Scriptures for today
- Psalm 95
- Psalm 128
- Exodus 16:1-8
- Isaiah 65:17-25
- Romans 4:6-13
Psalm 95 and Exodus 16: 1-8 both call us to gratitude to our God. There are two reasons for gratitude.
One is in the litany of praises regarding the great works God has done, “The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land”. The second is his willingness to care for us, “we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care”.
In Exodus, we see this same care in God’s willingness to provide the Israelites with bread despite their grumbling; “I will rain down bread from heaven for you”.
The great riches of this earth, to which we are privy, should never be taken as an entitlement, but rather are the bounty for which we should sing great praises of gratitude. God’s willingness to provide for us is another gift for which we sometimes feel entitlement, or we fail to acknowledge what has been done for us. Perhaps the phrase in Psalm 95, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts,” refers to our inability, at times, to recall what God has done for us, and instead, harden our hearts to look only at what we do not have.
I wonder if sometimes as we become engrossed in our life challenges and focus inward on the pain and suffering of these trials, we become like the Israelites in the Exodus story, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted…”. We forget the wondrous things which have been done for us. It is not just forgetting what has been done for us, but forgetting to look for the light in a dark situation, or as I am currently trying to say in tough times “…on the upside”.
In the final analysis, I think there is much gain (problems become more solvable) in listening for God’s voice with open hearts, i.e. looking for the light and the positive in situations (gratitude) rather than grumbling, as the Israelites did. ♥
by Ellen Lang