(Today’s post by Chris Queen)
Think back to English class in high school. (I know some of you don’t want to, but track with me here for a minute.) Remember epic poetry? These epic poems were longer pieces that told the story of heroes and their escapades, battles, and triumphs. It’s been so long since high school that I barely remember specific examples, but the concept of the epic poem is pretty interesting.
Psalm 78 reads like an epic poem in some ways, but the hero of that poem is God. The second half of that Psalm, today’s reading, concerns itself with the journey of God’s people from the wilderness, into the Promised Land, and forward to the time of David.
Asaph tells the story beautifully (especially in my new favorite translation, the Tree of Life Version, which I’m using here), and it encapsulates the story of the Bible at large: people screw up, but God is faithful. The Israelites rebelled in the wilderness – and God let them know how angry He was – but:
53 He led them to safety, so they did not fear, but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. 54 Then He brought them to His holy territory, to the mountain His right hand had gotten. 55 He drove out nations before them, and allotted them an inheritance. He settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.
Of course, it wasn’t long before the people turned their backs on God again. But of course, God was faithful to take care of and preserve His people.
66 He beat back His foes, putting them to lasting scorn.
69 He built His Sanctuary like the heights, like the earth that He established forever. 70 He also chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds, 71 from following nursing ewes. He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. 72 So He shepherded them with the integrity of His heart and led them with His skillful hands.
Don’t forget that from David’s line came God’s promised Messiah, and from Jesus came the salvation of all who call on the name of the Lord. How’s that for a God who is faithful to sinful people?
Take some time today to express your gratefulness to God for His faithfulness to you. Let Him know what that faithfulness means to you, and revel in it. No one else has been more faithful, and no one else ever will be.