Christian Devotions

Focus verses: Psalm 78:58-72

Psalm 78 is a recounting of the Lord’s munificence to the children of Israel, the way he led them out of Egypt, how he fed them in the wilderness, his driving the inhabitants of the promised land out before them. And it is a litany of Israel’s infidelities to the Lord as well. This telling ends with the rule of David and praise for his skill and integrity of heart.

It seems strange to me that God should claim that David was a man after His own heart. David did some really horrible things. He stole another man’s wife. He conspired to have that man killed. That’s breaking two of the ten commandments right there, and it flowed out of his breaking a third. “You shall not covet.”

But God remembers who and what man is. He remembers our frailties. And He looks upon our grief and repentance with mercy rather than judgment.

My grandmother used to say “those who will not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” The children of Israel are a prime example. They walked around that mountain time and time again. God would redeem them. They would prosper. Then they would add other things as idols in their lives. God would be pushed aside. And He would have to send them into exile again before they found out that He was the foundation of their lives.

How many things have we put before God in our lives? Money, position, family, possessions, ambitions? Can we take stock and say truthfully that God is first in our lives? If not, we would be well advised to change our priorities. The first commandment of Jesus is to love the Lord with all your heart and mind and strength. (My paraphrase.)

Let us make the Lord our first love and all else will fall into place according to His plans for our lives.

Father, God,

Help us to remember to seek You first. Not your favors or blessings, just Your presence in our lives. Whatever happens, we can survive and thrive if we are close to You. Grant us the blessing of closeness to You.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.
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