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National Hero

Today’s reading: Psalm 78:1-79:13

My selection: Psalm 78:5-8

5      He established a testimony in Jacob

          and appointed a law in Israel,

     which he commanded our fathers

          to teach to their children,

6      that the next generation might know them,

          the children yet unborn,

     and arise and tell them to their children,

7           so that they should set their hope in God

     and not forget the works of God,

          but keep his commandments;

8      and that they should not be like their fathers,

          a stubborn and rebellious generation,

     a generation whose heart was not steadfast,

          whose spirit was not faithful to God.

My reflections: National histories typically have national heroes and villains. In US history, the former have generally been men like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King. The latter include Benedict Arnold, John Wilkes Booth, and Lee Harvey Oswald.

Israel is different. Their national hero is God. He is the only One who is always perfect, just, wise, powerful, and gracious. Of course, the history of Israel has its human heroes, too. But they are painted as very human and their depravity seeps out in the story. Noah got drunk and exposed himself. Abraham lied. Moses was punished for anger and for dishonoring the Lord. David committed adultery and tried to cover it up with murder.

God is the true hero of Israel’s history and, in reality, of all human history. In Isaiah 45:22-23 the call goes out:

22 “Turn to me and be saved,

all the ends of the earth!

For I am God, and there is no other.

23 By myself I have sworn;

from my mouth has gone out in righteousness

a word that shall not return:

‘To me every knee shall bow,

every tongue shall swear allegiance.’

My challenge: God is worthy of the worship of every person on earth. In Him and Him alone, there is salvation. Ultimately, everyone will recognize Him. Those who have turned to Him will be saved. These will come from the ends of the earth. Praise Him for His coming glory. May it be soon.

Tomorrow’s reading: Psalm 80:1-85:13

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