Russell and Duenes

When He Killed Them, Then They Sought Him

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“In spite of all this they still sinned and did not believe in His wonderful works. So He brought their days to an end in futility and their years in sudden terror. When He killed them, then they sought Him, and returned and searched diligently for God; and they remembered that God was their rock, and the Most High God their Redeemer.” (Psalm 78:32-35)

The Israelites rebelled against God, sought their own selfish ends and desired their own ways, to the point that God had to kill them to get their attention. They were so hard-hearted that nothing short of putting some of them to death would effect repentance. They forgot God until they were brought to the point where they simply could not forget Him.

Must we reach the same point? St. Paul told us that what God did to the Israelites “happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.” (1 Cor. 10:6).

God was mad because the Israelites “did not remember His power.” (78:42). We, too, have forgotten God’s power. We do not call upon Him. We come up with all sorts of man-made contrivances, or ridiculously convince ourselves that some politician, some corrupt man like Donald Trump, will deliver us and make up for our lack of godly character.

The Israelites provoked God with their idols. They “did not keep His testimonies.” (78:56). We, too, have not been careful to keep God’s Word. We have exchanged the pursuit of God and the commendation of Christ for continual acquisitiveness, covetousness and upward mobility. We have said that we love God in our hearts, but this has meant that we have a certain “feeling” about God, rather than that we have intended to obey what He says.

Yet for all this, God still “awoke as if from sleep” and “drove His adversaries backward.” He gave them King David, and ultimately, David’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. (78:65-72).

Let us turn to Jesus, not with words only, not with self-deceiving thoughts that our hearts are “all that matters,” such that we exempt ourselves from obedience, not with the mentality that “God never said I can’t have x, y and z,” but with sincere hearts that seek to honor and enjoy God in all that we do. Forgive us, O Lord! Turn our hearts to You.


Written by Michael Duenes

May 19, 2017 at 4:43 am

Posted in Duenes, Psalms

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