Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
2 Who can declare the Lord’s mighty acts
or proclaim all the praise due Him?
3 How happy are those who uphold justice,
who practice righteousness at all times.
4 Remember me, Lord,
when You show favor to Your people.
Come to me with Your salvation
5 so that I may enjoy the prosperity
of Your chosen ones,
rejoice in the joy of Your nation,
and boast about Your heritage.
6 Both we and our fathers have sinned;
we have done wrong and have acted wickedly.
7 Our fathers in Egypt did not grasp
the significance of Your wonderful works
or remember Your many acts of faithful love;
instead, they rebelled by the sea — the Red Sea.
8 Yet He saved them because of His name,
to make His power known.
9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up;
He led them through the depths as through a desert.
10 He saved them from the hand of the adversary;
He redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
11 Water covered their foes;
not one of them remained.
12 Then they believed His promises
and sang His praise.
13 They soon forgot His works
and would not wait for His counsel.
14 They were seized with craving in the wilderness
and tested God in the desert.
15 He gave them what they asked for,
but sent a wasting disease among them.
16 In the camp they were envious of Moses
and of Aaron, the Lords holy one.
17 The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan;
it covered the assembly of Abiram.
18 Fire blazed throughout their assembly;
flames consumed the wicked.
19 At Horeb they made a calf
and worshiped the cast metal image.
20 They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass- eating ox.
21 They forgot God their Savior,
who did great things in Egypt,
22 wonderful works in the land of Ham,
awe- inspiring acts at the Red Sea.
23 So He said He would have destroyed them —
if Moses His chosen one
had not stood before Him in the breach
to turn His wrath away from destroying them.
24 They despised the pleasant land
and did not believe His promise.
25 They grumbled in their tents
and did not listen to the Lord’s voice.
26 So He raised His hand against them with an oath
that He would make them fall in the desert
27 and would disperse their descendants
among the nations,
scattering them throughout the lands.
28 They aligned themselves with Baal of Peor
and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods.
29 They provoked the Lord with their deeds,
and a plague broke out against them.
30 But Phinehas stood up and intervened,
and the plague was stopped.
31 It was credited to him as righteousness
throughout all generations to come.
32 They angered the Lord at the waters of Meribah,
and Moses suffered because of them;
33 for they embittered his spirit,
and he spoke rashly with his lips.
34 They did not destroy the peoples
as the Lord had commanded them
35 but mingled with the nations
and adopted their ways.
36 They served their idols,
which became a snare to them.
37 They sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons.
38 They shed innocent blood —
the blood of their sons and daughters
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
so the land became polluted with blood.
39 They defiled themselves by their actions
and prostituted themselves by their deeds.
40 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against His people,
and He abhorred His own inheritance.
41 He handed them over to the nations;
those who hated them ruled them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them,
and they were subdued under their power.
43 He rescued them many times,
but they continued to rebel deliberately
and were beaten down by their sin.
44 When He heard their cry,
He took note of their distress,
45 remembered His covenant with them,
and relented according to the riches
of His faithful love.
46 He caused them to be pitied
before all their captors.
47 Save us, Yahweh our God,
and gather us from the nations,
so that we may give thanks to Your holy name
and rejoice in Your praise.
48 May Yahweh, the God of Israel, be praised
from everlasting to everlasting.
Let all the people say, “Amen!
Lessons from Israels Past
A Maskil of Asaph.
“1 My people, hear my instruction;
listen to what I say.
2 I will declare wise sayings;
I will speak mysteries from the past —
3 things we have heard and known
and that our fathers have passed down to us.
4 We must not hide them from their children,
but must tell a future generation
the praises of the Lord,
His might, and the wonderful works
He has performed.
5 He established a testimony in Jacob
and set up a law in Israel,
which He commanded our fathers
to teach to their children
6 so that a future generation —
children yet to be born — might know.
They were to rise and tell their children
7 so that they might put their confidence in God
and not forget Gods works,
but keep His commands.
8 Then they would not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not loyal
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
In the remaining 64 verses, Asaph recalls God’s faithfulness and judgment, both for and against Israel. They were clearly His chosen ones, but they fought back against Him and rejected His leading so many times. Asaph reminds the people what happened to Egypt and how God’s judgment lashed out against them. He reminds them about what happens to those who stand against God, not because He is angry at them, but so that they may never forget.
This telling and re-telling of their history was mandated by God. He commanded each generation to tell the next over and over again why things were the way they were, How God had helped them, saved them, and why they should be faithful to the One who has defined faithfulness. And so Asaph is a continuing partner in that act of remembrance and obedience. And as it was good for Israel to remember what God had done, it is still good for us today.
He is our Faithful One, our Lord and our Liege. He is our Rescuer and our Salvation. His mighty works have saved us from death itself and the least that we can do is to thank Him through remembering what He has done. Remembering, both in this way and when we take communion, is an act of worship. It is a recalling and a thanaksgiving. It is a proclamation of the goodness of God, and that recalling worships Him because it draws hearts & minds to Him, it gives Him glory and it stands as a testimony.
As we GoLove others for His sake, we need to recall to them what He has done, not only for Israel, but in our own lives. Our testimony of His faithfulness stands as a witness to them as we share the good news of the Gospel of Christ. There is no retelling of God’s faithfulness that is not worship and a joy to the hearts of those who still live in darkness.