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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Psalm 78

If you're looking for a concise re-telling of the history of Israel, here it is... sandwiched between a couple of Psalms, described as a maskil... which might be a literary or musical term, but I'm having some trouble imagining myself (or anyone) singing this one...  It might also relate to education (or re-education), which seems to make a little more sense.

Oh, how I would like to face palm and shake my head at those Israelites...

Over and over and over again, God shows them that he is faithful.  God provides what they need, even when it seems impossible.  Much of the time, God even provides what they want.  But it doesn't take them long to forget and return to their old patterns of life, wondering if God is who God says he is, after all.

I want to face palm and shake my head at them, but I can't, because this is also the story of my life...

In days gone by, I might launch into a long treatise about how I need to get over that.  But I think it has finally occurred to me that this is unlikely to happen... for me... for you... for anyone, really.  Perhaps we are all bound by the words, "I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief" (Mark 9:24b, NIV).  It's not so bad, you know... responding to God, waiting for God to respond to us, responding again...

Here's what jumped out at me in the midst of Psalm 78,

"Yet he was merciful" (v.38a, NIV). 

May God's mercy flow, both on the days when I can see it clearly and proclaim that I do believe and on the days where I can't see it at all and cry out for help to overcome. 

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