Learning from History
Lord, help me to remember Your works and to be faithful to You in all my ways.
Read Psalm 106:1-48
 Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the LORD or fully declare his praise?  Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right.  Remember me, LORD, when you show favor to your people, come to my aid when you save them,  that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may share in the joy of your nation and join your inheritance in giving praise.  We have sinned, even as our ancestors did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly.  When our ancestors were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles; they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea.  Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, to make his mighty power known.  He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up; he led them through the depths as through a desert.  He saved them from the hand of the foe; from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them.  The waters covered their adversaries; not one of them survived.  Then they believed his promises and sang his praise.  But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold.  In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wilderness they put God to the test.  So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease among them.  In the camp they grew envious of Moses and of Aaron, who was consecrated to the LORD.  The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan; it buried the company of Abiram.  Fire blazed among their followers; a flame consumed the wicked.  At Horeb they made a calf and worshiped an idol cast from metal.  They exchanged their glorious God for an image of a bull, which eats grass.  They forgot the God who saved them, who had done great things in Egypt,  miracles in the land of Ham and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.  So he said he would destroy them- had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them.  Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe his promise.  They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the LORD.  So he swore to them with uplifted hand that he would make them fall in the wilderness,  make their descendants fall among the nations and scatter them throughout the lands.  They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods;  they aroused the LORD’s anger by their wicked deeds, and a plague broke out among them.  But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked.  This was credited to him as righteousness for endless generations to come.  By the waters of Meribah they angered the LORD, and trouble came to Moses because of them;  for they rebelled against the Spirit of God, and rash words came from Moses’ lips.  They did not destroy the peoples as the LORD had commanded them,  but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs.  They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them.  They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to false gods.  They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood.  They defiled themselves by what they did; by their deeds they prostituted themselves.  Therefore the LORD was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance.  He gave them into the hands of the nations, and their foes ruled over them.  Their enemies oppressed them and subjected them to their power.  Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin.  Yet he took note of their distress when he heard their cry;  for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented.  He caused all who held them captive to show them mercy.  Save us, LORD our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.  Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat do we learn as we recount God's ways?
What is your attitude to history? Do you find it boring? Actually, those who do not learn the lessons of the past are condemned to make the same ones again! So what can we learn from this account of Israel’s history? First, we see the people’s forgetfulness of all God’s great acts for them (7,13,21). God saved them for the sake of his own reputation (8) and his faithfulness to his promises (12). But the people continue to show rebellion, putting God to the test (14), envying his appointed leaders (16), worshiping idols (19-23), and despising the Promised Land (24). God’s righteous judgment resulted in them dying in the desert (26,29), just as their descendants were scattered into captivity (27). Even when the land was conquered, the people defiled it by their idolatry (34-39). Eventually, despite God’s loving deliverance of them on many occasions, they were finally exiled (40-46). So what should we learn? Be like Phinehas who stood out from the crowd (30,31). And above all, we should learn the folly of sin and rebellion, and determine to live as a people who will “glory in your praise” (47).
Record significant times when God has intervened in your life. Praise him for his steadfast love and faithfulness.
Lord, help me to be one who stands up and remains faithful to You. Be honored in my life, my family and my church.