Sunday Devotional 3rd of September 2023
by Bruce Billington
Sunday Devotional – 3rd September, 2023
We are continuing to explore the knowledge of God as expressed in the Psalms. This week we look at some verses from Psalm 78 – a Psalm of Asaph.
Psalm 78:10-17 – “10 They did not keep the covenant of God And refused to walk in His law; 11 They forgot His deeds And His miracles that He had shown them. 12 He wrought wonders before their fathers In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. 13 He divided the sea and caused them to pass through, And He made the waters stand up like a heap. 14 Then He led them with the cloud by day And all the night with a light of fire. 15 He split the rocks in the wilderness And gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths. 16 waters to run down like rivers. 17 Yet they still continued to sin against Him, To rebel against the Most High in the desert.”
This is both an amazing and very sad statement about the power of God so clearly demonstrated, yet the people going back to their old ways. How this must have broken God’s heart.
Vows and promises were broken, idols were set up, and the living God was forsaken. They were brought out of Egypt to be a people separated unto the Lord, but they fell into the sins of other nations, and did not maintain a pure testimony for the one only true God. They refused to walk in His Law and gave way to fornication, and idolatry, and other such violations and were often in a state of rebellion against the benign theocracy under which they lived. They had pledged themselves at Sinai to keep the law, and then they wilfully disobeyed it, and so became covenant breakers.
As much as this grieves God, it also calls Him to action. He will not tolerate such blatant, ongoing rebellion and rejection of Him and His ways.
He had done incredible miracles for these people regarding leading them out of captivity and abuse, yet rather than preserving these memories and passing them on to future generations, they were not passed on even to the next generation.
The issue of dividing the sea (V13) is profound. Parting the waters is nothing short of phenomenal in its own right – but have you ever seen a dried up river or creek bed? The ground would be impassable unless He created a roadway that the chariots and carts, animals, and people, including the little ones, could confidently cross on. Spurgeon makes a great comment about this (slightly edited).
Who else has ever led a nation through a sea? Yet the Lord has done this full often for his saints in providential deliverances, making a highway for them where nothing short of an almighty arm could have done so. And he made the waters to stand as a heap. Fire will descend and water stand upright at the bidding of the Lord of all. The Lord can cause those evils which threaten to overwhelm us to suspend their ordinary actions and become innocuous to us.
Our great God did this, and He did it all alone. He shaded them with clouds through the day and gave them fire for the night. He brought manna from heaven to eat and water to drink from the rocks in torrents so there was an unlimited supply. Wow – yet after all of that they were unfaithful to Him (V17) and revolted against Him!!
There is much to ponder on here – but before we become too judgmental on this nation we should consider where we are ourselves after God has brought us to salvation and into His Kingdom, through the sacrifice of His Son and the impartation to our beings of the Holy spirit.
Do we all constantly remind ourselves and those we walk before the Lord with, of His contact goodness, favour, and miracles that He has done amongst us, at such great cost to Himself?
Paul calls us to keep a strict watch on ourselves. He says,
1 Corinthians 10:12 – Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
May God bless you.