When forgetfulness erases past hurtful experiences, the results are terrible. Such forgetfulness produces needless sorrows and endless tragedy. The admonition to “put it behind you” does not mean “erase all memory of the experience.” Wisdom also remembers!
The psalmist said because the people forgot the Lord’s ability, they rebelled, grumbled, and refused His guidance. The results were tragic! The generation of adults that left Egypt would die in the wilderness, and eventually their descendants would be scattered in the lands of distant nations.
He gave two examples. At Peor they worshipped Baal and sacrificed to the dead. Had it not been for the faith-filled courage of Phinehas even more Israelites would have died.
At Meribah, Israelite adults who left Egypt were faithlessly foolish. They angered both God and Moses. Unfortunately, Moses' anger resulted in sin.
When the second generation entered Canaan, they repeated their parents’ lack of faith. Instead of destroying the idolatrous people, they adopted those peoples’ offensive practices. The result: They mingled with idolaters, worshipped idols, sacrificed children to demons, shed innocent blood through idolatrous practices, murdered, and defiled themselves through evil deeds.
They caused the God who loved them to abhor them. God abandoned these people’s descendants to pagan nations who hated them, crushed them, and treated them cruelly. Despite God’s repeated rescues, Israel rebelled against God. Even in deserved captivity, God pitied them and caused the captors to show them kind treatment.
The psalmist asked for Israel’s deliverance and praised God. He urged the Israelites to praise God!
Too often when tragedy strikes, we blame rather than reflect.
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell
Link to David's Home Page