Our psalmist sings of God’s holiness. He reigns over all the earth. He is a forgiving God, but also an avenger of sin. In ALL He does He still has time for His children.
I’m wondering if there is a special reason our psalmist is calling for Israel to examine and remember God speaking to them through the pillar of fire. Moses, Aaron and Samuel are named as His priests through whom He spoke too. And the fact that God is a holy God is a holy God is brought up many times. Could it be that our psalmist is calling for Israel to, once again, repent so she can see the wonders of God again?
Instead of laying out the sins of the people, he reminds them that God is a forgiving God to those who would seek Him. He makes certain to share that even the greatest among Israel’s past required God’s forgiveness. Their sins had consequences which were meted out to them as God judged necessary.
You can CLEARLY see God’s forgiveness and mercy as well as His holiness in the three who were listed in the example. We are not privy to any of Samuel’s sins in the stories of the Bible but we KNOW there had to be some. Through Paul and the Holy Spirit God tells us this; “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We know directly of two sins Moses committed. One being murder which he committed before he was called by God to lead Israel. The second was when he struck the rock in anger instead of speaking to it as God commanded. If it were ME judging, I would reprimand him for murder LONG before even mentioning the rock incident. But God focused on the second. He didn’t even mention the murder when He called Moses. Maybe He had already dealt with it by that time. Maybe Moses had already repented of it.
Now Aaron is the one that REALLY blows my mind! The GREATEST sin we see from Aaron is that of fashioning another god for the people and LYING about it to Moses! Yet God appoints him as high priest for all of Israel. I wonder if God somehow dealt with this sin of Aaron’s in a way we don’t hear about. I know he suffered the punishment meted out by Moses, right along with the rest of the people. But was there something else God imposed on Aaron for his sins? Is it possible that the death of two of his sons when they tried to ‘improve their importance in the eyes of the people’ partially a punishment for Aaron too? Did both Moses and Aaron get off easier for their earlier sins because God had not yet given them the Law? Were they not judged according to the Law because they were not yet subject to it?
All three men had an AMAZING relationship with God; in spite of their failures. I believe it was because they knew how to repent and return to Him. They accepted the consequences of their sins as well as the forgiveness of God. And they continued to praise and serve Him with the rest of their lives. Our psalmist appears to long for the same kind of relationship Moses, Aaron, and Samuel had with the Lord. As do I.
Because of God’s Laws in the Old Testament, the everyday man was not allowed the first hand personal relationship that we have through Jesus’ work. They were able to approach Him through the priests and receive answers to their prayers. They approached Him through sacrifices and offerings. Those offerings included offerings of praise. I believe that is where ALL interactions and offerings most likely begin.
My first words may not be words described as praise but they come from a heart that KNOWS God and comes to Him because He is my source. I wouldn’t come asking for help if I didn’t already KNOW He is able to meet the need I am bringing to Him. Imagine taking a family heirloom watch to a butcher and expecting him to be able to repair it. You wouldn’t because you know the butcher lacks the ability to meet your needs. NO OTHER SOURCE but God can meet our needs. NO OTHER god is worthy of praise. He hears my cries, no matter the words that first leave my lips.
Praise is the BEST way I know to get my heart in tune with His. I have found my greatest victories come after I simply let go of my problem and praise Him for whatever He decides to do about an answer. HE knows my needs and knows BEST how to meet them. Praise helps me turn lose and let Him steer my course. I invite you to try it. Our psalmist encourages us to also.
Father God, I do want to praise You right now. So MANY times You have moved in my life without me even realizing what You were doing. You ALWAYS brought about the BEST things for me, even when that included discipline. I praise You for that discipline! Who knows where I would be today if You had withheld that from me.
in ALL things. Thank You for loving me! Thank You for changing me day by day into Your holy child. I got a LONG way to go but I KNOW You will be with me every step of the way.