I have a cousin who is a few years younger than me. She was one of those really cute toddlers. I remember her about age 3 being terrified of her aunt’s cat. The feline in question was quite gentle, and not really interested in this tiny human, but if the cat appeared anywhere in her vicinity, my cousin would back off fast reciting, “Pussy won’t touch! Pussy won’t touch!” She had been told counteless times that the cat would not harm her, but the penny had not dropped. So while her mouth reiterated the phrase, my cousin’s actions were to run away.
In Genesis 33:18-20, Jacob made himself a new home in Shechem. It seems to me he should have been going on to Bethel, but stopped short in this place that felt safe. God had given him the new name of ‘Israel’ – because he was an ‘overcomer’. Some overcomer! He’d cheated on his brother even after he’d forgiven him for past grievances, and lied to him to give him the slip. Now he had settled for less in the midst of pagans, trading obedience for apparent security.
In that place, he set up an altar proclaiming, “Mighty is the God of Israel!” But he was not behaving as though he was ‘Israel the overcomer’ and he was not behaving as though God was mighty. Like my little cousin, he was saying the words, but not believing them.
But that is an awsome challenge. Our worship songs, and the words that come from our own mouths in praise or prayer may speak of the power of our Almighty God. How do our lives hold up when health, career, finances or romance don’t go to plan? It’s easy to sing, but do we really wait on God, draw strength from him, trust him when we can’t see the outcome? Choose a song, any song that you’ve sung in church with gusto. Check out the words on a wet weary Wednesday…and live like you believe it!