You Have Been Warned
I thank You, Lord. You are a God who knows weakness and gives me strength. You know my need and give me grace.
Read Psalm 78:1-31
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Reflect on some of the ways you have experienced God leading you and providing for your needs recently. A grateful heart can’t long be heavy or downcast.
“Blow, blow, thou winter wind, / Thou art not so unkind / As man’s ingratitude,” sang Amiens in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, reflecting that though nature may be cruel it is never as cruel as “benefits forgot” and “friend remembered not.” “Righteousness” in the Old Testament is covenant loyalty. It wasn’t a cold adherence to a strict code of conduct, but a personal, relational response to a Creator God who loves us and provides for us. The three great virtues in the Old Testament, justice, loving-kindness and mercy, spring from the character of God himself.
Behind this psalm lie the words of Deuteronomy 8 and 9. The Israelites are on the threshold of the Promised Land. Before rehearsing the Law, Moses sets it in the context of 40 years of wilderness wandering, recalling in detail God’s provision. “Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell” (Deut. 8:4). Yet they were faithless, grumbling idolaters. The wilderness was a paradigm of testing, of lessons in faithful dependence. It was a time never to be forgotten. The festivals were established so that they would remember God’s deliverance and provision. Yet they forgot, time and time again.
God is faithful. Jesus showed us what that faithfulness looks like in a life of fellowship with the Father, and obedience, even to death on the cross. He calls us into a community that remembers him. When we take Communion we remember him in his death and resurrection. Let this psalm encourage us to remember what he has done for us, both in history and in our personal lives. Let it remind us that sin is faithlessness, wounding the one who loved us and gave himself for us.
In your own words, what will you teach to your children, grandchildren or other descendants? What will you help them “remember” of God’s faithfulness?
Father, as I look back over the journey of my life, I see Your presence through all the ups and downs, the failures and victories. I am forever grateful.
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