When we read The Old Testament recounts of the wanderings of God’s people, His chosen, and see how many times they fall to the worship of idols instead of God, loving the enemy instead of God and went their own way instead of following God’s perfect way…we judge. We think how could you walk miraculously on dry ground through a grand sea with the walls of waters divided just for you THEN turn right back on God, worship idols and forget God completely? How could you forget all He has done for you? How could you forget how He brought you out of slavery and bondage? How could you then turn your backs on Him? How could you forget all those times in the desert that He fed you with manna, water and quail, even when you were grumbling and whiny? How could you worship a “grass-chewing” bull?
How could you forget all the God has done, is doing and will do for you? Wait?! How could we? Do we forget? Do we go our own way? Do we forget how God saved us? In the middle of this virus of isolation, do we wander around in our own thoughts, thinking God has left us? Are we turning to idols of distraction that divide us instead of unite us with God and with each other? Are we going to let evil win our souls? How could we, after all that God has done in our past, is doing right now and will do until we see Him face to face?
Turn back to God. Be encouraged! Let us lift up our eyes to worship and adore God, thanking God, praising Him and humbly repenting of going our own way, thinking our own destructive, depressing thoughts and asking, instead, of what He wants! God created us to praise Him and love Him back. God created us for purpose and a mission. God is a God of second chances. “Still, when God saw the trouble they were in and heard their cries for help, He remembered his Covenant with them, and, immense with love, took them by the hand. He poured out his mercy on them while their captors looked on, amazed.”
But it is up to us to remember who God is and humbly bow before Him and ASK for His help. How could we? Be still, let go and know He is God. “Those who never learn, never turn to God, die in their own sin”, says the Psalmist. Turn to God, how could we live life any other way?
Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs
Psalm 106, The Message
Thank God! And why?
Because he’s good, because his love lasts.
But who on earth can do it—
declaim God’s mighty acts, broadcast all his praises?
You’re one happy man when you do what’s right,
one happy woman when you form the habit of justice.
4-5 Remember me, God, when you enjoy your people;
include me when you save them;
I want to see your chosen succeed,
celebrate with your celebrating nation,
join the Hallelujahs of your pride and joy!
6-12 We’ve sinned a lot, both we and our parents;
We’ve fallen short, hurt a lot of people.
After our parents left Egypt,
they took your wonders for granted,
forgot your great and wonderful love.
They were barely beyond the Red Sea
when they defied the High God
—the very place he saved them!
—the place he revealed his amazing power!
He rebuked the Red Sea so that it dried up on the spot
—he paraded them right through!
—no one so much as got wet feet!
He saved them from a life of oppression,
pried them loose from the grip of the enemy.
Then the waters flowed back on their oppressors;
there wasn’t a single survivor.
Then they believed his words were true
and broke out in songs of praise.
13-18 But it wasn’t long before they forgot the whole thing,
wouldn’t wait to be told what to do.
They only cared about pleasing themselves in that desert,
provoked God with their insistent demands.
He gave them exactly what they asked for—
but along with it they got an empty heart.
One day in camp some grew jealous of Moses,
also of Aaron, holy priest of God.
The ground opened and swallowed Dathan,
then buried Abiram’s gang.
Fire flared against that rebel crew
and torched them to a cinder.
19-22 They cast in metal a bull calf at Horeb
and worshiped the statue they’d made.
They traded the Glory
for a cheap piece of sculpture—a grass-chewing bull!
They forgot God, their very own Savior,
who turned things around in Egypt,
Who created a world of wonders in the Land of Ham,
who gave that stunning performance at the Red Sea.
23-27 Fed up, God decided to get rid of them—
and except for Moses, his chosen, he would have.
But Moses stood in the gap and deflected God’s anger,
prevented it from destroying them utterly.
They went on to reject the Blessed Land,
didn’t believe a word of what God promised.
They found fault with the life they had
and turned a deaf ear to God’s voice.
Exasperated, God swore
that he’d lay them low in the desert,
Scattering their children here and there,
strewing them all over the earth.
28-31 Then they linked up with Baal Peor,
attending funeral banquets and eating idol food.
That made God so angry
that a plague spread through their ranks;
Phinehas stood up and pled their case
and the plague was stopped.
This was counted to his credit;
his descendants will never forget it.
32-33 They angered God again at Meribah Springs;
this time Moses got mixed up in their evil;
Because they defied God yet again,
Moses exploded and lost his temper.
34-39 They didn’t wipe out those godless cultures
as ordered by God;
Instead they intermarried with the heathen,
and in time became just like them.
They worshiped their idols,
were caught in the trap of idols.
They sacrificed their sons and daughters
at the altars of demon gods.
They slit the throats of their babies,
murdered their infant girls and boys.
They offered their babies to Canaan’s gods;
the blood of their babies stained the land.
Their way of life reeked;
they lived like prostitutes.
40-43 And God was furious—a wildfire anger;
he couldn’t stand even to look at his people.
He turned them over to the heathen
so that the people who hated them ruled them.
Their enemies made life hard for them;
they were tyrannized under that rule.
Over and over God rescued them, but they never learned—
until finally their sins destroyed them.
44-46 Still, when God saw the trouble they were in
and heard their cries for help,
He remembered his Covenant with them,
and, immense with love, took them by the hand.
He poured out his mercy on them
while their captors looked on, amazed.
47-48 Save us, God, our God!
Gather us back out of exile
So we can give thanks to your holy name
and join in the glory when you are praised!
Blessed be God, Israel’s God!
Bless now, bless always!
Oh! Let everyone say Amen!
TRUTH: “Still, when God saw the trouble they were in and heard their cries for help,
He remembered his Covenant with them, and, immense with love, took them by the hand. He poured out his mercy on them. The New Covenant is Jesus who paid the debt of our sin. Believe on Him and be saved for eternity.
Proverb 30:4-6, The Message
I see no evidence of a holy God.
Has anyone ever seen Anyone
climb into Heaven and take charge?
grab the winds and control them?
gather the rains in his bucket?
stake out the ends of the earth?
Just tell me his name, tell me the names of his sons.
Come on now—tell me!”
5-6 The believer replied, “Every promise of God proves true;
he protects everyone who runs to him for help.
So don’t second-guess him;
he might take you to task and show up your lies.”
WISDOM: Know God. Know God keeps his promises.
Great are you, Lord! You keep your promises to us. You love us, and because you do, you correct us and the way we are going. You want the best for us. Help us to hear your voice above all others and follow you.In Jesus Name, Amen