“Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses—-an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the Lord burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings.” (1st Kings1:36–37)
The people of His promise stood symbolically between two important mountains to worship and give thanks, to hear the law read, and to affirm that they would follow God’s revealed words and purposes.
This altar was built in gratitude for the defeat of Ai. Humbly setting up a place of worship as a memorial to God’s actions is a way of expressing a prayer of gratitude.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, here we have a prayer of thanksgiving and the Israelites built an altar at Mount Ebal, to affirm God’s intervention and the people, without any iron tools, built the altar to sacrifice burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings, while Joshua read the Law of Moses to the people; thereby renewing their covenant with God. Beloved, this should be one of our regular prayers to God, for the many blessings we received by His intervention on our behalf. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“If you want to soar with the eagles in the morning, you can’t hoot with the owls all night.”
“In that day you will say: ‘I will praise you, O Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation. I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In that day you will say: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.’” (Isaiah12:1–6)
The preceding three chapter spoke of deliverance with strong messianic implications. Isaiah provided a psalm of thanks for the people to sing when God fulfills His promises. Praise is he language of he day of the Lord. Praise will be the agenda on God’s day of salvation.
Hebrew maidens sang as they drew water from their life giving wells, for these words fit well in the messianic picture of Chapter 11, These words find their deepest fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the Water of life; the living water in God’s well of salvation can never be exhausted. When we realize all the glorious things He has done, we want to make it known in all the earth.
“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians5:19-20)
Music played a strong role in the worship of the early church. Praise and thanksgiving were expressed via music. The early church learned to worship God with thanksgiving for everything. A grateful heart is necessary for worship.
Not all prayer is spoken; singing is a high communication to the Lord and should be done from the heart. Pauline injunctions to thank God in all things: “pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances.” God’s will is that we gratefully acknowledge His hand in all circumstances, not for all circumstances. Circumstances change; God does not. The Christian has an obligation to remain aware of God’s goodness regardless of appearances. Continuous prayer involves an attitude of openness to God in all situations and a practice of talking to God about all situations.
Second Thought of the Day:
“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; for this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (Luke22:19–20)
The shared Passover concluded with Jesus’s revelations that bread and cup represented His body and blood, symbols of the gift He offered by His willingness to die for all. Connecting His own life and death with the Jewish meal of a sacrifice Lamb,
Although the Passover meal required separate prayers for the elements, the prayers in Mark 8:6-7 indicate that Jesus’ attitude was of blessing and gratitude throughout the meal.