There are times when you read Scripture, and your heart soars as you read about the greatness and majesty of the God that we serve. There are other times, when you are filled with love and gratitude; as you read about the grace, love, and forgiveness that the Father has for us through Jesus. Then there are those times, when tears fill your eyes, and your heart breaks; as you realize your sin — and the failure to be what God wants you to be.
That last emotion is the one that I felt this morning, more than the others, as I read Psalms 78-81. The psalmist (Asaph), writing after the destruction of Jerusalem (Psalm 79:1), reviews the history of the Jewish people — and how often they failed God. He goes all the way back to when they were in the land of Egypt, and the mighty works that God demonstrated to lead them out of slavery. How sad it was that they forgot what He had done, and complained and murmured about everything. There is one verse that just reverberates sadness — How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness and GRIEVED Him in the desert. (Psalm 78:40, CSB). Just like them, most of the time we are so self-absorbed that we don’t stop and consider how our sin makes the Father feel.
He continues by humbly asking God to remember with compassion His people, and to come quickly because they have become weak (79:8, CSB). One really interesting thing jumped out at me, the psalmist asks God to help them — not because of them , but …for the glory of Your name. Deliver us and atone for our sins, because of Your name. 79:8, CSB). The psalmist then pleadingly asks the Father, Lord God of Hosts, how long will You be angry with Your people’s prayers?” (80:4, CSB). Those thoughts made me stop and consider how my life has made God feel. How my prayers have made God react. Wondering, if the problems that we see in the world today, are my fault (and people like me), because I have not remembered what God has done? If by not remembering myself, have I not passed it on to my children, and the generation that follows them? If my actions have grieved my God, and have made Him angry? If there is hope for me, my children, and the generations that are to follow?
Toward the end of Psalm 81, God speaks through the psalmist saying, If only My people would listen to Me and Israel would follow My ways, I would quickly subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their foes. (81:16, CSB). There is hope! God will help us defeat our enemy Satan)! That change can come, if we listen and follow His ways!
The last line, of the last verse, in Psalm 81 — offers to us a beautiful promise. It says, … I would satisfy you with honey from the rock. (81:16, CSB). Regardless of how difficult, how hard the situation and circumstances get, God can bless us! That is if we remember, turn, and follow Him — He can bless our lives with the sweetness of forgiveness, acceptance, and peace.
Lord, help us to turn to You, and ask for Your forgiveness, help, strength, and power — EVERY DAY!!! That is our only hope for survival passing through this world. Peace.
(This was first posted on Facebook on July 21, 2016. It is being reposted here as a part of our “Psalms for Saturdays”. It is my prayer that it blesses you, and helps you to draw closer to the Father. Bill)