The Israelites’ “forgetfulness” is the motif of Psalm 78 revolving around God’s unrequited love for His people, his “special possession.” Despite all the wonders He’s done, despite the miracles, despite the good times and bad, the Israelites kept forgetting something – the heart of God.
Fault of the Israelites
The Israelites’ obedience and disobedience centered on one theme: their relationship with God. Collectively speaking, they had a toxic relationship with God in which they were the ones abusing the relationship. Sinning against God is not about violating the do’s and don’ts of the commandments; it’s about the impact of sin on one’s relationship with God. Note the following characteristics of the Israelites:
- Refusal to trust (Psalm 78:32-33)
- Disobedient (Psalm 78:10)
- Demanding (Psalm 78:18)
- Tested God in their hearts (Psalm 78:18)
- Refusal to give their hearts to God (Psalm 78:8)
- Turned something positive into negative (Psalm 78:19-20)
- Unbelieving (Psalm 78:22)
Yet in spite of all this, Psalm 78 ends with this verse:
He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skilled hands. – Psalm 78:72
God appointed David to be the shepherd of the Israelites, who are described as God’s “special possession” (Psalm 78:62) and “God’s own people” (Psalm 78:71).
In my opinion, one of the greatest characteristics of a Christian is someone who demonstrates God’s undying love for you. This means that no matter what you confess, no matter what background you come from, you can come face-to-face with this individual, knowing that he or she is walking with God so closely that they will lead you with a gentle staff and redirect you to Christ, the Overseer and Lover of your soul. For it is Christ’s love that compels us and drives us forward and closer to God.
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