Sunday Devotional 10th of September 2023
by Bruce Billington
Sunday Devotional – 10 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 is a Psalm full of heartbreak for God. Again and again, he reaches out to His people only to have them complain and reject Him, instead choosing to follow the ways of the nations around them, instead of being an example to them.
At times this did provoke God to anger and judgement, resulting in the death and exile of many of them, but still, they did not learn the lessons. A typical example of this is as follows.
Psalm 78:34-36 – “When He killed them, then they sought Him, And returned and searched diligently for God; 35 And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer. 36 But they deceived Him with their mouth And lied to Him with their tongue.”
Yet, we read His response to such abuse, with a degree of astonishment.
Psalm78:38 – “But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them; And often He restrained His anger. And did not arouse all His wrath.”
Before we get too angry and begin to despise these people for treating Him that way, we need to remember that we too, have been shown the same grace and mercy, saving us from a lost eternity, which even the best of us deserve. Spurgeon makes a great comment here. It deserves to be quoted in full.
Even unto seventy times seven did he forgive their offences. He was slow, very slow, to anger. The sword was uplifted and flashed in mid-air, but it was sheathed again, and the nation yet lived. Though not mentioned in the text, we know from the history that a mediator interposed, the man Moses stood in the gap; even so at this hour the Lord Jesus pleads for sinners and averts the divine wrath. Many a barren tree is left standing because the dresser of the vineyard cries, “let it alone this year also.” And did not stir up all his wrath. Had he done so they must have perished in a moment. When his wrath is kindled but little, men are burned up as chaff; but were he to let loose his indignation, the solid earth itself would melt, and hell would engulf every rebel. Who knoweth the power of thine anger, O Lord? We see the fulness of God’s compassion, but we never see all his wrath.
God accepts that we are made of earthy, frail, corruptible material. This certainly does not provide any excuse for our sin. There is none. But what we enjoy now, under the New Covenant, is the power to live and walk righteously.
We can now truly be a holy nation of people that demonstrate the ways of God to the world because His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may becomepartakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4).
Wow – what a blessed people we are. Let’s ensure we do not get caught up in the lusts of the flush and instead, release the Holy Spirit to have His way with us and bring transformation to our lives and the lives of those around us.
God bless you.