August 13, 2021
Scripture: They tested God again and again and provoked the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember his power or the day when he redeemed them from the foe, Psalm 78:41-42 ESV
Observation: As customary for a maskil (a wisdom psalm), Asaph, one of three assigned singers to the temple during David’s reign, begins his psalm with a call to listen carefully to his words. Recounting Israel’s reckless history under Moses’ and the judges’ leadership, Asaph emphasizes their propensity to test God through their rebellious acts due to short-term memory. How quickly Yahweh’s chosen people would stray when they failed to recount his redemptive might that had delivered them from ruin. How quickly the Lord’s beloved would violate his merciful and holy laws when they had sought pleasures to the eye according to the ways of their pagan neighbors. Time and again, when Israel lost sight of their gracious God, they had first lost sight of his written words. The small number of good kings who followed David would discover and read aloud the Torah to lead the nation to repentance and back to God.
Takeaway: Read and remember. For Israel, what appeared to be freedom from God’s restrictive laws proved to be enslavement to the consequences of their sins. It is the same for us. But when we regularly read and reflect on Scripture, the Holy Spirit will use God’s word to help us recall how he has rescued us from past trials. And he will remind us of how we need to move forward under the protection of the Father and Son’s lifesaving commands.
Prayer: Through the help of your Holy Spirit, Father God, help us to read Scripture consistently and take the time to remember how you have rescued and redeemed us. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling