Below is the daily Bible Reading I am doing for the West Side Church. Please feel free to follow along.
Today’s reading (Psalms 43 & 44) gives us a bleak reminder. 44 opens reminding the readers of all the wonderful things God did as they entered into the Promised Land and how he delivered them from the hands of their enemies. Now the page has turned and God is no longer blessing them. Through the course of their history, which you can read about beginning in Joshua, through Ester, you can see the nation weave in out of times of persecution.
Why did the Israelites sees time of blessing from God as well as times of persecution? I believe it was because of their covenant with God. Their covenant was conditional. If they followed God then he would protect and bless them. If they did it on their own, then he would have nothing to do with them. We see both of these acts in the history of the people. When they needed God the most, they turned to him, but when he had blessed them then they forgot about him and tried it on their own. Today’s writer of the psalm is living in one of those times where they had forgotten about God.
So what does this have to do with us? Well, I think our covenant with God is very similar. Now there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, it is by the grace of God, the work of Christ over the grave, and our faith in Christ that saves us. There is no way that we can earn our salvation through living lives of righteousness. However, God still calls us to live lives that develop a deep relationship with him. He calls us to grow each and every day. He calls us to live righteous lives because of the grace that we have. We live under a new order of things, but he still asks us to live in him just the way he asked the Israelites to follow, trust, and honor him.