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Due to the pandemic and social distancing orders, we are not meeting at least through April. 

February 27, 2020

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
New American Standard Bible for 2020

Text: Deuteronomy 1-2
Audio: Deuteronomy 1-2

Psalm 78 (ESV)

A Maskil of Asaph.

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
    incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
    I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
    that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
    but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
    and the wonders that he has done.

He established a testimony in Jacob
    and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
    to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
    the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
    so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
    but keep his commandments;
and that they should not be like their fathers,
    a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
    whose spirit was not faithful to God.

The Ephraimites, armed with the bow,
    turned back on the day of battle.
10 They did not keep God’s covenant,
    but refused to walk according to his law.
11 They forgot his works
    and the wonders that he had shown them.
12 In the sight of their fathers he performed wonders
    in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and let them pass through it,
    and made the waters stand like a heap.
14 In the daytime he led them with a cloud,
    and all the night with a fiery light.
15 He split rocks in the wilderness
    and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.
16 He made streams come out of the rock
    and caused waters to flow down like rivers.

17 Yet they sinned still more against him,
    rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
18 They tested God in their heart
    by demanding the food they craved.
19 They spoke against God, saying,
    “Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
20 He struck the rock so that water gushed out
    and streams overflowed.
Can he also give bread
    or provide meat for his people?”

21 Therefore, when the Lord heard, he was full of wrath;
    a fire was kindled against Jacob;
    his anger rose against Israel,
22 because they did not believe in God
    and did not trust his saving power.
23 Yet he commanded the skies above
    and opened the doors of heaven,
24 and he rained down on them manna to eat
    and gave them the grain of heaven.
25 Man ate of the bread of the angels;
    he sent them food in abundance.
26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens,
    and by his power he led out the south wind;
27 he rained meat on them like dust,
    winged birds like the sand of the seas;
28 he let them fall in the midst of their camp,
    all around their dwellings.
29 And they ate and were well filled,
    for he gave them what they craved.
30 But before they had satisfied their craving,
    while the food was still in their mouths,
31 the anger of God rose against them,
    and he killed the strongest of them
    and laid low the young men of Israel.

32 In spite of all this, they still sinned;
    despite his wonders, they did not believe.
33 So he made their days vanish like a breath,
    and their years in terror.
34 When he killed them, they sought him;
    they repented and sought God earnestly.
35 They remembered that God was their rock,
    the Most High God their redeemer.
36 But they flattered him with their mouths;
    they lied to him with their tongues.
37 Their heart was not steadfast toward him;
    they were not faithful to his covenant.
38 Yet he, being compassionate,
    atoned for their iniquity
    and did not destroy them;
he restrained his anger often
    and did not stir up all his wrath.
39 He remembered that they were but flesh,
    a wind that passes and comes not again.
40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
    and grieved him in the desert!
41 They tested God again and again
    and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember his power
    or the day when he redeemed them from the foe,
43 when he performed his signs in Egypt
    and his marvels in the fields of Zoan.
44 He turned their rivers to blood,
    so that they could not drink of their streams.
45 He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them,
    and frogs, which destroyed them.
46 He gave their crops to the destroying locust
    and the fruit of their labor to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hail
    and their sycamores with frost.
48 He gave over their cattle to the hail
    and their flocks to thunderbolts.
49 He let loose on them his burning anger,
    wrath, indignation, and distress,
    a company of destroying angels.
50 He made a path for his anger;
    he did not spare them from death,
    but gave their lives over to the plague.
51 He struck down every firstborn in Egypt,
    the firstfruits of their strength in the tents of Ham.
52 Then he led out his people like sheep
    and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53 He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid,
    but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54 And he brought them to his holy land,
    to the mountain which his right hand had won.
55 He drove out nations before them;
    he apportioned them for a possession
    and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.

56 Yet they tested and rebelled against the Most High God
    and did not keep his testimonies,
57 but turned away and acted treacherously like their fathers;
    they twisted like a deceitful bow.
58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places;
    they moved him to jealousy with their idols.
59 When God heard, he was full of wrath,
    and he utterly rejected Israel.
60 He forsook his dwelling at Shiloh,
    the tent where he dwelt among mankind,
61 and delivered his power to captivity,
    his glory to the hand of the foe.
62 He gave his people over to the sword
    and vented his wrath on his heritage.
63 Fire devoured their young men,
    and their young women had no marriage song.
64 Their priests fell by the sword,
    and their widows made no lamentation.
65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
    like a strong man shouting because of wine.
66 And he put his adversaries to rout;
    he put them to everlasting shame.

