Why I Worship Sarah Detweiler
July 17, 2018
The story of Exodus has recently become one of wonder and awe to me. We get a lot of narrative in the first eleven chapters of the book! We learn that God’s chosen people have been enslaved by the Egyptian Pharaoh, we meet an Israelite man named Moses who is living in Pharaoh’s household, and travel through a significant portion of his life-story. The narrative culminates in his affirmative response to God’s call to be the vehicle of Israel’s rescue from their bondage. This is accomplished with miracles you’d never expect and the active hand of a powerful God who is jealous over His people. If you haven’t read this story before now is definitely the time to check it out!
We find the set-up to the climax of the story in Exodus 12 when Moses tells the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb and paint their doorposts with its blood so that the LORD will pass over their homes in His final plague on Egypt. The Israelites do as they are commanded and their firstborn sons are spared the judgement that claims the lives of many, many Egyptian boys. This plague compels Pharoah to release the Israelites from their enslavement, and as Israel prepares for their freedom from captivity God demands that they institute a yearly celebration of the Passover meal.
“You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever.” - Exodus 12:24
Why? Why is this celebration so important that God gives them the instruction even before they step foot out of Egypt? I think the answer lies in the very beginning of Exodus 13:
“Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the LORD brought you out from this place.” - Exodus 13:3
God knows His people. He knows they will be quick to forget Him and His power. So He commands them to actively remember what He’s done by celebrating with a meal every year. Look at Israel’s response to this remembrance!
“And the people bowed their heads and worshiped.” - Exodus 12:27
There is a direct link between remembering who God is and what He’s done and our worship of Him! If you’re not convinced just jump a couple chapters to Exodus 15. Almost the entire chapter is a SONG detailing Israel’s deliverance by the LORD’s hand.
You and I are exactly like Israel. We have been released from the captivity of our sin through the power of the cross of Jesus Christ and WE FORGET ALL THE TIME how marvelous and miraculous and powerful of an act it was that freed us. We desperately need to remember the provider and means of our salvation.
Singing, praying, and reading Scripture among so many others things can be both the conduits of our remembrance and the worshipful response of our remembrance. I sing because I need to remember and I remember because I need to sing. The vehicle of it and order in which we experience it may change, but it’s ultimately remembrance that leads us to worship.
I worship because when I remember what God has done for me in spite of me I cannot do anything else. Where does your remembrance lead you? My prayer is that you would be led, just like the Israelites in Exodus 15, to the glorification and praise of our all-powerful God.
I sing because I need to remember and I remember because I need to sing. - Sarah Detweiler