Today’s Reading: Psalm 78
Not sure what a ‘maskil’ is (Hebrew word meaning – enlightenment, wisdom, knowledge, attentive?), but fitting that Asaph, the leader of the Temple choir (or whatever his position was technically called!?) should write such a beautiful remembrance of how good God is to His undeserving, unfaithful wandering children (that is truly enlightening!). At times like this, and with memories of my own unfaithful unbelief, the phrase, “God is love,” shines in all its brilliancy in the darkness of my past and sometimes in the cloudy days of my today’s walk as a Christian. Only He Himself, can truly be called “love”! Any human being would have given up long ago!
How touching that Asaph sings His song to remind one generation to nurture in the following generation, a spirit of appreciation and trust in God so that the next generation would not repeat the sad painful mistake (both to their Heavenly Father and their own selves) caused by rebellion and stubbornness and a lack of appreciation of the past history of the beautiful care God takes of His people, and the painful results of ignoring past blessings and past mistakes!
Did you enjoy the excitement of listening to Asaph enumerate in detail the incidents of God’s miracles in providing for His people in every way. And were you filled with sadness at the painful questioning of God – Can God spread a table in the desert? When He struck the rock, water gushed out, and streams flowed abundantly, but can he ALSO give us food? Can He supply meat for His people? All this, Asaph describes as ‘willfully putting God to the test!” Somehow, on reflection, I find myself doing this because there is something I crave in my life, and I can’t see around a corner of my life to see His provision and thus the resulting lack of trust of ‘RESTING in Him’ (I think the expression is!).
So even when His anger is raised against them, they keep on sinning; in spite of His wonders (miracles in life), they did not believe! Does that have a familiar ring to it!? How dishonouring and hurtful when MY behaviour becomes like this!
Are you touched that time after time, God repents the discipline brought on them and turns back to bless “for He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return”! But He does go on disciplining them because He loves them too much to let them go on in a destructive way to themselves, but then it records again that they put God to the test (as if God their Father was some game?) and rebelled – “disloyal and faithless, as unreliable as a faulty bow”!
But I love how Asaph ends His song on a “high note” – “the Lord awoke from sleep” (of not doing anything for His people!) And He chooses someone to care for His people who had the character of our precious Saviour – a shepherd, who shepherded them with integrity of heart, with skillful hands, he (David, the shepherd king) led them.
And I remember that He today calls to me (in Matt.11:28-30) to bring my burden to Him and be YOKED together with Him and learn to copy His gentle and humble heart (!) and work together with Him as He, the true shepherd, shepherds His own flock of my dear brothers and sisters (and gives me the chance to LEARN HOW TO be a gentle, humble, loving shepherd of His people just as He is still quietly doing today)!