Tradition!

5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, Psalm 78:5

Israel has had a long tradition of teaching its children to learn and memorize holy scripture. They did it with vibrant and true stories of men and women of God. Fortunately we get to see the good and bad, the beautiful and not so beautiful, and the glory of God painted throughout the Bible.

Yesterday we began to pray for young people in the upcoming generation. Pray that they will diligent students of the Bible, and they they will learn and memorize Scripture deliberately and plentifully.

Social Networking

4 We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. Psalm 78:4

This is how the Gospel message has been spread since long before Asaph wrote this. It’s the very basic definition of social networking: one person getting excited about the message and telling others.

The next generation of Believers will face very different challenges than we have faced.

Begin to pray for someone in that generation if you haven’t already done so. Pray that they will be bold and courageous in the face of tumult and chaos. Pray that the Lord will raise up strong men and women of God for this next generation.

Then tell that person you are praying.

Shhh. It’s a Secret

1 My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
3 things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. Psalm 78:1-3

Asaph has prepared us for some big things. Some of them were hidden and secret. Most of us like to hear things that no one else has ever heard. In general, we like secrets. Gossips thrive on spreading secrets. Governments spend billions of dollars trying to gather secrets from others and to keep the secrets they already own. The penalty for divulging secrets in war time is death.

So now that Asaph has our attention, now what?

In the next few verses, prepare your heart for God to speak to you. I’ve read ahead and there are some powerful concepts sprinkled throughout! Some will undoubtedly be things you won’t want to keep to yourself. Don’t be afraid to share with others what you are learning through this chapter.

May God continue to bless you.

No Less Stressful

16 The waters saw you, God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed.
17 The clouds poured down water, the heavens resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth.

18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked.
19 Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.

20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. Psalm 77:16-20

Asaph is describing how the Israelites were able to walk through the Red Sea on dry land. God had absolute control over the elements. Asaph describes the event as though the rain and thunder and lightning and clouds cowered at what they were required to do. The imagery is certainly interesting. But the big picture of these verses is that God was in complete control. When they came to the edge of the water and several hundred thousand people probably wanted to toss Moses in, God was in control. When they walked through and admired the walls of water beside them and the completely dry land they were now walking on, I think they changed their tune. They were literally walking in a miracle.

In fact, they could watch the miracle unfold before walking on the sea bed:

“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” Verse 24 says, “And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians.”Exodus 14:21

Every single one of those 2 million people who crossed that night had a fantastic story to tell. They were there; they witnessed the lengthy miracle. Then they saw as the Egyptian soldiers tried to do the same thing and they were flooded. It was a miracle for a specific time and people. Even as the last of the Israelites stepped on to non-Red Sea ground they were probably nervous that the Egyptians would most certainly catch them and take them back into slavery. Even then, the Lord knew what He was doing and had complete control of the situation. The walls of water crushed the soldiers.

The challenges we face today are very different than what the Israelites faced but they’re no less stressful. The timing has to be just right for your “escape” route to be given to you. It may seem like an obvious statement – and I’ve certainly said it before – but the Lord knows what He’s doing in your life. You can trust Him. We can trust His timing to be perfect.

Who Are We?

14 You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Psalm 77:14-15

God clearly displayed his mighty power when He redeemed Israel, which is what Asaph was referring to. He didn’t have to, and He didn’t need to but He did it anyhow.

I too am amazed at what Christ has done on our behalf. Why? Why, I ask. I mean, who are we? In the entire universe with all its complexities and vastness, who are we that He would give us even a thought? Not only who are we but why? Well, the why is simple: it’s totally in God’s character to care about us. It really has nothing to do with us or what we can do to earn his favor.

And yet.

And yet in the grandest of paradoxes, it had everything to do with us, not that we deserved it or even wanted it. It’s all for His glory.