My Mina

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 39 (v.1) - Disqualified (Part 1 of 2)

Submitted: July 30, 2019

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Submitted: July 30, 2019

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It was a hot day last year. I naturally struggle with heat, and humidity to boot does me in. Of course, it probably didn't help that I had caught sight of the neighbor's new girlfriend sitting on the steps to his house only about thirty steps from our house. Shameful to admit it, even now, I had closed the windows so that she could not hear me and sweltered. I knew I often, without meaning to, get loud when I pray, and didn't want to rouse attention. I'd like to pass it off as "I was a new believer", in fact it only about 6 months since I met Jesus, and thus I was still timid, but the fact is, that I am still battling with this. We have since moved into an apartment, and I still wonder if our neighbor downstairs, our landlord, no less, hears me when I pray and sing to the Lord. They haven't said anything. But they are also rather elderly, so maybe lacking hearing, or perhaps it's because we voice no complaints at their tv being outrageously loud. Tit for tat situation. Mind you, it's the middle of winter, and I have not, as of yet had to open the enormous windows that will certainly signal to any passersby that I am crying out to the Lord.


I know full well that the Lord hears silent, or whispered prayers, but, this is how I pray, every chance I get. It's a daily prayer of forgiveness for being nervous and prayers for increased courage and bravery. Daniel had no issues disobeying the law of the land and continuing his prayer thrice daily under the heat of persecution (Daniel 6:1-10), the Hebrews boys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow to the image despite the threat ofthe fiery furance (Daniel 3), and I'm scared some stranger may hear me pray? Shame on me.

God, help me. Increase my courage Lord.


Anyway, so in the suffocating heat I turned to Psalm 78 last year. In a way, I suppose it was a good thing that the window was shut for I started reading aloud as I always did, and by the time I got to the end, verse 65 to be exact, I was on the edge of the kitchen chair I sat on, nearly shouting in awe and amazing excitement. What can I say? I really get into things? I have a great imagination to picture things? The Bible is incredibly real to me! My heart thundered as I came just short of "walrus clapping" at the greatness of my Mighty Warrior.


Sure, there were parts that hit "all the feels" even then. The on again off again with Israel of old's devotion to the Lord their Great Shepherd, Rescuer and Redeemer. God's tender mercy every time they feigned repentance. We'll get to that in a bit... But, today as I reread this very portion, it hit me much harder. I wouldn't say that after reading, for example Matthew 5 on the beatitudes for the hundredth time in your life that it feels brand new, but I can attest, more often then not something new is revealed.


John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.


I thank God for the Holy Spirit that teaches so much more then the head knowledge "ingrained" from my youth.

Psalm 78:4-7 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:

Now it could be that this REALLY stood out to me today because on Sunday the sermon touched on our responsibility as parents, and that God is not a respecter of persons, and we will answer for not telling our children, leading them in the way of Christ. I recall a saying... "We must teach our children to follow Christ, else the world will teach them not to."


I've heard countless times now that as Christian parents that are fulfilling, clearly, as seen in the three verses above, doing as the Lord commanded us to do as parents, we are "brainwashing our children." I have something to say about that. Why is it wrong to teach our children to fear and reverence the Lord God, but it's OK to teach them wickedness? Woe to those who call good, evil, and evil good. (Is. 5:20)

It has also been re-brought (well, I'm not quite sure that that's a word...) to the forefront of my mind, again, the vital-ness of being steadfast in God. In this chapter alone we are read that very line several times. It's important! I've come to understand (is it common knowledge?) when something is repeated, it's important. It's a loving reminder not to forget. "Don't forget. This is important." And so it is here. We must stay steadfast with God, all else is sin.

One thing I would like to point out is the subject matter as a whole before I go into greater depth. This Psalm starts off with a call to listen as he tells the instances of God's faithfulness, putting them into our reminder again. He summarizes in less then 100 verses the events of Israel's deliverance out of Egypt, their journey in the wilderness, etc. It's like a history lesson wrapped up in one neat little chapter. And knowing this, I realize he is pointing out specific times in Israel's history, and if one has time, and cares to, they could easily, I'm sure put dates and events to each verse. For the sake of time I have not gone into depth as such. I stunk at history at school, so I can only imagine I would with this too. That's not to say that I don't flip around as I read. As our sister recently pointed out, "Devotions is so much more then simply reading.. it's searching the Scriptures... studying...". That is important also.

It started in verse 8. He warns that we ought to teach our children about the Lord, and to put it in their remembrance God's faithfulness of old. To learn to do right instead of falling into the pattern of sin, that only got worse as the years went on. Just because dad is a thief, doesn't mean that you must be also, kind of situation.


He tells what their forefathers were. Stubborn. Rebellious. A generation that set not their heart aright, and... you guessed it... whose spirit was not steadfast with God.

Not many years prior I would kinda shrug this off. Whoopdeedoo. Did they murder someone? No? Then who cares. Right?

