Daily Readings and Thought for March 2nd. “THEY MIXED WITH THE NATIONS AND LEARNED …”


Today’s Psalm (106) is a remarkable survey and summary of God’s relationship with his chosen people and the lessons they learned or failed to learn in succeeding generations. The survey begins with their time in Egypt when they became numerous but at the same time lost their vision of their patriarchs: “yet he saved them for his name’s sake that he might make known his mighty power” [v.8]

As a result “they believed his words; they sang his praise” [v.12].  But it did not take long before “they forgot God, their Saviour, who had done great things in Egypt … and awesome deeds by the Red Sea” [v.21,22].  Those who were faithful eventually arrived in the promised land but the next generation “did not destroy the peoples as the LORD had commanded” [v.34] The fatal result was “they mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did.” [v.35] 

We look back on history and see how those who started to serve God soon made the same mistake.  Religious Jews have repeated this Psalm down the Centuries and v.47 has been answered!  This says, “Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.” God heeded and they have been gathered.  But how many today realize it has been an act of God in directing a whole sequence of events?  Just a few appear to realize.

Christ came 2,000 years ago and in many ways history has repeated itself in subsequent events.  Christ’s church started with tremendous enthusiasm so that masses of pagans came to believe in Christ!  But the vision faded and was lost, succeeding generations making the same mistakes as ancient Israel. With the printing of the Bible there came a reformation and an extensive rediscovery of the ways of God.  But once again people who had become godly have “mixed with the nations”. They now forget that “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” [Philpns 3 v.20]  In all our unavoidable involvement with human citizenship let us have in mind the words of God’s prophet Jeremiah, “I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.” [10 v.23] 

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