¨I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket. In distress you called, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah.¨ Selah
In this psalm of praise, God recounts the history that He has with Israel. This was the people that He had called out of Egypt, delivering them from the oppression of slavery. He took the heavy burdens off their shoulders in response to their cries for salvation. The God Who thunders in the storm blew away the armies of Egypt. He powerfully saved His people.
Yet early on in their walk with God they tested Him as He forced them to trust Him. At the bittter waters of Meribah they disbelieved. Even Moses failed there by striking the rock in disobedience to God. How could they doubt the God Who had parted the sea and Who visibly led them by fire and cloud? Faith is fragile when not held close to the heart, and time and again more Meribah moments came until God had to discipline them in the exile. From there a new devotion was secured. Not until they were distressed again in a foreign land did they fully appreciate the salvation of their God.
From this history I am called to look at my heart. Where am I in my devotion to the God of my salvation? Do I put Him to the test? Do I complain about His good graces? Does one difficult circumstance throw me into doubt? I am instructed to not forget the freedom that Christ has given me, how the burden is off my shoulder by the cross that He carred and the basket was snatched from my fingers by His nail-scarred hands!