Posted by Pastoral Musings on 28th March 2012
“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us
make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work. For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.” Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.”” (Psalm 95, ESV)
What was God’s complaint against Israel? The tempted Him. They didn’t trust Him enough to obey Him.
Why did Israel neither trust nor obey God? Because they did not worship Him as they should have. They failed to remember Him as Creator. They failed to recognize His eternal power. They neglected to consider that all of the world is His possession and His domain.
Worst of all, Israel failed to consider Providence. They did not stop to consider the work of God in their own lives.
Israel had crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. Their feet didn’t even get muddy. Among the hundreds of thousands who departed Egypt in the Exodus, none were in wheelchairs or on stretchers. All were strong and able-bodied.
Israel had seen YHWH provide water out of a rock. They had seen Him send the quail to eat and experienced the wonder of waking every morning to the sight of manna on the ground just waiting for them to pick it up and prepare a meal from it.
Israel did not consider the works of God.
They did not learn His ways.
They did not learn to worship God by trusting Him and faithfully obeying Him.
Israel’s failure was a failure to observe the providential works of God and learn from them how to trust God.
Let us not make the same mistake.