2 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him – my father’s God, and I will exalt him!
3 The LORD is a warrior; Yahweh is his name!
13 With your unfailing love you lead the people you have redeemed.
17 You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain – the place, o LORD, reserved for your own dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established. The LORD will reign forever and ever!
The verses declare what our LORD has done, who He is, how He is above all others, and what He will do. It is encouraging. Now, if we only live it out. Three days later, as natural felt needs rose (they were thirsty), the default was still to trust in their natural senses. There is no water in sight. The water we found built an expectation and the sense of relief only to be disappointed once again with bitterness. The cry of the heart increase and despair sets in. How quickly we allow the externals to rob us of joy. Our God does not change.
God is so patient in our spiritual transformation journey. After leaving that place, the Israelites traveled on to the oasis of Elim. God knew where He was taking them. But on the journey, He continues to strip them of their earthly worldview, their earthly perspective and invites them along the way to see Him, trust Him, lean into Him and allow Him to be their God. For 400 years, the people lived as slaves. For us, until we encounter Christ as Lord, we live in slavery. When we are freed, we don’t know how to live free. The transformation process is a journey. In that I feel encouraged. Yet, I humbly can acknowledge as time moves, I quickly can allow my senses to discourage me and let my whining increase.
God’s desire is to be our El Rapha, the God who heals. It’s interesting that He would choose this setting to introduce this aspect of His character. Why here? God’s instructions – to listen carefully to His voice, do what is right in His sight, obey His commands, keep His decrees. Then He will not let us suffer any of the diseases He sent to the Egyptians.
God wants to be our God and us to be His people. Do I acknowledge Him as God? And not just in my word or song, but in my heart? Am I allowing the Spirit to transform me to live out ways of the Lord, that I would be known as a citizen of heaven and not a geographical place of this earth? Am I quicker to criticize my leaders, my situation based on what I don’t have or what needs I feel have become neglected? Or do I turn to God and remember who He says He is and allow the Spirit to increase my faith? Can I trust that the Lord knows the journey and what is needed for it? The Lord wants to provide, and in abundance good things. Will I listen carefully?