Reading: Psalm 78:17-22
But they continued to sin against him,
rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High.
They willfully put God to the test
by demanding the food they craved.
They spoke against God;
they said, “Can God really
spread a table in the wilderness?
True, he struck the rock,
and water gushed out,
streams flowed abundantly,
but can he also give us bread?
Can he supply meat for his people?”
When the Lord heard them, he was furious;
his fire broke out against Jacob,
and his wrath rose against Israel,
for they did not believe in God
or trust in his deliverance (NIV).*
Psalm 78 is largely an indictment against the people of Israel for their lack of faith and their rebellious ways. As the psalmist says, “They willfully put God to the test.”
As a child I recall reading the entire book of Exodus and thinking to myself, “Wow, these people sure are dumb. How could they see God’s amazing miracles and then a few days later grumble, complain and doubt that the LORD would help them? These people are real losers!”
Then I grew up and had a family of my own. At times I saw amazing miracles and God’s supernatural provision. But guess what? When the next big difficulty arose, I found myself doubting God would come through. I complained about the difficulty I was in and acted just like the people of Israel in the wilderness.
Oops! I thought I was different. I thought I was smarter than those spiritual dullards in the Old Testament. In reality my grownup faith was much weaker than my childhood faith. When real testing and temptation came, I was and still am, as susceptible to unbelief as any of the wandering Israelites in the wilderness. Faith is a gift from God—a wonder-filled gift that carries us through the hard times.
The indictment against Israel is that they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance. Do I truly believe in God and trust in his deliverance? Is my faith more than a creedal statement? Does it have legs and wings to carry me through the toughest situation? Often, I am more like the rebellious children of Israel than I would like to admit. How about you?
Response: LORD God, I humbly ask you for the gift of faith—faith to sustain me through the tough times ahead. You are my help, my salvation, and my deliverer. I praise you for your faithfulness. Amen.
Your Turn: Do you have grown-up faith or childlike faith? Which is better? Why?
* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA
Please pray for the people of Ukraine!
Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.
A sister in christ said:
I need childlike faith! Yes I too am like the rebellious Israelites. I have been telling this to the lord not that he didn’t know it too! Which I think is the most amazing thing afterall. He died while I was yet a sinner? What love? I can’t fathom it still?
I have been going through something for over 20 years and I thought I’d have that childlike faith by now? Maybe I am today? But I have real moments of unbelief and it is bad! So I’m praying right there with you for the gift of faith! I think I am coming out soon of the trial? Hopefully but the truth is we are all either coming out of one or entering into one. We are never exempt from suffering in this life. I believe if I’m into incorrect but, Thessalonians speaks of we are appointed to this speaking of suffering. Why? Well a person that follows Jesus is no greater than Jesus and his suffering he went through. Yikes? But with childlike eyes I see a blessing in it too a heavenly one! I know with childlike faith in my Heavenly Father he’s planned me something amazing on earth here. Times of what Deuteronomy days days of heaven on earth! Do I always have those no! Why? Because I’m just like rebellious Israelites too! Yet I love Jesus because he loved me first! God bless you! I find your blog very encouraging! I love the psalms as well!
We certainly aren’t exempt from suffering. We can praise God for His presence with us even in hard times. May God’s Spirit direct you today, sister.
A sister in christ said:
Amen you as well!
Alan Kearns said:
I must be honest David, I am variable…sometimes I trust Him but on other times I grumble just like an OT Israelite. In this I am so thankful for His amazing grace in my feeble ways, praise His name.
We all need His saving help. He comes through even when we fall short. Thank you, Jesus!
Yep, adult faith, changing yes to a maybe, God forgive us for our foolishness. I am so thankful for Your faithfulness even in my times of unfaithfulness.
Lord, increase our faith and our faithfulness!
I think we all fall short when it comes to trusting in God. We tend to think we can solve the problem before going to Him in prayer. I guess you could call me one of those Israelites too.
I think we sometimes think too much and try to solve problems we should turn over to the Lord. Help me to trust you, Lord!
Our brains get in the way of our hearts.
I’m like you David- as a kid, I thought these folks are clueless!! They just saw the Awesome Power of God and now this?? As an adult, I realize that like the Israelites, I too fail repeatedly!! Now I am so glad to know that we ‘all’ fall short of the Glory Of God, but Praise God for the ‘One’ who never falls nor fails- Jesus🙌🏾🙌🏾
It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one who looked down on the people of Israel in their difficulties. Lord give me faith and grace.
We might just need a double portion😆
Pingback: They Did Not Believe in God | YES – Angels Do Visit!