7 That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments…
He caused an east wind to blow in the heavens; And by His power He brought in the south wind. 27 He also rained meat on them like the dust, Feathered fowl like the sand of the seas; 28 And He let [them] fall in the midst of their camp, All around their dwellings. 29 So they ate and were well filled, For He gave them their own desire. 30 They were not deprived of their craving; But while their food [was] still in their mouths, 31 The wrath of God came against them, And slew the stoutest of them, And struck down the choice [men] of Israel.PSALM 78:7, 26-31
GETTING WHAT YOU WANT CAN BE A CURSE
Remember the time when Israel was being set free from slavery and they complained to God that there wasn’t any meat on the menu (Numbers 11)? Then God gave them what they wanted in abundance but it seemed like once they had what they wanted it wasn’t enough and so God’s wrath was kindled against them! Asaph knew that story and he wanted to remind Israel of it in Psalm 78.
Sometimes we want, crave, or desire something more than we desire to obey God. Often what we crave won’t bring us the happiness that we long for, but will bring about hurt and pain. I remember days as a young alcoholic where I envisioned how wonderful life would be if I could just drink all day. Somehow in my brain damaged mind, I pictured the good life as one where I was drunk all the time… Praise God that he didn’t give me the desires of my heart back then!
Adam and Eve so desired the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that they disobeyed God’s command. They got what they wanted, but then they got more than they bargained for and we have been plagued by the curse of sin ever since. God’s commands aren’t burdensome, they are protective. What God has forbidden, he has forbidden for our own good. It’s a curse when we finally grasp the things we think will make us happy apart from God.
Psalm 78 as a whole is the testimony of God’s grace to the nation of Israel. A reminder to parents to not let their children go blindly in to the world pursuing their own sinful desires but to teach the the law of God. The law that is God’s protection and provision. The law that points them to a savior and is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Father, Thank you for your incredible mercy and grace! You have been patient with me. I pray that I would delight myself in you! Guard me from complaining about your provision. Let me rejoice and be thankful for all things that come from your hand. Keep me from pursuing worthless things that do not satisfy. Let me be satisfied in you alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.