As we have done in previous Lent and Advent seasons, we are again blogging our way through the Lenten Lectionary Texts. In this season, our prayer is that we will bless and inspire you in your walk between the Now and Not-Yet of the Kingdom. We pray that our meditations will be life-giving to you in your journey.
A reading from the Psalms.
Come, let’s sing out loud to the LORD! Let’s raise a joyful shout to the rock of our salvation! Let’s come before him with thanks! Let’s shout songs of joy to him! The LORD is a great God, the great King over all other gods. The earth’s depths are in his hands; the mountain heights belong to him; the sea, which he made, is his along with the dry ground, which his own hands formed.
Come, let’s worship and bow down! Let’s kneel before the LORD, our maker! He is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the sheep in his hands.
If only you would listen to his voice right now! “Don’t harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, like you did when you were at Massah, in the wilderness, when your ancestors tested me and scrutinized me, even though they had already seen my acts. For forty years I despised that generation; I said, ‘These people have twisted hearts. They don’t know my ways.’ So in anger I swore: ‘They will never enter my place of rest!’”
This is the Word of The Lord.
Today’s text reflects on the story from yesterday’s text, Exodus 17:1-7. The Israelites are in need of water. Yet, instead of asking God for water, they complain. Instead of seeking water from the One who created water they grumble about there not being any water. They fail to remember the goodness of their God!
In the last quarter of 2013, as we began to pray about 2014, I asked God to give me a single word to serve as a theme for 2014. A word that I could meditate on over the course of the year. A word that would serve to be a life-raft for the troubled waters. A word that would serve as a constant reminder of God’s love, grace, and promises.
As 2014 dawned, God answered my prayers, and gave me the word, “Remember.” As I’ve read through the Scriptures this year, I’ve looked for places where God tells His people to remember.
Remember who they are.
Remember whose they are.
Remember who holds it all together.
Remember who will never let them go.
Psalm 95 is one of those passages. The first two-thirds of the Psalm are a reminder of the Creator. The idea of a Creator God is critical to our lives because if God can’t/don’t create, then He can’t re-create either. If God isn’t a Creator, then water never appears in the desert. If God isn’t a Creator than shalom—nothing missing, nothing broken—can never come.
See, Shalom requires that which is broken to be fixed. It requires that which is missing to be found. It requires that which is fallen to be raised up. It requires a Creator.
The final third of this Psalm is an admonishment to the Israelites. It serves to remind the Israelites that there was a time that they forgot their Creator God. That they choose to grumble and complain instead of remember.
Remembering is key to faith. Our faith is built as we remember the greatness of our God. Faith is strengthened by our remembering the things that He has done to rescue and protect us. Faith is solidified by remembering the ways that He has provided for us.
Remember is one of the core messages of the Old Testament. Remember who you are. Remember Whose you are. Remember what God has done. Remember how you were in bondage and He rescued you. Remember how you were on top of the world and how He sustained you.
In Deuteronomy 6, Moses gives the Israelites the SHEMA—“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (verses 4-5). Yet, Moses doesn’t stop there. He continues on with a command to remember:
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” — Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (ESV)
You, parent, shall teach them diligently to your children. Pass on the legacy of remembering. What has God done for you? Tell your children. Repeat it. Recite it enough that they can recite it back. Your story should become their story. It’s what God did for you and your descendants.
Pass it down!
Write it down!