from Natasha Cassamajor
In Psalm 78, the people of Israel are encouraged to listen to and retell the stories of old. These are stories that display “the glorious deeds of the Lord and his might, and the wonders that he has done,” (verse 4). The purpose of these stories is to display the grandeur of God. Only God the maker of heaven and earth could deliver the Israelites like he did. In verse 6 they are told “to teach it to their children, that the next generation might know them.” Why did the next generation need to know all of this? Verse 7 tells us “so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God,” like their forefathers and the generation before them who was “stubborn and rebellious” (v. 8).
The Psalm goes on to describe how the previous generation turned back on the day of battle, not trusting that God would bring them through. They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to walk in His law (vs11). In spite of God’s faithfulness, “they sinned still more against the Most High in the desert” (vs17). As God’s hand was making a way for the children of Israel, they challenged God, asking God if He can also give bread and provide meat for His people (v. 7).
When I read this passage a couple of things stand out to me. The most important thing that stands out is that I am just like the children of Israel. How quickly do I forget the amazing things that God has done in my life. The most amazing thing being my free gift of salvation and an abundance of grace and mercy. When the children of Israel ask for bread and meat, they are not simply asking for bread and meat. They are asking God to prove that He can do anything (because bringing water from a rock and parting the Red Sea is not a big deal. I guess even a caveman can do it, lol). I’m tempted to say that Israel is asking for a greater God, when they provoke God this way. A god/thing worthy of their worship.
There are moments in our lives as followers of Jesus when we are more aware of what we don’t have than what we already do have. This morning while jogging, I was remembering how I turned down the opportunity to be a military chaplain because I wanted to have kids and stay home with my kids. That was 14 years ago when I started seminary. Every year I was told that I would be a great chaplain and every year I gave the same answer. Last year when I turned 40, I remembered that longing to be a mom and it did not feel good. It felt like something was missing. Similar to the children of Israel, I could be tempted to say to God: “Lord I know you have done this amazing thing and that amazing thing in my life and thanks by the way. However Lord if you are truly powerful and good, let me see you do this. Let me see you give me this thing that I have always wanted.”
I don’t really know why God does not give us some of what we long for but I do believe that He is sovereign, faithful and just. Will you pray with me that God would be enough?
I’m a massage therapist and I love to see you on Sundays.