In The Word
Read: Psalm 78:40-72
40 How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness
And grieved Him in the desert!
41 Again and again they tempted God,
And pained the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember His power,
The day when He redeemed them from the adversary,
43 When He performed His signs in Egypt
And His marvels in the field of Zoan,
44 And turned their rivers to blood,
And their streams, they could not drink.
45 He sent among them swarms of flies which devoured them,
And frogs which destroyed them.
46 He gave also their crops to the grasshopper
And the product of their labor to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hailstones
And their sycamore trees with frost.
48 He gave over their cattle also to the hailstones
And their herds to bolts of lightning.
49 He sent upon them His burning anger,
Fury and indignation and trouble,
A band of destroying angels.
50 He leveled a path for His anger;
He did not spare their soul from death,
But gave over their life to the plague,
51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt,
The first issue of their virility in the tents of Ham.
52 But He led forth His own people like sheep
And guided them in the wilderness like a flock;
53 He led them safely, so that they did not fear;
But the sea engulfed their enemies.
54 So He brought them to His holy land,
To this hill country which His right hand had gained.
55 He also drove out the nations before them
And apportioned them for an inheritance by measurement,
And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.
56 Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God
And did not keep His testimonies,
57 But turned back and acted treacherously like their fathers;
They turned aside like a treacherous bow.
58 For they provoked Him with their high places
And aroused His jealousy with their graven images.
59 When God heard, He was filled with wrath
And greatly abhorred Israel;
60 So that He abandoned the dwelling place at Shiloh,
The tent which He had pitched among men,
61 And gave up His strength to captivity
And His glory into the hand of the adversary.
62 He also delivered His people to the sword,
And was filled with wrath at His inheritance.
63 Fire devoured His young men,
And His virgins had no wedding songs.
64 His priests fell by the sword,
And His widows could not weep.
65 Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep,
Like a warrior overcome by wine.
66 He drove His adversaries backward;
He put on them an everlasting reproach.
67 He also rejected the tent of Joseph,
And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 But chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion which He loved.
69 And He built His sanctuary like the heights,
Like the earth which He has founded forever.
70 He also chose David His servant
And took him from the sheepfolds;
71 From the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him
To shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance.
72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,
And guided them with his skillful hands.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
The psalmist lamented the sins of the Israelites after they were delivered from slavery in Egypt. They failed to remember God’s mighty power in bringing plagues upon Egypt and bringing them safely through the Red Sea. They forgot how He provided for them in the desert and brought them to the bountiful Promised Land. They rebelled against God by worshipping false gods, even though He had driven out their enemies. So God punished Israel for their unfaithfulness and let them fall captive into the hands of their enemies. Yahweh even abandoned His tabernacle that was meant to contain His presence. Yet God was faithful by rescuing them and giving them King David as a good ruler.
When the Israelites suffered the consequences from their repeated rebellion, they would turn to God, and God was merciful. God always helped them. Yet they chose not to remember God’s mercy and chose not to be faithful to Him in love. It seemed they just wanted God to be there when they were in desperate need, but not to develop a relationship with Him. God wanted their love and devotion.
God has put the account of the Israelites in His Word so that we do not make the same mistakes. Instead of merely using God when we have a need or a problem, we can love and know God in a deep relationship. Which describes you better: running to God only when you need something or running to the Father daily to have a loving relationship with Him? Choose the relationship!