November 08 2023
Today, Wednesday November 08
“They Did Not Remember…”
7 Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; They did not remember the multitude of Your mercies, But rebelled by the sea--the Red Sea.
8 Nevertheless He saved them for His name's sake, That He might make His mighty power known.
9 He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it dried up; So He led them through the depths, As through the wilderness.
10 He saved them from the hand of him who hated them, And redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
11 The waters covered their enemies; There was not one of them left.
12 Then they believed His words; They sang His praise.
Psalm 106 is one of the great history psalms of the Old Testament that was written to remind future generations of Israel of God’s faithfulness and mercy despite their rebellion, sins, and failures. The psalmist first expresses joyful faith in Jehovah in verse 1, as he praises the LORD and gives thanks for His goodness and His mercy that endures forever. Then in verse 6, he combines his praise with a prayer of confession of both his sins and the sins of the nation in the past.
Now in verses 7-12, the writer begins to recount the failures and sins of Israel as soon as they are leaving Egypt. Notice two things that lead to their rebellion. “They did not understand….” and “they did not remember…”. The reference here is to Israel's fear and unbelief at the Exodus, when they were caught between the Egyptian army behind them and the Red Sea before them. You can read about this in Exodus 14:10-31.
They had just witnessed the mighty power of God as He had devastated Egypt with plagues, but Israel did not believe that the Lord could successfully deliver them from the Egyptians. They were looking back instead of looking up and were walking by sight and not by faith. They preferred the security of slavery to the challenges of liberty. "Let us go back to Egypt!" was frequently their response when they found themselves in a situation that demanded faith.
In that desperate hour, they did not remember God's kindness or His promises, and they panicked. But despite their unbelief and their rebellion, God led them through the sea on dry land and utterly destroyed the enemy army that tried to follow them. Now, how did they respond? "Then they believed His words; they sang His praise" (v. 12). Exodus 15:1-20 tells us how they had a celebration and worship service, singing, dancing, and praising the LORD.
It is very interesting that the enemy pagan nations that Israel would face in the future, would remember this great miracle but the people of Israel would forget! This one miracle should have assured them for all the trials to come, but they did not take it to heart or understand God's ways (Psalms 78:42-51; 95:10; 103:7).
For Moses, this was an experience of faith that glorified God, but for the people, it was just another spectacular event. They were spectators at a performance, not participants in a miracle. I’m afraid that we as believers are not any different today. We become fans in the audience, ready to sing and praise the LORD when everything is going good in our lives, but we don’t understand how God wants us to walk by faith not by sight and at the first major challenge to our faith, we quickly forget His great mercy at Calvary and want to go back to our old ways in Egypt!
May the Lord help us today to be focused on God’s glory and not our own comfort!