Responding to God’s Mercy

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Then the people of Israel were convinced that the LORD had sent Moses and Aaron. When they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

Exodus 4:31

When Moses returned to Egypt with his brother Aaron as his communications director, he called together the elders of Israel. Aaron reported on all that the Lord had said to Moses, and Moses backed up this message with the miracles God had promised to do through him. This convinced the Israelites that God was truly on their side, and that he would soon deliver them from their bondage in Egypt.

How did the Israelites respond to this news? Did they shout and cheer? Did they throw a big party? No. Exodus 4:31 says “they bowed down and worshiped.” In Hebrew, the verb translated here as “bowed down” and the verb translated as “worshiped” mean basically the same thing. They both describe the action of bending down in submission to a sovereign.

There is poignant irony in the bowing of the Israelites before the Lord as they realize that he will soon deliver them. For generations they had surely bowed before their harsh masters, and most of all before the Egyptian Pharaoh. They did this, not because they chose to, not because of any sense of loyalty or gratitude, but in order to stay alive. They were all too familiar with the posture of submission and felt the sting of shame when they offered it.

But when the Israelites learned that God had remembered them, when they heard the great news of their pending deliverance, they bowed in worship, not because they had to, but because they wanted to. It seemed only appropriate to offer their lives to such a merciful savior.

And so it is with us. The more we take to heart what God has done for us in Christ, the more we will offer our lives to him in a free, grateful response. We may or may not literally bow before God. But we will do what bowing once conveyed, offering God our full allegiance and our willing servanthood. This is the heart of worship, the full and free giving of ourselves to God.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you ever experienced something similar to what we read in Exodus 4:29-31? When? How do you communicate to God your dedication and submission to him?

PRAYER: O Lord, my Savior, what can I offer to you in response to all that you have given to me? Yes, I can give you thanks, and indeed I should. Yes, I can offer praise, and this is surely fitting. But, beyond these, the best response I can make to your gracious salvation is the offering of myself, all that I am. Today I give myself to you once again, heart, soul, mind, strength. I offer you my thoughts and dreams, my days and nights. May I live for you, ever and always. In the timeless words of Frances Havergal, I pray:

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.


“Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrate” by Frances R. Havergal, 1874.