You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.
Reflection by Duke Yaguchi
This passage makes a specific reference to a battle where the Lord vanquished Israel's foes. Israel's army was armed with clay pots, torches and trumpets. It was obvious that God's hand was at work.
Israel had a series of miracles and mutterings. People would vacillate between being saved and complaining to God. It would be all too easy to point a finger at the Israelites for being such weak believers.
Yet, I think this is part of the human condition. As things go well, our expectations rise, and we grumble when things don't go our way. Then when things are bad, we are thankful when things go well. It is as if wherever we are in life, we expect that condition to continue. How many ups and downs must we experience before we realize that there will always be ups and downs?
Like a roller coaster ride, where we go up a long and steep incline, we marvel at the view. We take in the scenery at the top. But when we begin our plunge, we are overcome with fright and fear.
I'm not advocating that we don't enjoy the good times. I'm not advocating that we live with constant fear of impending doom. But perhaps if we trusted God a little more, we would know that the plunges we take are temporary. God is with us, for the entire ride, the ups and the downs. So, shouldn't we celebrate that?