Saturday, October 20: Like sheep through the wilderness
On Saturdays we'll worship God through a selection from the Psalms.
Read Psalm 78:40-55
How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved him in the wasteland!
Again and again they put God to the test;
they vexed the Holy One of Israel.
They did not remember his power —
the day he redeemed them from the oppressor,
the day he displayed his signs in Egypt,
his wonders in the region of Zoan.
He turned their river into blood;
they could not drink from their streams.
He sent swarms of flies that devoured them,
and frogs that devastated them.
He gave their crops to the grasshopper,
their produce to the locust.
He destroyed their vines with hail
and their sycamore-figs with sleet.
He gave over their cattle to the hail,
their livestock to bolts of lightning.
He unleashed against them his hot anger,
his wrath, indignation and hostility —
a band of destroying angels.
He prepared a path for his anger;
he did not spare them from death
but gave them over to the plague.
He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt,
the firstfruits of manhood in the tents of Ham.
But he brought his people out like a flock;
he led them like sheep through the wilderness.
He guided them safely, so they were unafraid;
but the sea engulfed their enemies.
And so he brought them to the border of his holy land,
to the hill country his right hand had taken.
He drove out nations before them
and allotted their lands to them as an inheritance;
he settled the tribes of Israel in their homes.
Another section of Israel's history tells of their captivity in Egypt and how God inflicted plague after plague on their captors until the Egyptians finally let them go. After the violence of the plagues, how would you compare and contrast the latter part of this song, which tells of Israel's coming out.
As he did with Israel, God will care for all the sheep who are willing to follow him, leading them like a flock, even through the tough going of the wilderness. If you're in any kind of rough, wilderness experience right now or in the future, ask God to be the shepherd who guides you safely, but then be prepared to follow where he takes you.