Psalm 78 spends 72 verses to communicate the importance of learning from the past.  We don’t have to repeat the mistakes of our ancestors.  Yet someone has said, “Those who fail to learn from the past are destined to repeat it.”  How do we learn from our past?  How can we move beyond fear to a faith that expresses itself through obedience to God?  In my life I am learning that it takes time which involves honest reflection.  I need to probe the motives which explain my actions.  A superficial desire for a different outcome will probably not be sufficient.  I need to expose fears and selfish desires that led to behavior that led to defeat.  On the positive side, I need a fresh reminder of God’s grace and power for those who believe.  I don’t feel I gave equal attention to God’s grace in last Sunday’s sermon.  Commentator Derek Kidner concludes his remarks on Ps. 78 with these words, “If Israel’s record is her shame, God’s persistent goodness emerges as her hope (and ours) for the unfinished story.” (Kidner, Psalms, pg. 286)  Israel failed after King David.  I will fail at times.  But God’s persistent goodness undergirds Israel’s story and mine.  So I can honestly look at past failures, because I have been forgiven.  And I can look to the future with hope, because by God’s grace I can learn to trust and obey.

Pastor Mark

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