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Reading:                                         Psalm 106                                                                 

 (Verses 6-15)

We have sinned, even as our ancestors did;
we have done wrong and acted wickedly.
When our ancestors were in Egypt,
they gave no thought to your miracles;
they did not remember your many kindnesses,
and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea.
Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
to make his mighty power known.
He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up;
he led them through the depths as through a desert.
He saved them from the hand of the foe;
from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them.
The waters covered their adversaries;
not one of them survived.
Then they believed his promises and sang his praise.

But they soon forgot what he had done
and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
 In the desert they gave in to their craving;
in the wilderness they put God to the test.
 So he gave them what they asked for,
but sent a wasting disease among them
(NIV).

Reflection

Psalm 106 begins with the psalmist pleading for God’s favor. He longs to be included among the blessed, who are saved and numbered among the LORD’s chosen ones. But in today’s reading we discovered the terrible truth. Sinful conduct has been rampant among God’s people; therefore, the psalmist makes this confession. We have sinned, even as our ancestors did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly.

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Flaming day lily, summer memories — photo by David Kitz

As this psalm progresses, the psalmist catalogs an ever growing list of transgressions. But what sets this downward progression into motion is forgetfulness. The psalmist laments, they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea. Later he comments: But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold.

Usually we do not consider forgetfulness to be a sin. But there is such a thing as wilful forgetfulness. We remember those things we consider important. We forget the trivial—those things we consider of little significance. The redeemed people of Israel experienced the wonder-working power of God, yet they treated these events as though they were of little significance. They failed to grasp the significance of these events and as result they stumbled into grumbling and disobedience. Do we grasp the significance of God’s interaction with us? The great Creator reaches out to us. There’s nothing insignificant in that.

Response: Father God, I want to treasure the experiences I have with you. Each one is significant as you guide me in your way. Help me be attentive to your voice, your word and your Spirit. Amen.

Your Turn: Have you been guilty of forgetting those times when God has spoken to you?