Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's raining meat

Nope, it isn't The Weather Girls. I actually have Psalm 78 on my mind. He rained meat down on them like dust, flying birds like sand on the seashore. (verse 27)

I discovered this psalm a few years ago. I suppose I had read it plenty of times, but never paid much attention. But one day while reading it, the truth of God's faithfulness and the tragedy of the human condition struck me at the same time.

There are so many years of history packed into this one psalm that if you stop to remember each event, you go through a roller coaster of emotions.

First, there is the promise of the people to never forget God's deeds. read more/-

We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
his power, and the wonders he has done. (v.4)

But that didn't last very long...

They forgot what he had done,
the wonders he had shown them. (v.11)

They continued to sin (v. 17) and tested God, displaying their unbelief.

When the LORD heard them, he was very angry;
his fire broke out against Jacob,
and his wrath rose against Israel,

for they did not believe in God
or trust in his deliverance. (v.21, 22)

It was around this time that they got the meat they had been longing for (see beginning of post). Then, even when God punished them for their gluttony, they still didn't believe.

In spite of all this, they kept on sinning;
in spite of his wonders, they did not believe. (v.32)

And so the cycle continued...

Whenever God slew them, they would seek him;
they eagerly turned to him again.

They remembered that God was their Rock,
that God Most High was their Redeemer. (v.34, 35)

And then, after some time of trusting in Him...

Again and again they put God to the test;
they vexed the Holy One of Israel.

They did not remember his power—
the day he redeemed them from the oppressor, (v. 41, 42)

It's so baffling to read, and at the same time it makes so much sense. We are in need of God. As we begin to forget, and stray from His path, we sooner or later run into trouble that makes us run to Him again. And He is merciful to welcome us back.

A lot of times in life we use the excuse "I forget" or "I don't know." We make our mistakes sound more passive than they are. But the thing is that even the absence of a right action or a right thought counts as wrong.

"Forgetting" God leads to sin! But remembering won't come automatically. We have to take steps to make sure it happens.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. (Deut. 11:18-21)

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