God’s persistent training

Our amazing God is faithful where I am unfaithful.

Having grown up in a culture concerned about right and wrong, it is easy to become caught up with a list of dos and don’ts. In Psalm 78 Israel’s failure is put differently. Rather than speaking of breaking laws, the psalmist speaks of disloyalty and unfaithfulness; terms important to relationship. Reading the Psalm in this light I see a pattern: Israel failed to grasp the greatness of God and were unwilling to entrust themselves completely to His care. They broke faith with Him creating their own solutions and even their own gods. It also speaks of our Lord’s persistence in pursuing Israel to draw them back to Himself.

When I put my life against this bar I do not come out well. For instance there have been times when words have come to mind that could challenge someone’s headlong drive towards folly that was later regretted. To my shame I have kept them to myself. It is a bit like “the men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle.” (v9). Seen through the relational covenant lens, I betrayed God when I failed to deliver and give this child of His an opportunity to hear another perspective.

I look at my failures and wonder how God could trust me again. What I actually see Him doing though is training me in less challenging situations. Seeing these lessons gives hope that He can teach and change me.