As much as I hate to admit, I am pretty much of a melancholy. Although, knowing I am in Christ, I tend to fight with this all the time. I keep saying to myself if I am a new creature in Christ why do I still tend to occasionally go into the melancholy thing. I’m not sure if I’ll ever really know the answer to that but I tend to press towards the goal. So this morning, as I opened my Bible I went to Psalm 78. Every so often I have to read this. It always somehow seems to lift my spirits even though it’s not one of those sing-song Psalms that we all love to read. Psalm 78 speaks about all the miraculous things God did for the Israelites and how even after seeing these things they rebelled and whined and turned against God and their leader, Moses. Wow.
the miracles he did for their ancestors on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt. 13For he divided the sea and led them through, making the water stand up like walls! 14In the daytime he led them by a cloud, and all night by a pillar of fire. 15He split open the rocks in the wilderness to give them water, as from a gushing spring. 16He made streams pour from the rock, making the waters flow down like a river! 17Yet they kept on sinning against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. 18They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved. 19They even spoke against God himself, saying, “God can’t give us food in the wilderness. 20Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out, but he can’t give his people bread and meat.” 21When the Lord heard them, he was furious. The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, his anger rose against Israel, 22for they did not believe God or trust him to care for them. 23But he commanded the skies to open; he opened the doors of heaven. 24He rained down manna for them to eat; he gave them bread from heaven. 25They ate the food of angels! God gave them all they could hold. 26He released the east wind in the heavens and guided the south wind by his mighty power. 27He rained down meat as thick as dust– birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore! 28He caused the birds to fall within their camp and all around their tents. 29The people ate their fill. He gave them what they craved. 30But before they satisfied their craving, while the meat was yet in their mouths, 31the anger of God rose against them, and he killed their strongest men. He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men. 32But in spite of this, the people kept sinning. Despite his wonders, they refused to trust him. 33So he ended their lives in failure, their years in terror. 34When God began killing them, they finally sought him. They repented and took God seriously. 35Then they remembered that God was their rock, that God Most High was their redeemer. 36But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues. 37Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant. 38Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins and did not destroy them all. Many times he held back his anger and did not unleash his fury! 39For he remembered that they were merely mortal, gone like a breath of wind that never returns. 40Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland. 41Again and again they tested God’s patience and provoked the Holy One of Israel. 42They did not remember his power and how he rescued them from their enemies. Psalms 78:12 (NLT)
While reading this I know my first inclination has always been to say, “I can’t believe these people saw these great miracles and still acted the way they did. How could they be so ungrateful.” As a matter of fact I don’t think I have been able to read this yet without going to this thought. To me it’s a reminder from God to me to examine what he has done for me in my life.
They did not remember his power and how he rescued them from their enemies. Psalms 78:12
I don’t think I grasp enough the power of His salvation. As a matter of fact as I am typing these words the Holy Spirit brings to remembrance Romans 1:16 which says, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes–the Jew first and also the Gentile.” That same power of God that split the red sea worked in me when I received salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. ” And he rescued me from my enemies. There definitely were enemies in my life., mainly the enemy of my soul. So why am I so melancholy? I can’t be while I’m reading these words.
Another verse that strikes me in kind of a chastising way (Romans 12:6 “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” ) is verse 36 above. It says, 36But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues. Psalms 78:36 (NLT) Ouch! I’m sure I have given the Lord lip service many times sometimes without knowing it and unfortunately I’m sure sometimes even knowing it. I’ve told him things that I would do for him but did not get them done. I think that would probably be considered as a lie. wouldn’t it? I sometimes wonder why or how He can even love me.
Well, read ahead in Psalm 78 to verses 38-40 which say, 38 “Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins and did not destroy them all. Many times he held back his anger and did not unleash his fury! 39For he remembered that they were merely mortal, gone like a breath of wind that never returns:”
To me that’s encouragement. God knows I’m merely mortal. I have to laugh because I’ve never really thought about that. I guess in a way I must have thought he was seeing me in some other way and maybe that’s why I never felt like I was pleasing enough to him or measuring up to what He thought I should be. How can I even begin to assume I know what He thinks. I’m merely mortal. This is really comforting to me. I know it’s no excuse to be slothful because I know the importance of obedience but it kind of takes the pressure off of me because I tend to be very hard on myself. When I see family members (especially my spouse) who are not saved, ,my heart breaks. I immediately begin to blame myself and ask myself why I can’t make them see the importance of a personal relationship with God through Jesus. I ask myself over and over, “What am I doing wrong?” Am I not shining his light in their path enough for them to see?” But I am merely mortal. I cannot wish anybody into the kingdom. But I can pray for them and be patient with them and try to wak upright before God. I can cease from murmuring and giving lip service to the Lord and I can press on towards the goal (I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:14 (NLT). But most of all I can be grateful and praise my God for what He has done.
Father God, thank you for showing me that I am merely mortal and that you know my comings and goings and everything about me. Thank you Father for encouragement