“For forty years I loathed that generation and said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they do not regard my ways.’” vs. 10
Human beings have been given memories for many reasons, two of which are recounted in this psalm. First, the psalmist encourages the worshipers to remember the wonderful creative works of their shepherding Lord and how good life as a sheep can be. But then we hear a word of warning, an admonition from the psalmist turned preacher, as he reminds the flock of how foolish sheep often are. The old story of the wilderness complaining is brought up and hearers are told never to forget that rebellion has consequences. That’s an important message for us too. Stories of past failures can have a positive influence on our decision making. Certainly we would be foolish to forget those times when we’ve wandered and made messes of our lives. That’s one of the values that comes from studying history. We can learn from the mistakes of our ancestors, and if we don’t learn, we will be likely doomed to repeat their errors. Of course life is not that easy, and the sad truth is that instead of learning from the past we mostly keep on doing the same foolish things again and again. That’s why forgiveness is such a big deal for us. We will never escape our sin by our own effort. Our only hope is in a God who forgets, and who continually offers second chances.
Thought for the Day: The mistake that taught me the most.