Psalm 92

4/23/2018

Synopsis:

  • A Sabbath Song of Moses.
  • “What a beautiful privilege it is to give thanks to the Lord on His day.”
  • “To sing anthems to God; to announce His love and faithful presence with dulcimer and harp.”
  • “He makes me so happy I cannot be silent”
  • “Worldly people just don’t get it; they just pop up like weeds to do their evil.”
  • “They seem to flourish, but in the end they will be destroyed forever.”
  • “My ears are filled with the sounds of promise: ‘Good people will prosper like Lebanon cedars that have been transplanted to My courtyard; growing lush and green in My presence.’”

 

Reaction:

Too bad that I never learned to play an instrument! Through the years I’ve tinkered at the ukulele and the guitar but never mastered either. Many times I’ve creative tunes in my head, then added different instruments until I had a string quartet or a full-blown orchestra. Alas, most of the time I could neither sing, hum, or whistle the tune. My best “songs” have been sung to God alone. Perhaps, that is why I have been unable to reproduce them audibly.

How about you? Do you ever compose, sing or play just for God?


 

Psalm 93

4/24/2018

 

Synopsis:

  • A prayer of Moses (Continued).
  • The Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength.
  • Long before the world was established and secure, the Lord reigned; from all eternity.
  • The seas have lifted up their mighty voices, but the Lord is mightier still.
  • Your statutes, Lord, stand firm; holiness adorns your dwelling place for endless days.

 

Reaction:

This is an interesting poem that compares and contrasts God’s power with some of the strongest “forces of nature.” I like the style of this poem. It actually reads more like a poem in English than most of the psalms up to this point. I like the rendition in The Message the best.

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Our only Hope for the Future

Psalm 90

4/21/18

 

Synopsis:

  • Psalms 90-106. A prayer of Moses, the Man of God.
  • Moses reminds God that He has been the dwelling place of His people throughout all ages.
  • “Before there was an earth, You existed.”
  • For you a thousand years are but a day of even one watch in the night.
  • The people you made, you turn back to dirt.
  • You sweep people away in the sleep of death.
  • We are like grass, springing up in the morning and dying at day’s end.
  • You set our iniquities before You. Our secret sin is in the light of Your presence.
  • We finish our sinful lives with a moan after 70 or 80 years.
  • The best of our days are but trouble and sorrow, but they pass away too quickly.
  • Teach us to number our days, Lord, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
  • “May the favor of the Lord rest on us establishing the work of our hands.”

 

Reaction:

 

I have long forgotten that this book of Psalms is a collection of songs, poems, and psalms covering many generations… nearly 1,000 years. This next section is from of Moses.

It seems to me that Moses, here is praying that the work that he has started, will continue to grow to be a blessing to the whole world. And indeed it has been.

Moses fired up a lethargic enslaved people to follow God. It took a lot of time and miracles to get nearly 6,000 people off their asses and ready to trust and follow God. (This story can be found beginning in Exodus, chapter 7)

But it was short lived. In less than two weeks, when they were standing beside the Sea of Reeds and saw the Egyptian army bearing down on them, They wanted to bolt for the only “home” they knew.

A black cloud dropped down between them and the enemy, the sea opened up and provided dry land for their escape. The cloud lifted, exposing them to the enemy. The army picks up the chase and follows across the seabed. The waters come crashing back together, destroying the Egyptians.

From that mightiest of deliveries, the trip to their Promised Land that should have been accomplished in 40 days, took 40 years. The mindset of the people was continuously swinging from faith to despair. Every time they rebelled and vexed God, He met their challenge with a miracle.

This section of Psalms was most likely written near the end of this forty-year period. All but three of the original group of men who had been over the age of twenty when they left Egypt, were still alive. This psalm was written for them, to remind them of how God has been leading and blessing them. Despite the waywardness of their parents, God still loved them.

It is just as true today as it was 4,000 years ago. God loves us no matter what kind of family we came from, no matter how rebellious they were, no matter how rebellious WE have been! God is always ready to change a broken, repentant life.


