Re-blogged from Dec 2012
With Passover soon approaching, as well as the Easter season for the Christian, it is for the Jew a time of remembering their Exile and God’s faithfulness in bringing them into their own land. There are lessons to be learned from Israel’s past. If we can also learn from it, we would better take to heart and understand the works of God… this would greatly please Our Father in Heaven.
The time period is just before the crossing over into the promised land of Canaan. The psalmist is instructing this present generation and future generations through lessons drawn from their past history. We can learn many things from our past, both good and bad. He identifies Israel as having a history of rebellion against God. In those days their allegiance to God, God’s law and His provisions were what they lived by, defiance and ingratitude were serious offenses against God’s wonderful acts to save His people. Continued rebellion brought even more judgment.
What are the principles to be lived by in the life of a man? We can begin with understanding the work of the Holy Spirit. The power to bring forth comes from the Father; the power to arrange comes through the Son, the power to perfect from the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 8:6, “there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him—and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we live. To put all into perspective,
- all things originated from the Father,
- that by which all things exist, the Son,
- and that by which all things attain their final destiny, the Holy Ghost.
We are not made just merely to exist, but everything created has a purpose and a destiny. To be led by God is the cause of development—according to our nature, and made ‘perfect’ by the work of the Holy Spirit. In the case of Israel, their identity was known as a ‘multitude of people’ all with one mind—to be carried out of the bondage of Egypt into a land of their own. Through it they would learn to recognize God as their deliverer and their only source of continued “life.’ Some still did not believe when it came to the end of their journey.
The question still is, ‘‘How is the multitude of the elect to attain their final perfection?” The answer can only be “by the Holy Ghost’s action upon the people.” They could never accomplish their end unless they dwell in God’s temple. It is the natural love of God that keeps Him in the heart of His children—by which we in return love Him. It is like seeing ourselves in a mirror and be conscious of His handiwork, and reflecting it back to His glory. His glorious purpose is to be known as He is known, and enjoy the closeness of communion with God. This can only become a part of us by the indwelling of Christ in our hearts—this is evidence of God’s higher purposes realized when the Holy Spirit makes man’s heart His dwelling place.
It was important to continue to carry on tradition from the first generation that experienced the Exodus to the children of future generations. Psalms and hymns are sung on holy days. They are regularly used in temple worship. Religious instruction is not to be set aside or neglected. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His ways are perfect. Each oncoming generation must be taught to recognize God’s hand in this present time as well as the past and future. Today our children should be taught to distinguish between a changing society and moral values that do not change. Continual resistance to God destroys opportunity, and cuts off their future.
Israel then, were unfaithful and disobedient but experienced God’s mercy and grace just the same. The more the people received by God’s faithfulness, the more they wanted. By His compassion and grace for his people he still gave them more… but getting what we want sometimes brings unwanted consequences.
1 Give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.