Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Psalm 78 God repudiates the unfaithful

Psalm 78  says:

"Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God and kept not his testimonies:
But turned back and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, and moved Him to jealousy with their graven images.
When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:
So that He forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men;
And delivered His strength into captivity, and His glory into the enemy's hand.
He gave His people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with His inheritance.
The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage.
Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.
Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.
And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach.
Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim".

People who don't ever read the Bible which corrects man-centred misconceptions about God, create God in the image of "Santa Claus" and talk blindly about "Oh well, God will forgive - He is  Love". They should read the Psalms....

This is just one of many passages that clearly state that God is not patient forever towards those who spurn Him and His Commandments.  Like the mother of a criminal son who remains faithful to the gallows, because she bore him, God puts up with a lot from sinners. His sun shines on the grateful and the ungrateful alike. His patience with and mercy on sinning believers is legendary. But as The King, there is a limit to what we can expect from Him.

In this passage, God rejects His people of old, "Ephraim" or the Kingdom of Israel and He transfers His hopes elsewhere. In fact, Psalm 78 says He has come to loathe Israel for their betrayal of Him, their idolatry and for their corrupt character. 

What happens next? First, God's holy Presence (the "Shekinah Glory") departs from their sanctuary leaving a spiritual vacuum. People and places lose their beauty, distinctiveness and identity: everything become suddenly dull, ordinary, earthy. God is not longer present with them. They are clearly no longer His people.

Due to losing His protection, they are unable to hold off their enemies. Many of the young men are slain. The young women are no longer given in marriage either due to social breakdown or because their betrothed are dead. Marriage and families had been a sign of the presence of God.  Even the Jewish priests, presumably the heretical ones, are murdered, for God had woken up in rage and kicked His former people in the behind. He despises them and puts them to perpetual reproach (shame).  

This may seem shocking, but the God who is indeed "Love" does this - because He is also Holiness.  He did this to His chosen "people". What God was He still is. 

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