Time After Time
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 78:32-55 | 2 Chronicles 14:1 – 16:14 | Romans 9:1-21 | Proverbs 20:1
Today’s Scripture Focus: Psalm 78:32-55
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)
How quickly we forget. The children of Israel had plenty of opportunities to learn. Time after time, they saw the faithfulness of God – his miraculous intervention. Time after time, they drifted from wholehearted devotion and proved rebellious and unfaithful.
They had seen so many miracles, yet “in spite of all this, they kept on sinning. In spite of all the wonders, they did not believe.” It all started out in simple things. They longed for the way things used to be (Egypt). They grumbled and complained at his provision for them (manna—the bread of angels, vs. 23-25). But these subtle forms of unbelief turned to ever increasing wickedness as they abandoned their covenant with God and worshiped and served created things rather than the creator. They were so quick to abandon their Deliverer for gods of their own making.
Then God would bring judgment. Taken into captivity, they would finally come to their senses again and turn and seek the Lord. But even judgment showed the mercy of God. Instead of abandoning them, he used the adverse circumstances to bring them back to himself. “Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again” (32-24). Then the cycle would repeat itself, they would drift again into unbelief and rebellion. ‘Their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful.” “Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger” (37-38).
“Again and again they put God to the test . . . They did not remember his power” (41).
The Children of Israel were so quick to forget all the wonderful answers to prayer. They so quickly forgot the wonders and miracles. Like sheep they quickly went astray. Yet in spite of all this, “He brought his people out like a flock; he led them like sheep through the desert. He guided them safely, so they were unafraid.”
We are forgetful people and our forgetfulness keeps us from trusting God fully. Is he not faithful, even when we are faithless? Is he not powerful, even when we are powerless? Is he not loving and gracious? Is he not good? He has demonstrated these qualities in our lives over and over again. Yet we so quickly forget.
Open your heart to Jesus today, and don’t forget to thank Him for the ways he has proved himself faithful time after time.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your steadfast love that is relentless, steadfast and sure. Forgive me for forgetting how faithful, merciful and gracious you are. Strengthen me by your Spirit that I might follow you in faithfulness this day and in the days to come. Amen.