But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wilderness they put God to the test. (Ps 106:13-14)
To read the Old Testament is to thumb through a catalog of mankind’s many failures. As much a diary as it is a mirror, the pages are rife with grotesque and subtle reminders of our own tendencies. In the two psalms that conclude Book IV of the psalter, the psalmists rehearse Israel’s repeated incidents of glorifying and celebrating God for his mighty deeds, followed by a meteoric descent into the waters of the Lethe.
Psalms 105 and 106 must be read together to gain the full impact of the psalmist’s purpose. Where 105 catalogs God’s unending faithfulness to the people who are called by His name, 106 reminds hearers of the incessant unfaithfulness. The juxtaposition of the two is jarring, and we cannot help but marvel at His Love and Israel’s failure.
And the myriad failures in our own lives.
Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin. (v43)
The Christian has little excuse for continued purposeful rebellion. The Spirit serves in His role as paraclete in countless ways, one being the early warning when our tendency toward corruption threatens to affect our behavior. We can avoid repeating the history of our family line by becoming more aware and responsive to His whispers, warning us off of unglorifying speech, thoughts and behaviors.
Save us, Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. (v47)
Save us, Lord our God, from ourselves and our bent toward failing you. Let us give thanks and praise for your redemption and your power to live out the new creation you’ve begun in us.
Grace and peace to you.