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“Archers…but not in God’s service”

We will not hide them. —Psalm 78:4

Read Psalm 78:1-11

Psalm 78:9 probably refers to the well-known history of Israel that we read in 1 Samuel 4, when the Israelites were defeated by the Philistines, the sons of Eli perished, and the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the enemy. The Ark was located at Shiloh, in the territory that belonged to the tribe of Ephraim, one of the largest of all the tribes of Israel.

In this history we see that sin makes people cowardly and takes away their courage. The Ephraimites became treacherous and unfaithful when they did not keep God’s covenant. They forgot the mighty deeds and miracles of the Lord. And forgetting God’s accomplishments often leads to disobeying His commandments.

As strong as the seemingly weak and inexperienced David stood while facing the seemingly invincible Goliath, so powerless were the experienced, armed men of Ephraim in their battle against the Philistines. Why was that? When we turn to Psalm 78 we read of the many evidences of God’s faithfulness and His great deeds, but also of human unfaithfulness, ungodliness and idolatry. Even amid great miracles carried out by God, the Israelites revealed their disobedience. Would we have reacted differently?

What value does the recounting of redemptive history have?


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