“Because they did not believe in God, And did not trust in His salvation. Yet He had commanded the clouds above, And opened the doors of heaven, Had rained down manna on them to eat, And given them of the bread of heaven. Men ate angels’ food; He sent them food to the full. He caused an east wind to blow in the heavens; And by His power He brought in the south wind. He also rained meat on them like the dust, Feathered fowl like the sand of the seas; And He let them fall in the midst of their camp, All around their dwellings. So they ate and were well filled, For He gave them their own desire. They were not deprived of their craving; But while their food was still in their mouths, The wrath of God came against them, And slew the stoutest of them, And struck down the choice men of Israel. In spite of this they still sinned, And did not believe in His wondrous works.”
Psalms 78:22-32 NKJV
I recall the predictability of childhood, of living life in regular groove, always able know what was coming next. I was blessed to have a relatively stable home where I knew what was up, and what was down, and I could count on things to be about the same from day to day. To some extent, I had gotten to the point where I took it all for granted, and did not recognize the relative rarity of the life my parents had given me.
Sometimes, we have the tendency to take for granted the things, or people, who are always steady, predictable, and can be counted on. We deceive ourselves into thinking that they will always be around, always there for us, always willing to bless us. Sadly, we often cease to use care in blessing them, overlooking all that they have done for us, and in some cases, even sinning against them.
It is said that we often treat the people closest to us the worst. All too often it is the people we depend on the most.
Reading through Psalm seventy eight, I was reminded of my own sin against the God who sent His Son Jesus to die for my sins. I think of Jesus, God/Man who came to earth to live a sinless life, in a world awash in sin, who was reviled as He brought truth to people committed to lies.
He was the same God who brought manna to the children Israel, and led them by a cloud by day and fiery pillar by night. Yet, just as they had in the wilderness, they did not believe in His salvation and received Him not.
“They did not keep the covenant of God; They refused to walk in His law, And forgot His works And His wonders that He had shown them. Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He divided the sea and caused them to pass through; And He made the waters stand up like a heap. In the daytime also He led them with the cloud, And all the night with a light of fire. He split the rocks in the wilderness, And gave them drink in abundance like the depths. He also brought streams out of the rock, And caused waters to run down like rivers. But they sinned even more against Him By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness.”
Psalms 78:10-17 NKJV
As I look upon those who have gone before me, I am convicted, twice guilty, for while I know of God, also I know God, for HIs Holy Spirit resides in me serving as a constant reminder. The children of Isreal did not have that advantage.
As I have faced the decline of all things, I have learned to savor the gifts of God, for I am at a place where what I took for granted, is now a delight.
In the past, it took more and more to please me. I frowned upon the blessings of the Lord. Now, even the bitter things are delightful.
“A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.”
Proverbs 27:7 NKJV
I rejoice in the little blessings, things most of us take for granted, for the Lord has reduced me. But even on the reduction of my strength, I have witnessed His glory, and power magnified, as He has sustained me far better than I deserve.
Brothers and sisters, let us never take of granted the blessings of the Lord, and let us obey Him in all that He has asked us to do. Like the children of Israel, we have been given a great blessing, one where He never leaves us or forsakes. Let us rejoice and let us live like we are His. May we go into the world holy and blameless, representing Jesus as His ambassadors.
Many have gone before us, knowing His faithfulness.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV
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