I was reading a very well known passage of Scripture this morning during devotional. I read it and spoke to God and left for work. But during the day I had a revelation about that chapter. At Bible School I was taught to read Scripture in context and this chapter is crazy. The chapter I read was Psalm 78. It talks about the mercy of God, the patience of God, and the love of God.
Can we look to God when we sin? I believe this scripture answers the question very well. Let us go through a list of things Israel did while they were in the desert:
– The children of Ephraim were armed and carrying bows, yet they turned back in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God and refused to walk according to His law and forgot His works and His wonders that He had shown them. (Ps. 78:9-11)
– And they tempted God in their hearts by asking for food according to their [selfish] desire and appetite. They spoke against God; they said, Can God furnish [the food for] a table in the wilderness? (Ps. 78;18,19)
I will stop there for a bit and highlight something. In Psalm 78:22, 23 it says: “Because in God they believed not [they relied not on Him, they adhered not to Him], and they trusted not in His salvation (His power to save). Yet He commanded the clouds above and opened the doors of heaven;
God still had mercy on them. He never withdrew His hand from them despite all the crazy things they were doing. God will forgive you and has forgiven you if you will let Him in. We don’t fully understand God’s mercy. Don’t let the devil lie to you into thinking that God can’t get past your sin no matter how “bad” you may think it is. God can get past your sin and He has….
Let us continue and take a look at more of Israel’s “sins”.
– The wrath of God came down upon them and slew the strongest and sturdiest of them and smote down Israel’s chosen youth. In spite of all this, they sinned still more, for they believed not in (relied not on and adhered not to Him for) His wondrous works. (Ps. 78:31,32)
– Nevertheless they flattered Him with their tongues. For their hearts were not right or sincere with Him, neither were they faithful and steadfast to His covenant. (Ps. 78:36,37)
– And time and again they turned back and tempted God, provoking and incensing the Holy One of Israel. They remembered not [seriously the miracles of the working of] His hand, nor the day when He delivered them from the enemy. (Ps. 78:41).
– Yet they tempted and provoked and rebelled against the Most High God and kept not His testimonies. But they turned back and dealt unfaithfully and treacherously like their fathers; they were twisted like a warped and deceitful bow [that will not respond to the archer’s aim]. For they provoked Him to [righteous] anger with their high places [for idol worship] and moved Him to jealousy with their graven images. When God heard this, He was full of [holy] wrath; and utterly rejected Israel, greatly abhorring and loathing [her ways], so that He forsook the tabernacle at Shiloh, the tent in which He dwelt among men [and never returned to it again], (Ps. 78:56-60)
This is where a lot of people usually stop. Israel did crazy things, they went overboard. But if we are to fully understand the chapter we must read it in context. Up to this point we see them worshiping idols, tempting God, provoking Him and rebelling against Him. Can you imagine, incensing God??? But let us read the last part of Psalm 78 because this is what counts! It says,
Then the Lord awakened as from sleep, as a strong man whose consciousness of power is heightened by wine. And He smote His adversaries in the back [as they fled]; He put them to lasting shame and reproach. (Ps. 78:65, 66)
I believe this scripture was speaking of the enemies of Israel. He still fought on Israel’s behalf even after all they did. After rejecting God, turning their backs on Him and so on God still had their backs!
I don’t know what sin you in but please know that God is a gracious God. He wants you to turn back to Him. Don’t think your sin is too much for God because it isn’t.
But at the same, don’t take advantage of God’s grace. The first few generations of Israel died. They took God’s forgiveness for granted. Some were killed and punished because of their rebellion. God is a holy God and He will not entertain a blatant disregard of His ways. In Numbers 16 we see how holy God is.
Please don’t take God’s grace and mercy for granted. If you want to change and are sincere forgiveness and grace are available no matter what you have done! Your sin can be forgiven. He knows that we were born into sin. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect. You just have to do your part, turn to Him!!!
Can we look to God even when we sin? The answer is Yes!