67 He rejected the tent of Joseph;
    he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 but he chose the tribe of Judah,
    Mount Zion, which he loves.
69 He built his sanctuary like the high heavens,
    like the earth, which he has founded forever.
70 He chose David his servant
    and took him from the sheepfolds;
71 from following the nursing ewes he brought him
    to shepherd Jacob his people,
    Israel his inheritance.
72 With upright heart he shepherded them
    and guided them with his skillful hand.


English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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Next: Psalm 79

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This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. They remembered that God was their rock,
        the Most High God their redeemer.
    36 But they flattered him with their mouths;
        they lied to him with their tongues (Psalm 78:35-36).

    Paying God Lip Service

    The seventy-two verses in today's psalm lays out a historical overview of God's relationship with His people from God's delivering them from slavery in Egypt to the times of David. This journey into the past is not a walk in the park by any means. While the rebellion of God's people was persistent, so was God's response to it. 

    The psalmist's motivation for looking back is made clear in Psalm 78:4 which says:

    "We will not hide them from their children,
        but tell to the coming generation
    the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
        and the wonders that he has done."

    This is one reason why the fact that many (most) churches who never teach these things are so corrupt. False teaching is not only teaching what is not biblical but also not teaching what is. 

    For a church to only preach about the love of God and the blessings available to God's people is to edit out what the Bible itself magnifies. When we read that God killed people, it is not hidden in one or two verses. This reality is emphasized and we are reminded of it time and time again in Scripture. 

    A faithful teacher of God's Word will emphasize what Scripture emphasizes and WILL NOT emphasize what Scripture DOES NOT emphasize. 

    In other words, when an event, a topic or theme is repeated in Scripture, it's intentional. As such, pastor/teachers needs to ensure these things are taught with the same repetition while not "majoring in the minors" to use a music illustration. As Alistair Begg often says, "The plain things are the main things and the main things are the plain things." 

    One of the warnings repeated in Scripture is that God does not value lip service from people who are not truly devoted to Him. This is made clear in today's chapter.

    Psalm 78:35-36 says, "They remembered that God was their rock,
        the Most High God their redeemer.
    36 But they flattered him with their mouths;
        they lied to him with their tongues."

    The context of their flattery towards God (lying to Him) is found in the next verse (Psalm 78:37):

    "Their heart was not steadfast toward him;
        they were not faithful to his covenant."

    Isaiah 29:13 says, "People draw near with their mouth
        and honor me with their lips,
        while their hearts are far from me,
    and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men."

    Jesus quotes Isaiah 29 in Matthew 15:7-8 (and it's repeated in Mark 7:6), "You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:

    'This people honors me with their lips,
        but their heart is far from me;'"

    Jesus said in Matthew 23:2-3, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice."

    Jesus said in Luke 6:46, "Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?"

    Jesus said in John 14:15, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."

    Jesus said in John 14:21, "Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."

    1 John 5:2-3 says, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome."

    Saying we love Jesus does not mean we love Him. If we don't know what Jesus taught in Scripture, and we don't know what Scripture testifies about Jesus, then we can't love Him because we don't really know Him. If we think we love Jesus but do not know (or care) what He taught, then we are deceiving ourselves. 

    James 1:26 comes to mind: "If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless."

    I pray we would not pay God lip service and flatter Him (lie to Him) while we have no real interest in knowing Him, worshiping Him, and following Him.


    ~ Puritan Prayers ~

    "Let Me Hope" by Robert Hawker

    "Blessed Lord Jesus, let the faith of my soul be fixed and unalterable, one that admits neither doubt nor change.

    Let me, with full purpose of heart, cling to you, Lord. I see, through your Spirit’s teaching, the Father’s hand and approval in all your work and finished salvation.

    So here let me indeed be fixed, and never be of doubtful mind, but live and die in the full assurance of faith.

    Let me be well pleased with what my God and Father is well pleased with, always rejoicing in hope of the glory of God!"

    (Excerpt taken from Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans) 
     

  2. I love the verses you pointed out in which Jesus is speaking to us: Luke 6:46, John 14:15, and John 14:21. 

    What great verses to remember when we're tempted to sin. Sometimes it's difficult to follow God's commandments when we're surrounded by sin and other sinners. It can be discouraging, but I try to remember that those who endure to the end will be saved. 

    I'm no quitter. 

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