Rare View

“We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” (Psalm 78:4)

We call him Wonderful, and it suits him perfectly. God never ceases to perform wonders on man’s behalf. Let us open our eyes to the wonderful productions displayed in every crack and crevice of our world; open the Word, and his wonders leap out like a sure-­footed gazelle prancing across the plains.

As the psalmist retells the Israelites’ story of redemption, God is at center stage, orchestrating wonders on every side for his people. The Lord is sea‐divider and water-‐tamer to facilitate the Israelites escape from the Egyptians. He is cloud-­ coverer and night-­lighter to ward off sunstroke and ferocious desert wildlife. To satisfy their thirst, he is rock-­splitter and water-­gusher in order for them to, “drink abundantly as from the deep” (Psalm 78:13-­16).

Rather than celebrate their good fortune in a rousing worship anthem, the Israelites respond like bratty toddlers in a full-­scale tantrum. They become desert rebels and God-­testers. Before their abundant and benevolent rescuer, they morph into food-cravers, promise-­doubters, and God-­scoffers. In a word, they become unbelievers wrapped up in their own petty needs.

Yet, Jehovah remains unchanging. We learn that he is sky-commander, heaven-­opener, and manna‐provider. With absolute authority, he is abundant benefactor, wind-­controller, meat­‐flinger, and craving-­fulfiller.

They sinned; God judged. They repented; God forgave. They tested, provoked, and grieved the Lord, and in response, “He, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath” (Psalm 78:38).

In their rebellious hearts we see a reflection of ours, their unbelief a mirror image of our own. Rather than pouring out his well-deserved wrath against us, he poured all of it onto his Beloved Son. In like fashion, he, being compassionate, atoned for my iniquity.

Wonderful is hardly sufficient to describe such wonder-­working love.

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