Last Sunday, we learnt how the children of Israel under the leadership of Gideon managed and responded to God, when He restored them from their bondage to the Midianites. Unfortunately, their response was inappropriate.For us, this year was declared as the year of our Divine Restoration, and without any iota of doubt; we have all experienced His restoration - in our lives, homes, businesses, studies and in other areas of our lives. God has indeed proved to us that He is our Restorer.
How then should we respond to Him for the work of restoration He has done in our lives? This is very important especially as we come to the last Sunday in November, our month of thanksgiving, and come gradually to the end of the year, looking forward to a new year. Let us see from our text how the children of Israel responded to God’s restoration and learn how we should also respond to Him.
The children of Israel had just returned from exile in Babylon where they had served as slaves for 70 years. When God eventually restored them, it was like a sweet dream to them, too good to be true. It was as if they were dreaming. Therefore, they responded to God joyfully, the one who has been their Restorer. Let us see their response.
They acknowledged God as the restorer (vv.1 & 3a) - The children of Israel did not attribute their restoration to anyone or to themselves – either their human efforts or ingenuity, rather, they saw God as the one who had restored them and set them free from their captivity. Do you see God as the one who has restored you? Do you acknowledge Him as your benefactor?
They celebrated with laughter (v.2a) – The children of Israel not only acknowledged God as their benefactor but also laughed. Their mouths were filled with laughter. They laughed in appreciation of God’s victory, God’s goodness and God’s faithfulness. It was not the time to murmur or remember the number of years they had spent in captivity but to laugh and celebrate the restoration, which God had worked for them. Many people find it difficult to appreciate God because they are looking at the dark side of life; they are allowing the devil to remind them of the number of days they had spent in pains, the money they spent on medication forgetting that if not for God, healing, victory would not have come.
They sang with joy to God (v.2b) - The children of Israel sang a song of victory, a song of joy and a song of praise to the Lord. They knew the Lord deserved the praise, the honour and the glory. He had restored their fortune; therefore, they must joyfully sing His praise.
They testified of God’s goodness (v.3b) – Though, the people around had testified of God’s wonderful dealings and restoration in the lives of the children of Israel, the children of Israel were not left out. They themselves gave a testimony of God’s wonderful dealings to them and in their lives.
They expressed their trust in the Lord (v.4) – It is not enough to celebrate God as the God of restoration, we must also continue to put our trust in Him. How will you respond to Him for all that He has done for you? What is your response to Him this morning?