An absolutely stunning description of Israel! “In spite of all this (God’s mighty wonders on their behalf), they still sinned; despite his wonders, they did not believe” (78:32). And, “They (Israel) flattered him (God) with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues. Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not faithful to his covenant. Yet 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. He remembered that they were but flesh” (Psalm 78:36-39). How gracious and compassionate is our God! As his children, how often we ignore him, so little consider him, and so seldomly talk with him. Yet, he loves us.
In another place, David testifies, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:13,14). What a merciful and gracious Heavenly Father we have!
Children of the heav’nly Father
safely in his bosom gather.
Nestling bird nor star in heaven
such a refuge e’er was given.
Though he giveth or he taketh,
God his children ne’er forsaketh.
His the loving purpose solely
to preserve them safe and holy. -- Carolina Sandell (1855)