“What have you done for me lately?” It’s easy to forget how well someone has served us in the past, when we are disappointed with them in the present! Some companies take this approach with their employees: “It does not matter how great of a job you did last year, or last week—what value are you bringing to the company now?” The question for us today is: How often do we take that approach with God?
Today’s reading opens with a summons for Israel to praise God at the feast of Tabernacles (vv. 1–4). This was a time when Israel commemorated God’s deliverance in the Exodus and His provision in the wilderness (v. 5). We expect the psalm to continue in celebration. But it does not! Beginning in verse 6, we get God’s perspective. God reminds Israel that He freed them from slavery in response to their pleas for help (vv. 6–7). Yet, Israel did not listen to Him or follow His commands (vv. 8, 11). Instead, they worshiped other gods, followed their own counsel, and refused to give gratitude to the Lord (vv. 9, 11). You can sense God’s frustration: “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways” (v. 13).
In the previous few psalms, Israel often appealed to God’s deliverance in Egypt as proof that God would intervene to save them again (see Psalms 77:10–20; 80:8–11). But here, God responds by reminding Israel that when He delivered them, they quickly forgot. They had a “What have you done for me lately?” relationship with God. They only wanted results, while God desired a relationship.
>> God has given us salvation through the work of Jesus. Yet, like Israel, we may be tempted to follow our own counsel and set our own priorities. Remember today that God has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:9).
God our Savior, forgive us for our forgetfulness. Before we ask You for the things we need, remind us that You are not only a giver of blessings but also our Father and our friend.