Psalm 78



What do you do when things go wrong?  It has been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.  I have found that my own repeated behavior and my unwillingness to accept responsibility is often the problem.  Proverbs 19:3 NIV says, “A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord.”

To grow in holiness one must get a true perspective of what went wrong by putting wisdom into practice and Psalm 78 is a good example of where to start.  As the people of Israel become a nation with a king the writer of this Psalm takes a look back at the history of the nation.

 One of the best things to do when things go wrong is to look back and see exactly what went wrong and why.  There is usually a pattern of repeated behavior.  Certainly there are things that happen to us that are beyond our control.  However, we can control our response and many times we will find the event could have been avoided altogether had we followed God’s wisdom.

 This psalm begins with God presenting His case against Israel as if in a court of law or a classroom.  He then proceeds with a description of the pattern that Israel had followed over and over again which caused them harm and caused them to miss the blessings that God had provided.  After going over each event in the history presented in this psalm, and everything is now on the table, one thing stands out.  They acted in unbelief.  They did not trust in God’s way so they went their own way or they did things the way they saw the nations around them doing. 

 I believe it is the same for us.  When I stop and consider my response to an event that is going wrong, and think I need to respond, I am always amazed at the root of the response I am considering. Is it some wisdom from a movie or a TV show I watched as a kid, or some person who was a friend, or worse yet, some ungodly person that I looked up to because he was a man’s man?   How much better to look at God’s Word and put that into practice.  How many angry responses and harmed relationships could be avoided if we put off our old ways and put on God’s ways?  How many of our failures and harm are the result of our putting into practice the world’s wisdom?  Truly, we are sabotaging ourselves when we do this.

 Today let me encourage you to look back and see if at the root of the problems and failures you have suffered was some action you took that was from unbelief.  We cannot change the past but we can change how we respond to the things that come up in the future. 

 Remember the bracelets the youth used to wear that asked, “What would Jesus do?”   That is a good question to ask ourselves.  If we don’t know what Jesus would do, rather than take action, let’s stop and find out what He would do, and then put what we learned into action.  When we do this we will be on the right path and move to the area where God is able to bless us rather than forcing Him to allow us to fail.

 Grace and Peace

Pastor Dave