Today, read Psalms 105-107.
These lengthy songs that we read today encourage us to sing and give thanks to God for his goodness and love. They also encourage us to remember God’s acts in the past--both his acts of salvation and his punishments for disobedience. Each of these songs draws from Israel’s history with the Lord and urges us not to forget what God has done.
We are all at risk of forgetting the lessons of the past or of not recognizing their significance for us. When we read in Psalm 106:14, “In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wilderness they put God to the test. So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease among them,” did you think about how God might do something like that in your own life? Is there some craving you have in your heart that you are striving for and might even be asking God for? Have you thought about whether that thing would be honoring to God if you got it? Have you considered that there might be the pricetag of “a wasting disease” (or something like it) attached to that thing? Do you understand that living by faith means trusting God to provide what you need and to protect you from appealing things that might lead to your own destruciton?
Think back over your life for a moment. Can you think of anything you once wanted that would have been a disaster? Maybe a job opportunity that seemed so perfect... at Enron, a company that spectacularly exploded and went out of business. Maybe it is a relationship with someone you could have married but now, looking back, you can see what a disaster that would have been?
Protections like these call for us to thank God for his protecting providence in our lives. They also call us to trust God, especially when we don’t understand so that future “wasting diseases” can be avoided. Give thanks today for what God has provided for you and what he has protected you from. Then remember when you want something else in the present or future that you suspect (or know) will not be healthy for your spiritual life. Can you trust God when faced with the prospect of losing something you love that his holding you back from walking with God?