“Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!” Israel had the great privilege of testifying about the glory of God to all the nations of the world. Wherever they might find themselves in their travels throughout the earth, if they gathered together to sing to the Lord and to hear His Word, their message might be heard and believed by others.
God commanded Israel to worship Him. Their songs of praise and petitions for help were also good for their own souls. “Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!” They were to “seek His presence continually,” and to remember His wondrous works, His miracles, and His judgments. As they did this, others around them would hear about the Lord.
The God of Israel was a covenant-keeping God. He had made promises so long ago to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He had kept His Word and had given the land of Canaan to their descendants. Though they were a wandering people and few in number, the Lord protected them as His “anointed ones.”
The Lord had sent Jacob’s son, Joseph, into Egypt. Through the suffering of this one son the Lord would achieve a very gracious purpose. Joseph would eventually win the favor of Pharaoh and would be instrumental in saving the lives of many thousands during a time of severe famine.
In the course of time the people of Israel were very fruitful in the land of Egypt. After Joseph was long forgotten, the descendants of Jacob were then enslaved and oppressed by their captors. The Lord provided for their deliverance through Moses and Aaron. God worked miracles right before the eyes of the Egyptians through these two men. God demonstrated His sovereign commitment of love for Israel in mighty judgments culminating in the death of so many of the firstborn of Egypt.
The Almighty continued to provide for His chosen ones during their years in the wilderness. He gave them food and drink in the desert. He eventually brought their children into the Promised Land. He did this so that “they might keep his statutes and observe his laws.” The Lord had chosen Israel to be a holy people who might live out before a watching world the wonder of covenant faithfulness.
These great works of God were worthy of Israel’s joyful praise. How much more should the church throughout the world praise the Lord! Though Israel failed to keep God’s Law, God has provided a perfectly obedient Messiah who gave His life to free us from the bondage of death. The church has been to sent to the far reaches of the earth to fulfill His mandate that He gave to Israel so long ago. It is a great joy for us to worship the Lord and to tell of His glorious deeds among all of the nations of the world.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Glorious Lord of All, we worship You and give You thanks. It is wonderful to sing to You. We seek You and we remember what You have done. Your judgments are wise. You keep all Your promises. You made a covenant with us in Christ, and You are fulfilling that good plan in great ways. You have announced news of a future age through Your prophets. So much has already come to pass, and yet much more is still ahead of us. We marvel at Your works in gathering a people for the glory of Your Name. Even today You continue to rescue us from the sin that distracts and ensnares us. You bring us out of danger and cause us to trust again in Your Son. Be with us as we go through this life. We are looking forward to the coming age of glory. May we keep Your Son’s commandments as we wait for the day of His return.