Sunday, January 22, 2012

Remember This!


 18Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.
 19O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever.
 20Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.
 21O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.
 22Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily.
 23Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually. 

Remember This!

Does God need to be reminded? Asaph, the writer of Psalm 74, begins this psalm with the words, "Remember This." There is nothing that God forgets for which He needs reminders, however the writers of the Bible, especially the Psalms often used phrases such as this. Even though God does not have the negative traits that we possess, such as forgetfulness, it helps us to understand the relationship we have--or at least the relationship we can have--with God.

In our feeble minds, we tend to look with despair upon our circumstances and cry out to God, "Have you forgotten me?" Yet, by the very nature of questions such as this, we are encouraged as we realize that, no, God does not forget.

Asaph brings up a very interesting point in these verses.
O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever. Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.
The Israelites, due to their continuing sin and rejection of God, found themselves in a terrible place. God turned His back on them, allowing their enemies to cruelly overtake and persecute them. Asaph is now asking God to have mercy upon His people and deliver them from the hands of their enemies, those filled with the habitations of cruelty.

As we ponder this, we must realize that we cannot presume upon God. Though we are Christians, we do not have a license to carelessly forget God and fill our minds with the things of this world. As Christians, we have a covenant with God. He saves us and keeps us, and we turn our hearts and lives over to God. Because we are people of this world, we cannot keep that covenant perfectly, but that does not give us a license to forget God and live as the people of the world live.

Typically, when we slip into lives of sin, God uses people and events to nudge us back to Him. However, if we continually ignore God's signals and fall farther and farther from God we will become more and more miserable. What a blessing that God does not reject us forever, but rather continues to prod us until we turn back to Him.

What of those who never return to God? There is a great danger of people assuming they are Christians. One must question if those who leave God and never return have ever truly been believers in the first place. Believing in Christ is more than just believing there is a God and wanting to go to heaven. Believing in or accepting Christ as our Savior involves the changing of our hearts. Hearts that were once filled with the pleasures of the world, now find their greatest joy in the presence of God. 

God has not given us the ability to see into the hearts of others, so it is not for us to judge their true state, whether they are true Christians or not. However, God has given us the ability to see into our own hearts. It is good for us to ponder these things and to examine our own hearts to see if we are truly believers. 

We will never see perfection; our lives will always be filled with numerous examples of times we have made foolish choices and have imitated the people of this world. However, when we become aware of our sin, we should be filled with remorse and a desire to renew our fellowship with Christ. That is the sign of a true believer.

When we are tempted to say to God, "Remember this," it is a good time to examine our own lives and see if God is sifting us and using the troubles and difficulties we face to bring us closer and closer to Him. That is a good thing, is it not?

What an amazing God we serve. Oh how He loves you and me!

God Bless You,
Linda


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