As we come to the end of the school year,
it's hard to know if we are to be
straining forward, eager for summer,
or stretching sideways, as we stress over
all there is yet to do to finish up.
And then toss a party or prom
in the mix and now it's a whole lotta kooky!
But then as we read today's Psalms
we find Asaph encouraging
the people of Israel to lean in...
to go ahead with the annual festivals
that God requires.
For even when the people
are stressing and struggling,
they still are to give of their time,
to stop and give praise
before the Lord to remember Him
at these, the required Festivals
of their heritage and
celebration for all He has done.
Sing aloud to God our strength;
Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob.
Raise a song and strike the timbrel,
The pleasant harp with the lute.
Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon,
At the full moon, on our solemn feast day.
Psalm 81:1-3 NKJV
This was a time to remember God...
all He had done for them.
To praise Him,
to thank Him,
to enter His presence
They were Festivals written into law
when Moses was leading the people
through the wilderness.
But these people had long since
turned from God.
They had made it common
to worship foreign gods...
to follow the ways of the world
that surrounded them.
And they no longer appreciated
all that the Lord had done for them.
So they neglected to pass on
to their children
the heritage and faith
of their ancestors.
The telling of old...
how God had led them out of slavery.
How He had delivered them from Egypt.
So their faith in God had become weak...
diluted, decreased, diminished, dissolved.
And their lives,
their culture and civilization
took a toll because of it.
And as God speaks to them,
it's not too much of a stretch...
to hear the same voice
He might be speaking to us,
in our culture and society today.
“Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you!
O Israel, if you will listen to Me!
There shall be no foreign god among you;
Nor shall you worship any foreign god.
I am the Lord your God,
Who brought you out of the land of Egypt;
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
“But My people would not heed My voice,
And Israel would have none of Me.
So I gave them over
to their own stubborn heart,
To walk in their own counsels.
“Oh, that My people would listen to Me,
That Israel would walk in My ways!
I would soon subdue their enemies,
And turn My hand against their adversaries.
The haters of the Lord
would pretend submission to Him,
But their fate would endure forever.
He would have fed them also
with the finest of wheat;
And with honey from the rock
I would have satisfied you.”
It would not be difficult to re-write
the very same verses...
filling in the name of our country.
As we seek for ourselves our own gods.
Our prosperity, success, money and fame.
The better house,
the nicer car,
the self-contained life
delivered right to our doorsteps.
We write our own rules,
choose whatever gender fits us best,
and don't step on toes
defining right or wrong...
so that no one dares step on ours.
And the Lord God, Almighty in heaven above
will certainly let us.
For He is seated on His throne,
and He has seen it all before.
This same parade
of watered down character marches by Him.
We are not such an advanced culture.
We are the same stiff-necked people,
re-cycling the same stubborn hearts,
that He has already given into
This is nothing new to God.
He simply turns His holy face away,
shakes His head and sadly whispers...
“Oh, that (you) would listen to Me,
That (they) would walk in My ways!"
I would have fed (you) also
with the finest of (everything)...
I would have satisfied you.”
The sadness we must bring to His heart...
the very beings He created
and filled with intelligence,
so much more.
And yet we get these mighty mindsets
WE did it
ALL on our own.
Wow... just wow!
All the possibilities to bring
turned inward only to implode.
Seeking Likes... or Loves.
Just always seeking.
If only we could hear the whisper...
I would have satisfied you.
Word of God,
train me, today...
to enter Your presence with praise and thanksgiving,
to truly let go of myself, and trust You Lord, to satisfy me!
I am listening for the whisper.
I long to walk in Your ways.
with only Your finest.
I long to be satisfied,
as only You can.
And to turn
whatever it is I have
to glorify You
and never myself.
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