Monday, November 15, 2021

The pivotal event of the Old Testament was the Exodus where God led Israel safely out of captivity and slavery.  From that extraordinary event would come the building of Israel and ultimately Jesus the Messiah.  Shortly after God brought Israel through the Red Sea that He had parted, Moses led Israel in a song of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord.  Much of Exodus 15 records that song for us to remember how the people praised God and thanked Him.  At that moment in history, Israel was truly and profoundly grateful for what God had done for them.  I would encourage you to read the Song of Moses in Exodus 15:1-18.  The first three verses read, “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 defense; he has become my salvation.  He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.  The Lord is a warrior; the LORD is his name.’”
            Moses’ example teaches us at least four lessons about thankfulness and how we express our gratitude to God.  First, the Lord is worthy of our praise.  He is deserving of the music we bring to Him.  God is the King of Creation and the universe itself.  He is worthy of the music that His people can bring to Him.  We make music part of our corporate or collective worship because God deserved the music-making of His people.  Second, the Lord is our salvation.  There is no salvation apart from Him.  Even the name Jesus, when read in the Hebrew language, means “salvation” or “God saves.”  God saved Israel from Egypt and slavery.  God continues to save those who come to Him through His Son—the way, the truth and the life.  God, by nature, is the Savior of fallen and troubled humanity.  Third, the Lord is a warrior for His people.  He hears prayers and consoles the brokenhearted.  He brings answers and deliverance to those who cry out to His name.  Moses knew God as a warrior and so did David as he fought Goliath.  And fourth, the name of the LORD is worthy of our praise.  He is the great I AM.  He is the One who causes all things to be. 
            We can enrich our Thanksgiving experiences this year by taking time to reflect upon the ways that God has saved us and redeemed us.  We can think about our salvation experience and how we came to know the Lord for the first time.  We can further think about the times that God delivered us, provided for us and fought for us.  Consider the times where God wiped away tears and brought grace to the broken places in your life.  Even our wounded and broken places can be occasions for giving thanks because we have the opportunity to see His grace at work in our lives.  If you read the Song of Moses in Exodus 15, your eye will catch the many times the words “you and your” are used with reference to the Lord.  Moses was astonished over all that the Lord had done for His people.  We get the sense that Moses did not really know where to begin or even end as he led the people through a time of praise and giving thanks.  Once we start to recognize all that God has done for us, we may have the same impression. His acts are many and His love and grace are overwhelming to us.  You could take the Song of Moses today and pray it back to the Lord as part of your worship.  Though it was composed and first sang long, long ago, the music still brings glory and delight to the heart of God.  We said on Sunday that praise and giving thanks are connected to one another.  A grateful person praises God and a person who praises God is a grateful individual.  Praise and gratitude travel together.  May your day be enriched by the praise you bring to the Lord!
            Remember to share our worship with others at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.  Stay faithful in your tithes, offerings and giving.  Remember we are collecting shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse through November 28.  You can bring your box to the church by then.  Contact Candice if you need help.  The Angel Tree is up and ready for adoptions.  Have a great Monday!

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