1 Chronicles 16–David’s song–full of praise and remembrance of what God has done. And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord.
Psalm 42–not so jubilant. Panting, yearning, craving, breaking–the psalmist is deeply discouraged. But his message and resolution speaks last, “Hope.”
Psalm 44–God is praised; he gets the credit. But the psalmist is confused: We’ve praised you all day long, but now you’ve tossed us aside; we are butchered, mocked, humiliated.
17 All this has happened though we have not forgotten you.
We have not violated your covenant.
18 Our hearts have not deserted you.
We have not strayed from your path.
1 Corinthians 10
I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago […] These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age. 1 Corinthians 10:1,11 NLT.
I see themes of life: celebration, adoration. Depression, despair. Confusion, wondering. Hope. And while our clothes and lifestyles are unique bookends to time, we seem rather the same at heart–those wilderness wanderers and us.
I can look around and name friends who are celebrating, friends who are mourning and depressed, friends who wonder and wander–and if I look at 2012 through a lens of antiquity, isn’t it true of believers today:
And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. 1 Corinthians 10:17
Maybe the biggest changes can happen not in the span of centuries, but in the vapor years of a lifetime–the reversal of heart disease from hardened to tender–if we’re lucky. Paul writes to the believers in Corinth of the example of the past. And how blessed am I to hold their stories in my hands and learn from them. This bible, a book of remembrance; a book of hope; a book of need; a book of example.
Thank you, God.