Today in this section of Psalm 78 we have good news and bad news. We see God’s amazing mercy to the children of Israel, but we also see what God did to those who opposed Him. People say, “God is a God of love.” And yes, absolutely He is. But He is also righteous and just. He will not allow people to shake their fists in His face forever. The pharaoh of Egypt stood in direct defiance to God. The Lord gave him opportunity after opportunity to obey, but he did not. What we sow we will reap and Egypt brought about their own destruction. And as we read today, we see that the children of Israel also defied God and even though they had seen His mighty hand go against Egypt, they forgot.
“Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return. How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the wasteland! Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember his power—the day he redeemed them from the oppressor, the day he displayed his signs in Egypt, his wonders in the region of Zoan. He turned their river into blood; they could not drink from their streams. He sent swarms of flies that devoured them, and frogs that devastated them. He gave their crops to the grasshopper, their produce to the locust. He destroyed their vines with hail and their sycamore-figs with sleet. He gave over their cattle to the hail, their livestock to bolts of lightning. He unleashed against them his hot anger, his wrath, indignation and hostility—a band of destroying angels. He prepared a path for his anger; he did not spare them from death but gave them over to the plague. He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, the firstfruits of manhood in the tents of Ham. But he brought his people out like a flock; he led them like sheep through the wilderness.” Psalm 78:38-52
Lord, I read what happened to Egypt. Help me to never forget that You are both a God of love, but also a God of justice. Help me to always remember Your mighty deeds of both blessings and plagues. Help me never to forget and always follow You.