Saturday, June 23, 2012

Then They Believed

 6We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.
 7Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.
 8Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.
 9He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.
 10And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
 11And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left.
 12Then believed they his words; they sang his praise. 

Then They Believed

Like Psalm 105, the writer of Psalm 106 continues his narrative of the children of Israel, remembering God's faithfulness to His people, and their continual forgetfulness of Him. At the time of the writing of this Psalm, both the Southern and Northern kingdoms of Israel and Judah had been taken captive.

How bittersweet, then, was the memory of the writer as he recounted the faithfulness of God in spite of the sins of the people. After all of the many wonders God displayed before Pharaoh and the nation of Egypt, seeing the many plagues brought upon the Egyptians, while the Israelites were spared, we find them, just a few short weeks later, forgetting the power of the God they served.

Trapped with the Red Sea on one side and the Egyptian army on the other, they were sure that their doomed was sealed. Suddenly, all of the oppression of the Egyptians against them was forgotten as they longed to return to Egypt. Yet, God spared them miraculously when He opened a pathway right through the Red Sea. With a wall of water on either side, they marched through the sea on dry land.

The Egyptians foolishly followed right behind them on their horses and chariots. When the last of the Israelites reached the other side, God brought the waters crashing down upon the Egyptians, destroying Pharaoh and his entire army.

Surely, with such a miraculous event, the Israelites would never dream of forgetting their God, or doubting His protection, would they? We know from history, and also from the rest of this Psalm, that the Israelites continued their pattern of loving and praising God, and yet forgetting Him when difficulties arose.

It is easy to be critical of their foolishness, and yet, when we look upon our own lives, we often do the same thing. How quickly do we forget the marvelous love of God and His saving arm when difficulties come upon us? Even more, how quickly do we forget God and turn to the things of the world when we are lavished with prosperity and peace?

The words of Psalm 106 have a haunting effect when we compare them to our own lives.
Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.
After rehearsing God's miraculous intervention at the Red Sea the psalmist tells us that, then they believed His words; then they sang His praise. How many of us participate in worship services on Sunday, and listen to the faithful preaching of God's Word only to forget what we have heard before we even reach our cars to go home?

Let us pray that, as we seriously ponder the state of God's chosen people and their sad history, we would not fall into the same pattern. Let us pray that we would remain faithful to God in the good times as well as the bad.
  11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
 12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
 13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (
Philippians 4:11-13, King James Version)
God Bless You,
Linda


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