Saturday, March 19, 2011

Psalm 78:37-72

God’s Continued Guidance in Spite of Unbelief

As we read yesterday, this psalm is a Biblical history of Israel from Moses to David.  When we left off yesterday, we saw how the Israelites affronted God with their idolatries once they came into Canaan, and were slack in their repentance.  In verse 37 today, we see that their repentance was hasty and superficial, and only a passing ‘mood’ that quickly disappeared.

Verse 38 tells us of God’s compassion for His people in their weakness.  I love the description in verse 39:
For He remembered that they were but flesh,
A breath that passes away and does not come again.  ~ Ps. 78:39

In today’s passage, we see what great mercies God had bestowed upon Israel, how provoking they had been, what judgments He had brought upon them for their sins and yet, how even in judgment, He remembered mercy at last.

Verses 43-51 give a recount of the plagues God brought upon Egypt (except the flies, boils, and darkness).

In verses 67-72, we see that God rejected the northern kingdom represented here by the tripe of Ephraim and He chose Judah as the tribe and Mount Zion as the place where His sanctuary should be located.

After the reign of David's son Solomon, the kingdom of Israel split in two: 
Israel was the northern kingdom, Judah became the southern kingdom
The psalm ends with God choosing David to be king of Israel.  Matthew Henry makes this note:
He set a good government over them, a monarchy, and a monarch after His own heart.  David was not bred a scholar nor a soldier, but a shepherd, as Moses was - for God delights to put honor upon the humble and diligent.  David, having so great a trust put into his hands, obtained the mercy of the Lord to be found both skillful and faithful in the discharge of it. 

He fed God’s people, he ruled them and taught them, guided and protected them, according to the integrity of his heart, aimed a nothing but the glory of God and the good of the people committed to his charge.  With good reason does the psalmist make this the finishing crowning instance of God’s favor to Israel, for David was a type of Christ, the Great and good Shepherd. 
  • God is long-suffering with His people,  but He will not be silent against sin
  • God is a righteous Judge
  • God provides for His people, even in His judgment of their sin.  This is most prevalent in our need for a Savior - what God requires of His people, He provides for them! 
  • I praise the Lord for this Biblical account of His faithfulness – that is has been told through the generations ‘so that I might set my hope in God.’
  • I praise God that He remembers that I am but flesh (weak)
  • I praise God that He made a way of forgiveness for the sins of His people through His Son Jesus Christ
     O Lord, thank You for this great psalm and the account of Your faithfulness to Your people throughout the generations.  How often I find myself like the Israelites . . . I am weak in my flesh.  I sin against You continually.  I forget You, I turn  my back on You, I create for myself idols of other things . . . and yet You continue to show Yourself faithful to me.  Thank You, Father, for Your lovingkindness and Your mercy to me and my family.  Please forgive me for my sins against You . . . I say with King David, 'Against You only have I sinned.' 
     Thank You that the righteousness that was my great need You provided through Your Son Jesus Christ, and that You brought me to saving faith in Him.  I pray the same for each member of my family - In Jesus' name ~ Amen  

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