Beside the Well
“Because they believed not God, and trusted not in his salvation.” Psalm 78:22
Psalm 78 is an indictment of Israel’s fickle and unstable faith. Though God had made every effort to prove Himself, they refused to recognize Him as totally able to provide. They didn’t believe Him. They did not wholly trust him. They forgot He was their Rock and Redeemer (v. 35). Over and over they chose to thwart God's work among them by seeking help and solace in the nations surrounding them. They tempted and provoked God by their unbelief and disobedience (v. 56, 58).
God, on the other hand, showed compassion and remembered they were but flesh (v. 38). Verse 72 is one of my favorites, with His integrity and skill He continued to feed them and guide them.
Standing where we are now, we can see God always worked on their behalf and wonder why they were so doubtful. But put the shoe on the other foot, and we have to come to grips with the fact that we, like Israel, are often fickle and unbelieving. We fail to remember what God has done for us in the past. We look for every avenue of help around us, and forget the faithfulness of our God. We wonder if He is really true to His Word; if He will actually keep His promises. We frustrate the grace of God with our continual doubt.
Understanding how God works can be quite a challenge and we might struggle for answers, but the truth stands. God is always working for the good of His children according to His will and plan, even if they doubt.
I found this prayer recorded in my journal from a time when I had read Psalm 78. “Oh Lord, I don’t want to be like Israel, forgetting your goodness, doubting your power, or giving you half-hearted service. My sin is before me and is breaking my spirit. I have brought it to You and been forgiven, but fear reigns in my heart as I wonder how You can solve my problem. I know nothing is too big for You. Nothing is impossible if I will only choose to believe You and trust Your integrity and skill.
I do that again right now. I believe You know all things. You know where I am today and where I will be ten years from now. You will not forsake me. I want to trust You. I must trust You. I have no strength of my own.
I pray You can take the mess I have made and turn it for Your glory. As I look at all You have provided for me, how can I doubt or fail to trust Your love and care for me. I am ashamed of my own weak faith.
I look forward to the day when I can shout Your praise at the end of this trial. Yet, I need not wait. I can shout Your praise now because Your goodness is always evident around me.”
We serve a God of integrity and wisdom. When we are weak, He is strong. When we doubt, He remains faithful. When we are confused, He knows the way. When we fail, He forgives and restores. Our God is never fickle. We can trust Him fully.