The Bible – New Living Translation
36 But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues.
37 Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant.
38 Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins and did not destroy them all. Many times he held back his anger and did not unleash his fury!
39 For he remembered that they were merely mortal, gone like a breath of wind that never returns.
In this Psalm we are reminded of all the good that God did for the Israelites as they traveled through the wilderness for 40 years, and also all the bad or challenging things that God had to do in an effort to get the attention of the people and to see them return to Him, recognize Him as God and worship Him once again. It reminds me so much about our people today that I wanted to share these thoughts with you. You see, God blessed the Israelites in some very wonderful ways, including providing their daily food from heaven. Yes, in a way that they couldn’t help but recognize that it was from God. To the other extreme, He caused the death of their strongest men, hoping to get the attention of His people, but to no avail. He started taking the lives of those very close to them, and it got their attention, but it was only temporary. In fact these verses quoted above state that they only gave ‘lip service’ for their hearts were still hardened. Friends this reminds me so much of what I have seen over the years right here in our own country. Disasters have brought many to the church and many to the Lord, but it must have only been ‘lip service’ as they soon faded away and returned to their life of sin and rebellion. Could it be that we are putting way too much dependence in verses 38 and 39? Could it be that we are waiting for danger to strike very near to home before we kneel before the Father and plead for forgiveness of our sin and rebellion? An important note to us all is that Jesus knows even our inmost thoughts, so He knows when we make decisions under duress from family, friends or the preacher. Friends, God was so serious about His love for us, and so concerned about making provisions for us to enter heaven, that He allowed His one and only Son, Jesus, to die a cruel death on a cross, so that when we become serious about surrendering our life to Him we wouldn’t have to look for additional sacrifices, but merely talk to Jesus and accept His gift of love. Are you like the Israelites where you accepted the gift(s) of God (Jesus as Lord and Savior) at some point in your life, but have since returned to your old life of sin and disregard for the gospel? Please don’t wait for another disaster to occur, recommit your life to Jesus today and be reconciled with Him. He loves the repentant sinner and would welcome you back in a heartbeat. Please contact me if I might be of any help to you friend.
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me enough that You sacrificed Your only Son to die on Calvary’s cross so that I might have life eternal. You did this in spite of the sin in this world – an act of love in its purest form. Please forgive me for the times that I allow sin to enter my life and distract me from Your commands. Please touch the hearts of all those that may meditate on this devotional today, and help us to be so committed to You that our family and friends will also have a desire to recommit their lives to You and live as You intended and instructed. There is so much sin and evil around us Lord, that we need a fresh touch from You so that Your power will become very evident to us and that our personal desires would fade away as we welcome Your grace and Your power. In 1 Peter 1:22 we are reminded that obedience to Your Word will be evidence of the One to whom we belong. Lord, please grant Your servants a deep, sincere heart of obedience today, is my humble prayer that I ask in Your precious and wonderful name, AMEN!
NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.