TIMES OF THE LORD’S REFRESHING
Sunday, 19 January 2020
“Oh that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways! ” -Psalm 81:13
Here is a Psalm that calls God’s people to worship during one of their festivals, but also helps them reflect on His goodness in the past and their failures that caused them to miss much of the blessing of God. What lessons does it hold for the believer today?
Raise His praise
The Psalmist exhorts us to sing and shout God’s praise! It is an exuberant expression of our joy in Him. We delight in His might and who He is to us! The Creator of us and the ends of the universe is worthy of all praise. Romans 11: 36 GNT says: “For all things were created by him, and all things exist through him and for him. To God be the glory forever! Amen.” That’s what worship is about!
Reflect on His goodness
God’s people were to remember what He had done for them by recounting it generation after generation. Their children were to hear from their fathers of how God had led them. “…That they may arise and declare them to their children, that they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments” (Ps.78:6-7). The removal of burdens off Israel’s shoulders (Psa 81:6) is reflective of Christ removing the burden of sin and setting the believer free from the clutches of the devil so He/she could enter into eternal life in Him. Colossians 1:13-14 says thus: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” How often we need to remind ourselves of God’s work of grace and mercy in our lives!
Repent of past failures
Though God warned them, Israel still went after foreign gods and chose to walk in their ways. Since they would not listen to Him, they suffered the consequences of their sin: “But My people did not listen to My voice, And Israel did not obey Me.“So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, To walk in their own devices.” (Psa 81:11-12). What a sad and fearful state to be in if warning after warning from God are unheeded and thrown aside! That life will go from bad to worse as it is described in Romans1:18-32) “So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.” (Rom.1:24 NLT)
We need to repent of sin and past failures and return to God, so that He will send times of refreshing in our lives (Acts 3:19). Isaiah 30:15 NLT: “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.—”
Return to His promises
How many promises God had given Israel on the blessing of obedience (Deut.28). He is an All- sufficient God (Psa 81:10) who can satisfy every need. He loves to protect and prosper His people (Psa 81:14,16). But they had turned away. God says, “Oh that My people would listen to Me…”(Psa 81:13). The same thing applies to the believer today—there are plenty of promises that awaits him/her in Christ Jesus that can help to get through life. But often we are slow to hear and hard of heart—we need to repent and retune to God’s promises of fulfilment on our lives.
Look at this promise in Romans 8:23: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Yes He will! Oh that we would trust Him with our lives!
Now would you raise His praise this day?
“How great and good You are Lord God! Please forgive my waywardness and cleanse me as I turn to You! May Your promises for my life be fulfilled in me. Amen.”
Listen: ‘Times of Refreshing’
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