As it is early in 2023, I thought I would remind us all to take time and look back at the goodness of God.
Psalm 106:12-13 reads as follows:
“Then they believed His promises and sang His praise. But they soon forgot what He had done and did not wait for His counsel.”
If we continue to read further in Psalm 106, we will see the unfortunate results of “they soon forgot what He had done…”
- Did not wait for His counsel (v. 12)
- Gave in to their cravings (v. 14)
- Put God to the test (v. 14)
- Began to worship something else (v. 19)
- Forgot the God who saved them (v. 21)
- Despised what they had been given (v. 24)
- Did not believe His promises – unbelief (v. 24)
- Grumbled and moaned (v. 25)
- yoked themselves to the foolish (v. 28)
- Bitterness set in (v. 32)
- Rebelled (v. 33)
- High places became set up in lives – strongholds (v. 36)
- Sacrificed their values and those they loved to the spirit of the age (v. 37-39)
- Protection was gone (v. 40)
Some Good News
As the people of Israel cried out in their distress, God remembered His covenant for their sake. Out of His love, He came to their rescue. But why did they have to go through this downward spiral? How did it start? In Psalm 106:13, we see clearly how it started, “…they soon forgot what He had done…”
In Joshua 4:4-7, each of the twelve Israelites took up a stone on his shoulder. Joshua told the Israelites that in the future their children would ask them, “What do these stones mean?” The stones were to be a memorial to the people forever. We are strongly urged to follow suit and gather memorial stones so we do not forget – we have the ability to remember because our Maker remembers. He equipped us with a reflective capacity for our blessing and benefit.
As I sit and write this article, many of my “memorial stones” come to mind (God’s dealings, revelations, answered prayers, provision, supernatural encounters, etc. …) As I think about these, I am humbled and extremely grateful.
I strongly urge us to pick up stones from our own Jordan riverbed as ongoing memorials – not only for our sake but also for the sake of our children and all who will come after us.
God told the people of Joshua’s day, “…In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then [in this manner] you will answer them…” Joshua 6:4-7. This answer will be a testimony to God’s faithfulness and steadfastness. The ancient Hebrews considered sharing this heritage of faith with their children and grandchildren (whether physical or spiritual) their most important responsibility. Compare this to Deuteronomy 6:4-7).
Just as the Israelites “forgot what He had done”, it is easy for us to do the same. It is quite possible for us to experience something of Psalm 106. Praise God, He will not break His covenant with us, and He will still hear us when we cry out. but we want more than His mercy; we want His full blessing. Let us continue to pile up the memorial stones of thanksgiving and gratitude in our lives as we continue to embrace His future promises for us. Let us determine that 2023, will be a year where we keep our hearts and minds in that place of gratitude no matter what we see around us. This is a powerful weapon and something God has spoken about over and over in His Word.