A Meditation on Psalm 78

A Maskil of Asaph.
Listen, O my people, to my instruction;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

— Psalm 78:1

A long psalm I must say, but the length of this psalm is not enough to describe how patient and long-suffering our God is to His people despite their (our) unfaithfulness.

Indeed, from the days of old, the Lord has been and continues to be faithful. One should wonder how an unfaithful and rebellious nation could still receive such mercy and grace from the Lord when they (we) deserve otherwise. His word reveals history (v. 4-5). A history and cycle of the unfaithfulness of man and faithfulness of God. Why would God reveal the days of old to the next generations? Verse 7 answers us…

That they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments,
— Psalm 78:7

God led His people and provided for them and protected them in the land of Egypt (v. 12-16) yet they continued to sin and rebel against Him (v.17). They were not satisfied. Thus, the Lord was full of wrath because they did not believe or trust Him (v. 21-22).

Yet He still showed mercy.

He provided for them manna, the bread of angels (or mighty ones). Not lacking but in abundance (v. 24-25).

Yet they continued to sin and were unfaithful (v.32). So God was angry and showed them futility, terror, and death (v. 33-34).

Yet He still showed mercy.

He was compassionate and forgave their iniquity, not arousing all His wrath (v.38)
Yet the cycle went on as we go through the verses.

Man’s rebellion and unfaithfulness… God’s wrath, mercy, and faithfulness…

But in the end, God is faithful! He continues to lead, provide for, and to protect His people. How great of a comfort it is to meditate that we have a God who is faithful from beginning to end.

As we go through this psalm, I hope we saw our own selves…
Prone to wander, prone to leave the God we love.

How numerous times have we also become unfaithful yet He remained faithful? Such love, I can’t comprehend. Such love seems unfair, for what’s fair is that all must die and not be shown mercy!

Yet through Christ, He has shown mercy and love and grace, and God’s justice has been satisfied!

Let’s go back to why this word was revealed… For us to put our confidence in God, not forget His works, and keep His commandments.

Believers of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us all strive to be like Him, to grow more in conformity to Him, and to be faithful in all our ways. But in times of unfaithfulness, the Lord forgives us still. For if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us (1 John 1:9) only because of Christ.

Listen, O people of God. Listen to His words. His words of eternal life!

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