Todays readings.. Exodus 15, Psalm 69, Mark 3
Is there an attitude of thankfulness for all the blessings we have today? In most countries there is ample food and clothing, especially in Australia where there is an abundance of everything we could possibly require – and many things we do not need! It is such a contrast to the time we were young – during the war and for years after the awesomely destructive 1939-45 war. But now there is more than plenty of everything – how many are thankful?
We have to say that a thankful spirit is rarely seen, instead the spirit is to seek more and more, especially money – and look for someone to blame (usually the Govt) when it is lacking. This is a line of thinking that occurred to us as we read David’s 69th Psalm, written at a difficult time of his life, despairing of “those who hate me without a cause” [v.4].
David saw many who lacked any love for God and he says to God, “the reproaches of those who reproached you have fallen on me” [v.9] Parts of the Psalm become a prophecy of the experiences of his ‘greater son’ Jesus, “I looked for pity, but there was none … for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink” [v.20, 21]
Of those who showed no pity, David wrote, “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living” [v.28] and sadly that, we fear, will also be the lot of all those who do not have the spirit of thankfulness, but instead take everything, as their “right” to possess.
The Psalm starts to reach its climax as David writes, “let your salvation, O God set me on high! I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.” [v.29,30]. We saw a direct parallel to this in our Exodus reading (Ch.15) when “Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD” [v.1]. What a wonderful song of thanksgiving, “I will sing to the LORD … he has become my salvation … I will praise … exalt him.” [v.2]
Sadly, as we read on in Exodus we are going to see how the great majority failed to maintain their thankfulness and confidence in God. In v. 26 we read that the LORD said to them, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God and do that which is right in his eyes …” [v.26].
Today, we can say, if we will diligently read the word God has caused to written and preserved – and believe and live in a way that shows we believe – then – yes then, what a wonderful future will be ours. He will “magnify” us: think of the Scriptures which forecast this!
A heart stirring example is to be seen in Isaiah 55 v. 3 “Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, (read) that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.
Finally, let us specially heed v.6 “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near…” then the verses which follow – and “magnify him with thanksgiving.”