain destruction. God guided them step-by-step into a trap between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s armies. But it is at that perilous place that God reveals His glory. It is at that place that His saving presence becomes very real.

C. H. Mackintosh observed that “It is in the day of trial and difficulty that the soul experiences something of the deep and untold blessedness of being able to count on God…God’s presence in the trial is much better than exemption from the trial…The Lord’s presence is never so sweet as in moments of appalling difficulty” (Notes on the Book of Exodus).

No, God does not always deliver us from our problems in a way that we might want Him to do. God will do it in His time and in a way that leads us to worship and song. We discover that our biggest problems present the biggest opportunities for God to reveal His glory and make His saving power known.

Consider the psalmist David and how his experience of God in the “desolate pit” turned him to worship and song:

I waited patiently for the LORD;
He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog,
And set my feet upon a rock,
Making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
A song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
And put their trust in the LORD.
Psalm 40:1-3

REFLECTION

  • What do you make of C. H. Mackintosh’s observation that, “God’s presence in the trial is much better than exemption from the trial”? Has that been true in your experience?
  • In Psalm 40 the psalmist David writes of a “new song” God has put in his mouth. Has God given you a “new song”? If so, what is it?
  • If you find yourself in the psalmist’s “desolate pit” and “miry bog”, take some moments to talk with God about it. Cry out to Him!

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