This morning the appointed psalm for the Daily Office was Psalm 78, a rather lengthy account of God’s mighty acts in delivering Israel out of bondage from Egypt and bringing his people to the land He promised them. In that regard, Psalm 78 is a magnificent account of God’s mighty act of redemption and power, an act that will be fulfilled ultimately when He comes again in glory to finish His restorative and redemptive work.
But Psalm 78 is also a heartbreaking story because it recalls Israel’s persistent rebellion and sin against God, even in the face of His mighty acts. Yet it more than just a story of Israel’s rebellion lest we twist it into some perverted story that appeals to anti-Semitism.
Psalm 78 is our story, the human race’s story, and we must pay attention to it.
Sadly, it is part of my life’s story and it is increasingly the story of this nation’s life. When I forget all that God has done for me or get fat and sassy when my life is going well, I am most likely to fall into sin and rebellion. The writer of Deuteronomy knows our human condition too, because he writes the following:
Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
—Deuteronomy 8:11-18 (TNIV)
This sums up the tragedy of the human condition quite succinctly. God created us to have fellowship with Him and with each other, and it is only in Him that we can truly have life and be equipped to handle all that happens to us in this broken and fallen world in which we live. Yet we consistently ignore God’s warnings and admonishments or misinterpret them to paint God as some angry and vengeful Being unworthy of our worship, love, and devotion. How terribly, terribly sad and heartbreaking for us all.
The psalmist repeatedly admonishes us to remember God’s mighty acts so that we do not forget Who He is and all that He has done and is doing for us.
That is why it is so important for us to remember the “God moments” in our lives, the very times when God made His presence unmistakably known to us, so that we do not forget Him and fall back into sin and rebellion.
Remembering God moments is one of the best things we can do to help us guard against our human condition. God moments are best shared with others so that we remember we are not living life alone, especially when our lives get messy. That’s what the Evil One wants us to believe and if we are not careful, he will surely pick us off one by one, preying on our broken and fallen nature. Resist that with all your might and ask the Lord to help you in doing so.
What are your God moments and with whom are you sharing them?