When the children of Israel went through times of testing, were they really supposed to express gratitude and thanksgiving in the middle of them? When they were surrounded and in a hopeless situation, did God really expect them to have that kind of reaction?
Yes, absolutely! That was the secret to getting out of their difficulty. You see, God wants something from all of us in our times of trouble. He wants us to offer him a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
I believe James discovered this secret when he admonished, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” (James 1:2 NKJV). He was saying, “Don’t give up. Make an altar in your heart and offer up joyous thanksgiving even as you are going through the storm.”
Of course, the children of Israel did offer the Lord praise and thanksgiving, but they did it on the wrong side of the Red Sea. Yes, they rejoiced all night, but God had no pleasure in it. Anyone can shout in gratitude after a victory. The question God put to Israel was, “Will you praise me before I send help, while you’re still in the battle?”
I believe if Israel had rejoiced on the “trial side” of the Red Sea, they wouldn’t have had to be tested again at the waters of Marah. Had they passed the Red Sea test, the waters at Marah wouldn’t have tasted bitter, but sweet. And Israel would have seen water springing up everywhere in the desert, rather than having to go thirsty.
May God help us to sing the right song on the testing side of trials. May we understand how much delight a song of thanksgiving brings to the heart of our heavenly Father.
Are you going through a difficult time right now? Then sing! Praise! Say to the Lord, “I praise you because I know you can do it. You delivered me before, and you can deliver me now. I rest in joy.”