By Rev. Ron Purkey
Read Exodus 15:1-27
“Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11)
I find the cure for depression is praise. In other words: be so busy counting your blessings, that thoughts of gloom and despair will be crowded out. We have many thing for which we can praise the Lord. Let’s look at them.
First, God triumphs (Exodus 15:1-21). When Israel walked by sight, they complained (Exodus 14:10-12); but when Israel believed the Lord and saw God’s mighty hand at work, Israel praised the Lord. Rejoicing should follow redemption (Luke 15:1-24).
This is the first recorded song in scripture, and it is a model for true worship because it emphasizes God, who he is, and what he has done for his people Israel. God saves his people (Exodus 15:1–10), God guides his people to their inheritance (Exodus 15:11-13), God glorifies the name of the Lord (Exodus 15:14-17), and God rules forever (Exodus 15:18). In 2021, let the Lord be your strength, let the Lord be your song, and let the Lord be your salvation (Exodus 15:2; also see Psalm 118:14 and Isaiah 12:2).
Second, God heals (Exodus 15:22-26). God’s people went from rejoicing to complaining. It is easy to sing when everything is going right, but it takes faith to sing when you are suffering. The Lord tests his people in the everyday experiences of life to see whether they will obey him. God is able to change our circumstances, but God would rather change us (Philippians 4:10-13).
Third, God refreshes (Exodus 15:27). Life is not always a struggle with bitter waters and battles. The Lord brings his people to a refreshing oases from time to time and for this God’s people should praise the Lord. Nevertheless, God’s people can never claim their inheritance if they remain at the oasis. God’s people are pilgrims, not dwellers.
American preacher Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) once said, “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men and women. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks.”
That is wise counsel from Brooks. When he spoke those words to his Boston parishioners, he may have had God’s chosen people, Israel, in mind. Whenever the going got tough for the Israelites, they began grumbling, complaining and talking about returning to Egypt. It was one thing for the Israelites to stand by the Red Sea and happily sing praises to the Lord, and quite something else to trust the Lord in their daily wilderness walk. They were no different from God’s people today. Life is still a school, and the painful experiences of life teach us some of our most important spiritual lessons.
As we trace the activities of Moses and the Israelites, we learn some important truths to help us live our lives today successfully for Christ. Remember, “God always wins!”
Read Ron Purkey’s Bible Study Outlines at www.rtcol.com/purkey free on the website. Purkey has been an ordained Baptist Minister for 50 years.