From: Lucia Flaherty
This Psalm starts with urging the importance of teaching our children about God's deeds, might, and wonders. And in this collective remembering, we're told we'll find hope. The Psalm then details layers of memory. We are instructed to teach our children to remember a specific, layered story about God's power in the wilderness. There are the layers of God's power and provision (see verses 12-16, 23-28, 43-55, etc.). Then there's the layer of the Ephraimites forgetting God's power and provision, which lead to testing God and shedding belief entirely (see verses 11, 18, 32). There is the layer where God kills them, which then causes them to remember God as their rock (see verses 34-35). But then there's another layer where they once again forget God's power and test him again (see verses 41-42).
So the Psalm continues, unpacking these Russian dolls of remembering and forgetting. But the center doll, the solid one, is found in verses 38-39: "Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again." And so we come to the point of it all—God remembers us even when we don't remember him. I find hope in that.
I live in Boston with my husband, daughter, and cats.