It always amazes me that the Israelites respond this way after seeing the great works and power of God:
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
If we aren’t careful though, I think we all can easily lose the awe and reverence for God that He so richly deserves. We all have been witness to the great and mighty things God has done, but we can quickly forget all of it if we don’t take the proper precautions. The Bible is an amazing tool to continually remind us of just how worthy God is of our praise, reverence and adoration and just how fallible our hearts are. As noted in, Hebrews 4:12:
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
His word keeps our hearts in check. If we are missing that frequent interaction with it, our hearts can wander astray. We read in Matthew 13:15: “For this people’s heart has grown callous; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn, and I would heal them.”
Romans 1:21 also speaks to the dark turn that our hearts can take, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and darkened in their foolish hearts.”
A number of years ago, I was introduced to an acronym that helps us with prioritizing our prayer and approaching God in a manner that is worthy of Him: A.C.T.S. I don’t quite remember the source of this acronym, but it has always stuck with me. The “A” is for adoration and reminds us first and foremost to adore God. “C” is for confession and reminds us to confess our sins before God and repent. “T” is for Thanksgiving and reminds us to give thanks to God. The “S” is for Supplication and reminds us to ask God about whatever is on our hearts (praying for a need for others or ourselves). Oftentimes our prayers can get very out of balance and are simply reduced to an act of supplication. The God of the universe deserves so much more from us. We are reminded from this week’s readings that God hears our cries and cares about us; however, that should not be the sole focus of our prayers.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- Do you consistently give God the praise, glory, adoration and thanksgiving that He so richly deserves? If not, what are some steps you could take today to change that?
- How is your prayer life? Do you find that you sometimes bypass the important part of prayer where you get a chance to adore God and just go straight to the asking? Why not create a challenge for a week to see if you can start out each day with a praise to God when you wake up?
Next up – Exodus 20