Not just the Red Sea



April 27, 2012, 10:35 AM

“You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us … they are more than can be told” (Psalm 40:5).

Scripture often urges us to remember God’s “wondrous deeds,” and my mind goes directly—and exclusively—to the famous and oft-repeated deeds of God that church tradition and Cecil B. DeMille have made famous: the parting of the Red Sea, the giving of the Ten Commandments, and the conquest of the Promised Land.

These are most wonderful deeds indeed. But Satan, in his craftiness, can use even my knee-jerk association of a phrase. (He is not called the “angel of light” for nothing.) He can make me so fixed and rigid in my thinking that my only “file” on God’s “wondrous deeds” is the deeds He did 2,000 to 3,000 years ago. While it is fitting to praise God for actions performed centuries before I was born, it is not glorifying to God to think that these are the last wondrous things He ever did, and that He has ceased being wonderful.

Moreover, it is not good for me to think that way. It locks my mind in a petrified armor that keeps me from observing all the wondrous deeds God has done in my own short history on this planet. Each of us has a history with God, and after a few decades you can see His ways in your life if you trouble yourself to look—the  many “coincidences,” the many protections and gifts and deliverances.

The psalmist says God’s “wondrous deeds” are “more than can be told.” That statement is proof that He does not mean us to keep recycling only the same traditional “wondrous deeds” but to keep track of the uncountable “wondrous deeds” God has done in our own lives.

What would Satan stand to gain by derailing us from this wholesome line of thinking? The answer is obvious. If we do not recognize God’s personal hand in our lives for what it is—if we relegate all the things that have happened to us over the years to “Life” and not to God’s intimate dealings—then we do not praise Him for it, and that diminishes us spiritually. Secondly, we do not derive the hope from these memories that we are meant to derive for our strengthening.

Next time you hear in a sermon or a worship song that we should praise God for his “wonderful deeds,” spend a second thinking of the Red Sea, if you will, and of the Cross and Resurrection. But spend the next few minutes thinking of your own autobiography, and of what God has done for you.