June 28, 2016
Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: 1 Kings 17-19
Old Testament Only: 2 Chronicles 7–9
New Testament Only: Acts 3:11–26
Today’s Passage: Psalms 75-78
When God lead Israel out of Egypt and to the Promised Land there was an interval of over 40 years between being set free and arrival at their destination. I have always viewed this story as an allegory for the journey of all believers. Please don’t get me wrong. That is not all the story of the Exodus is about. It is not just an allegory. It is much more; history at the least. Still one can see in that story the walk of all believers. We are saved by the blood of the lamb which covers the entranceway to our hearts. Having received that salvation, we are to follow our Lord to the Promised Land. How do we behave on that journey?
Again, the Israelites illustrate how many of us behave on this journey. In Psalm 78 we hear a sort of retelling of this journey. Do you remember how they grumbled against God while they wandered in the desert?
Psalm 78:17-20 ESV
“Yet they sinned still more against him,
rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
They tested God in their heart
by demanding the food they craved.
They spoke against God, saying,
“Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
He struck the rock so that water gushed out
and streams overflowed.
Can he also give bread
or provide meat for his people?”
God sustained the Israelites as they struggled toward the Promised Land. He went with them, guided them, protected them, and provided for them. Evidently, that wasn’t enough. Think about it. God fought their battles for them. He physically stayed with them and guided them. He provided bread, manna from heaven, and meat, quail, from the sky; He made water pour forth from rocks and it wasn’t enough. They still grumbled against God.
How do you and I view God? Has He not saved your eternal soul? Is He not with you residing within your heart? Do you not eat and do you not drink? He went and died on the cross in your place; is it not enough? “Oh, God give me this. God, please give me that.” “Why does God allow this to happen or that to happen?” Come on; admit it; every once in a while you grumble. That is certainly human. Human or not, however, it is wrong. I’ve shared this analogy before. My daughter is a very blessed child. When she was little, she had shelves of books, a house full of toys, drawing materials, DVDs, computer games, a couple Nintendo’s, and a million stuffed animals. Yet every once in a while she would come to me and tell me she was board. She would beg for more and give me a very hard time when I say no.
What she had was taken for granted and the blessings she had were never enough. Do you know what makes her grateful? When I let her have it; when things were taken away from her she suddenly realized how good she’s had it. I’m afraid that is often the case for you and me where God’s blessings are concerned.
Psalms 78:32-34 ESV
“In spite of all this, they still sinned;
despite his wonders, they did not believe.
So he made their days vanish like a breath,
and their years in terror.
When he killed them, they sought him;
they repented and sought God earnestly.”