Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 8, 2016

“Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction”

Today’s devotion comes from Psalm 78:21-39.  We include verses 21-22 which were also covered by yesgterday’s devotion in order to provide context.

“21 Therefore the Lord heard and was full of wrath;
And a fire was kindled against Jacob
And anger also mounted against Israel,
22 Because they did not believe in God
And did not trust in His salvation.
23 Yet He commanded the clouds above
And opened the doors of heaven;
24 He rained down manna upon them to eat
And gave them food from heaven.
25 Man did eat the bread of angels;
He sent them food in abundance.
26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens
And by His power He directed the south wind.
27 When He rained meat upon them like the dust,
Even winged fowl like the sand of the seas,
28 Then He let them fall in the midst of their camp,
Round about their dwellings.
29 So they ate and were well filled,
And their desire He gave to them.
30 Before they had satisfied their desire,
While their food was in their mouths,
31 The anger of God rose against them
And killed some of their stoutest ones,
And subdued the choice men of Israel.
32 In spite of all this they still sinned
And did not believe in His wonderful works.
33 So He brought their days to an end in futility
And their years in sudden terror.

34 When He killed them, then they sought Him,
And returned and searched diligently for God;
35 And they remembered that God was their rock,
And the Most High God their Redeemer.
36 But they deceived Him with their mouth
And lied to Him with their tongue.
37 For their heart was not steadfast toward Him,
Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
38 But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them;
And often He restrained His anger
And did not arouse all His wrath.
39 Thus He remembered that they were but flesh,
A wind that passes and does not return.”  Psalm 78:21-39.


Despite miracles testifying to God’s power and despite the provisions of manna and water, Israel did not believe in God nor in His wonderful works nor trust in His salvation.

Therefore, God was angry, full of wrath. 

The lesson for us is to avoid Israel’s mistakes.

“For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea;  and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;  and all ate the same spiritual food;  and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them;  and the rock was Christ.  Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased;  for they were laid low in the wilderness.

Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.  Do not be idolaters, as some of them were;  as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.”  Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.  Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.  Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.  Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”  1 Corinthians 10:1-11.

Search diligently for God.  Believe in God’s wonderous works.  Remember that God is your Rock and your Redeemer.

Reformed Doctrine can help, because it focuses on God, His wonderous works, and continually presents God as our Rock and Redeemer.  And, “TULIP” helps us remember the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, namely man’s “Total Depravity”, God’s “Unconditional Election”, God’s “Limited Atonement”, God’s “Irresistible Grace”, and God’s “Preservation of the Saints”. 


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