But think about it! Rebellious. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. Ok. Witchcraft, sorcery is such a heinous sin in God's eyes that those that practice it have a part in the lake of fire that burns forever and ever! (Revelation 21)

Rebellion is not a trivial thing! They set not their heart aright. As I've mentioned so many times now, and will continue to do so, it's the heart condition that counts. We read of a man who did all things good and right, yet his heart was not perfect before the Lord (2 Chronicles 25:1-3). Dear reader, this is a sobering thing! We serve a God who doesn't just hear each word and note each deed, and we know that His eye scans the earth to see what we do! We serve God omniscient! He knows our hearts condition, our thoughts from afar off, our motives. We cannot fool God! If our lips worship God and our hearts reject Him, we are NOT His.

Verse 10 and 11 gives us more of an inkling of these people.


10 They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.

They broke God's covenant, they refused to walk in His law. Disobedient! They were forgetful. Boy, were they ever forgetful. I think back to them wandering in the wilderness. "Oh we want to go back to Egypt! Oh we had fish there!"
Did you forget your bondage? Did you forget your cruel taskmasters? Clearly. They were super forgetful. And I thought my mind was bad....

And then... then we get the summery of the wondrous works of the Lord.

He divided the sea, that they would pass, unharmed.He led them with a cloud, with a pillar of fire by night.He gave them water to drink in the wilderness

Maybe they were initially happy. That is so like us. We get a new gadget, a new toy, a new outfit and we are enthralled, but as time wear on, we get bored. We want more. We're never content, are we? Why is it so hard to be content?
Discontent bred mumbling. Complaining. Then the jeering began.
Oh forgetful Israel! Have you forgot His mighty power? If you cannot fear/reverence the Lord... can you fear Him? Clearly not. I'm disturbed by their audacity. I would have been looking for lightning bolts, the ground to swallow them.


"Can God give us more?" (v19)

They acknowledged that He gave them water, but they wanted more. We want bread. We want flesh. We want, we want.

Did they think that God was spent of power and goodness? That the fiery pillar by night took all His strength and capacity that He couldn't do anything else until He at least recharged?


Sadly, it's painfully obvious Israel didn't know Him.


Their unbelief and no trust in Him angered Him. (v22) Why? Because He'd shown so much of His power and still they doubted. They ate angel's food and still wanted more... Not another kind of angel's food, but earthly food.
And God complied with their desire. Look at His omnipotence!

Psalm 78:26-28 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea: And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations.

I was troubled when I finished verse 29. "So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire;"

Something whispered in my soul. Beware God give you your own desire and give you up. (Romans 1:24)

Psalm 78:30-31 They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.

And the trouble only continued. If you read through the prophets you'll see a pattern, repent, forgiven, sin, repent, forgiven, sin. Who is a God like unto Thee! I'm forever amazed at the patience of my God!


I'll given Israel some credit. Verse 34 tells us when He slew them that they then sought Him, returned, inquired early after Him.

Two things arise though.

1. Why did you wait until He slew you?
2. Are we going to do the same thing?

Hear me out. I recall September 11th like it was yesterday. I remember going home after my oldest sister picked me up from school and on our walk home crying and praying, handing out Gospel tracts to my fellow students. Surely this rattled everyone, right? Surely this is what it would take for men to come running to God for salvation, right? How could it be, my grade 9 mind boggled to understand, the tracts- a good majority were torn up and trampled on? What would it take to get man's attention? I thank God, looking back now that it WAS not "the end of the world", because I would have been damned. Head knowledge doesn't save you! That's just one instance. Will it take a cancer diagnosis? Will it take a car accident? What will it take for us to come to Christ?


Yes, I give Israel credit, for after the judgment of God, they remembered Him.

But something was off.

It was all in show. Perhaps it was a "get out of trouble" scheme, for lack of a better term. Well, come to think of it, I've used this prayer myself more times then I care to admit...

"Lord, if you help me... I will serve you."
He does. I don't.
"Lord, if you rescue me, I will reform."
He does. I don't.

Psalms 78:36 tells us "Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant."

Again... it's the heart condition. Their heart was not right with Him... and... they were not steadfast in His covenant. (May I point out, it's he who endures to the end that will be saved? *Matthew 24)


Well, I was torn between two things as I read this this morning. One was due to the next few verses, and one was trying to remember as my brain spun where I have heard something like this... in the gospels...
I didn't remember this morning, but I do now...


Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Well, I did what I do best. I forget my poor sister is trying to homeschool, and because I KNOW she will listen to me, I lifted my phone to my mouth, pressed and held the microphone on Messenger and wailed pitifully. "How can it be?" I proceeded to read several verses aloud to her. I'm a pest, I'm sure, but I'm also sweet, I know how she hates to read. (I smile). Three or four voice messages of 1 minute each...darn that one minute limit on messenger.. they clearly don't realize some of us have things to say!... I found myself pouring tears staring at the cool grey sky, "Why Lord? Why? Why?"

After writing over 40 blogs, I think my "faithful readers" will come to know me a little more intimately. You'll know I'm a cryer. And I'm not ashamed of it. I have kleenex boxes in most of the rooms of my house! Some people are able to control their emotions more- how, I'll never know, but here is what got me last year, and today...


In fact, this is one of my favorite Psalms. I have a beautifully done artistry piece with a white poofy dandelion with a few bits floating away with these verses.

I believe I hear the Lord's heart in them.

Psalm 78:38-39 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.

Full of compassion. Forgiving. Long suffering. Tender. My God that's Who You are! Hear the Father's heart?

 


© Copyright 2019 Jessica Goyette. All rights reserved.

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