Psalm 106 – How Quickly


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.

image DaveKav

Last Train to Clueville – The Failure of the Newspaper

imageOnce again I return in the darkness of the early morning in tow behind the dogs and reach down to pick up the newspaper on the driveway. When I lift the blue plastic bag and feel the lack of heft, I immediately begin to scan the ground for the rest of the paper. Nothing around so I slide the plastic back to reveal…what a pitiful end the Rocky Mountain News has come to. A daily newspaper in a major American city is reduced to 32 pages, front to back. What are they going to do when the Broncos find a coach and they can’t devote ten pages each day to that story?

The saga of the News is being played out across the country as once important journals fade away in an environment of the Interwebs and 24/7 cable channels on the television. By the time I get to the newspaper, I’ve already been brought up to speed on the computer and may have listened to a little radio as well. What are they going to offer me any more?

The newspaper/journalism used to be different. I could turn page after page and find depth to a story. Now, I’m bombarded by opinion pieces that pretend to be news stories. When the Rocky Mountain News was put up for sale, the staff went into full salvation mode appearing on local talk radio. What astonished me (or didn’t, I suppose, which made it worse) was their utter state of denial of these men and women as to the decrepit state of journalism. They loudly proclaimed their lack of bias and the fairness of their reporting when just the opposite is on display in each morning’s dwindling pages. The ‘journalists’ patted one another on the back for their stories and series and denied every attempt to point out their lack of objectivity. Some went so far as to attempt to blame a lack of sophistication in the readers for the state of news reporting.

Isn’t the first step in AA admitting you have a problem?

I’ll be saddened the day the RMN shuts down because the alternative, the Denver Post, is much, much worse. Do Wuzzles come in book form?

The Shock of Gideon’s Turn


Reading the Gideon cycle in Judges we find ourselves at an unexpected turn after his victory in war. Rather than the hero we are led to expect who transcends his fearfulness and forges forward in trust, we find instead a normal person.

Maybe, a person more like ourselves than we are willing to admit.

What catches us off guard is how quickly Gideon forgets his Yahweh ordained purpose. God did not call on him to destroy parts of Pineil or administer the whipping that the men of Succoth endured; he performed both of these actions out of his own desire for revenge. The Israelites will respond in much the same way as we turn the page. Rather than turning to the Lord in their desire for leadership, they cry out for Gideon to lead them as their ruler. Is there hope for Gideon?

We can benefit today by meditating on the words of a later leader.

Psalm 3

O Lord, how many are my foes!

How many rise up against me!

Many are saying of me,

“God will not deliver him.” Selah

But you are a shield around me, O Lord;

you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.

To the Lord I cry aloud,

and he answers me from his holy hill. Selah

I lie down and sleep;

I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.

I will not fear the tens of thousands

drawn up against me on every side.

Arise, O Lord!

Deliver me, O my God!

Strike all my enemies on the jaw;

break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.

May your blessing be on your people.