June 20

Psalm 78-79

We are in the Wisdom Stream reading from the Message this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Heavenly Father, you are true. We are called to be grateful for your endless goodness, for your mercy that is new every morning, for your faithfulness that is GREAT.  Amen.

78 – Is a wondrous review of God’s marvelous works.  His dealings with Israel have been so completely magnificent – and their behavior in response has been so delinquent or derelict or … there are too many adjectives for Israel’s behavior that was displayed instead of gratitude and worship.  This Psalm is a description about God – it is a description about us.
God ordered that the children are to be taught so that they can teach their children, ad infinitum. Ephraim turning their back is the metaphor equivalent of Israel departing from the Covenant – despite knowing better. God guided them through the Exodus, he gave water and shelter and clouds, plus protection and fire – but they ‘pressed in for the sin’ which they preferred. They were provided for for 40 years, not one of them starved – and yet no food was good enough for them.  The complaining chorus was a song that never ended.  They remembered God their Redeemer. They knew He was merciful, but they in turn lied to God, they lied in worship, their lives became lies.  The rebellion in the desert was astonishing to God and to us today as we read it 3400 years later.  They acted like they forgot about being preserved through the plagues: from the blood, through the locusts, and boils and bugs, and during the passover of death (for the Egyptians it was death because they were NOT passed-over!). Further, God cleared the way for them into Canaan, and yet they rebelled and did not keep the Covenant.  He punished them more severely than He ever intended to from the start when He called them His own and to be His own. Then the punishment ceased. God chose David to lead them and as a shepherd of God’s people.  As we read the Psalms today, we experience that David is still shepherding His people
79 – Troubled times have befallen Israel.  The land has been invaded, people killed, in the frackus there isn’t even time for proper burials and what’s worse, wild birds are plucking at the dead Israelites.  It is a horrid scene and it is vast.  The royal city has been destroyed, the domain of the Lord is getting desecrated by enemies that are beyond cruel.  The people of Israel are above and beyond all they are asking God for forgiveness and for Him to act quickly.  They want God to strike back fast on these enemy nations. All the shedding of their own blood is too much to bear. The reproach of the nations was like anyone walking into a disaster that any of us may be suffering through and foreigners/visitors stoop in a demeaning tone to ask, “what on earth happened to you; you pathetic heap of garbage?!”  Not too encouraging to say the least!  The Israelites want retribution and restoration.  They have been personally attacked and they want God to take it personal too!

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