I have been touched recently by the story of the Israelites’ exodus as written in Psalms 78.
The story is written in a poetic form and quite different from the account in the book of Exodus.
As I read this chapter I heard in this retelling of the story the heart cry of a Father for his children. What a tragic story.:a Father who takes his kids for some time out. He wants to share his story with them, connect with them and love them – but instead they constantly bicker and blame him for everything. You can see through the verses the way the Father cares, provides and nurtures his children. His desire was that they would trust Him. He didn’t want lip service (verse 36) He wanted a heart connection with them.
Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland. Psalm 78:40 (NLT)
This verse is so full of grief as a result of their rejection of Him that I could feel his tears falling. Their rebellion, indifference and lack of trust saddened his heart. He desired a heart change but “again and again” they test their patience.
- They did not remember his goodness :42 & 43
Do we remember and count all the good things he does?
- They rebelled :40
Are our hearts soft and responsive? -not cynical or angry.
- They turned their backs V9
Do we refuse to accept all that God is trying to teach us?
- They fled on the day of battle v9
Do we back down out of doing the things we are called to out of fear and self preservation?
- They did not keep covenant v10
Do we obey him and take seriously the fact that he is Lord/boss in our life?
- They tested him with demands v18
Do we place blame on God when things don’t go well and expect Him to cause everything to turn out right?
- They spoke against God 19&20
Do we criticize the way God is moving, changing things or the way he chooses to use different people?
Today: Read the list slowly of ways the Israelites tested God’s patience and ask yourself is there any changes you need to make. This isn’t to make God love you – he couldn’t love you any more than he does already – it is so that you can learn to stay responsive to the Father’s heart.