 

Psalm 91

4/22/18

 

Synopsis:

  • A prayer of Moses (Continued).
  • “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
  • He promises that God will protect those who look to Him.
  • They will be protected from both natural and man-made disasters.
  • You will have no need to fear the terrors of the night nor the plagues that strike at midday.
  • “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.”
  • “A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.”
  • “He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike you foot against a stone.”
  • No harm will overcome you, no disaster will come near your house.
  • “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him and I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name.”

 

Reaction:

“He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike you foot against a stone.”

This is the passage that satan ( sorry, Spellchecker, he doesn’t deserve a capitol “S”) quoted to Jesus when he was tempting Him to take a shortcut in His plan of Redemption, by jumping off of the temple roof.

I suppose that many have questioned the statements of Moses in this psalm, for the record plainly covers the history of the Jews through the centuries. They were NOT always protected by God. But the record is also clear that the reason so many of them were killed in battle was because they were disobeying God and living like the surrounding nations.

During the 20th century persecution of the Jews throughout Europe, millions of Jews were killed. Only a pitiful few survived. Was this, in reality, the only ones who were serving God?

Heavens, NO! For some of those survivors continued their lives as unbelievers, ones who lost their faith in God. Still others praised God in adversity and lived long lives, honoring God.

I rather imagine that there were many faithful God-followers who proclaimed with Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I serve Him,” and they died trusting God.

Indeed, even as Moses tried to encourage the hordes of escapees from Egypt with this public prayer, every person over the age of accountability died in the desert because of their rebellion against God. Calab and Joshua were the only exceptions.

Perhaps, though, Moses was given a view of the future. He saw past the sleep-death that we all face, and was describing an eternal view of mankind; One in which those that have trusted in God during their lifetime, are protected from everlasting death as a punishment for rebellion against God.

“He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.” This metaphor was used almost verbatim by Jesus when He wept over Jerusalem, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I would have gathered you under my wings like a hen her chicks, but you would not.”

Oh, I hope that I will no longer refuse to be gathered under God’s protection, for He is my only hope for the future.

 

 

Do You Feel Like A Casualty of War in the Battle Between Good and Evil?

Psalm 88

4/18/18 

Synopsis:

  • A psalm, song of the Sons of Korah. A maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.
  • “Lord, you are a God who saves me.”
  • “I cry out to you day and night.”
  • He is overwhelmed by troubles as he approaches his death.
  • He is without strength and seems to be cut off from God’s care.
  • He accuses God of taking all his friends, of turning them away from him.
  • “I call to you every day. I spread out my hands to you.”
  • He begins wondering if God makes Himself known to the dead; if His love or His faithfulness or righteous deeds are known in the land of oblivion.
  • He asks why is he being rejected and God’s face hidden from him when his prayers ascend morning and evening.
  • “From my youth,” he asserts, “I have suffered and been close to death. Your terrors and wrath have swept over me. I am in despair.”
  • “Darkness is my closest friend.”

 

Reaction:

Wow! This Heman dude has really had a sour life. He was not what we would today call a he-man. It appears that he has been a rather sickly guy from a young age. Now, he has outlived all his friends and he is blind or nearly blind as he contemplates the afterlife. He has experienced the love and faithfulness of God, and he wonders if he will know or remember in the grave, how God has loved and protected him.

Uncertainty about one’s existence in the afterlife is a common thread in the thinking of many as we face our approaching demise.

I certainly don’t want to die, but I accept that inevitable fate. I can’t do much more than trust God to do more for me than I deserve. He has promised. I believe.

Therein lies Grace!


 

Psalm 89

4/19/2018

 

Synopsis:

  • A psalm of Ethan the Ezrahite.
  • “Your love, God, is my song and I’ll sing it!”
  • He faithfully proclaims God’s love and faithfulness.
  • And how He built the universe and everything in it.
  • He tells of how God pledged his love and protection to David.
  • He promised to make the House of David, king over Israel forever.
  • All creation sings of God’s love.
  • Searching all over the world will reveal nothing quite like God.
  • God puts the armies of the earth in their place, even the arrogant seas.
  • “You brush off your enemies with a flick of Your wrist.”
  • “You even positioned the North and South poles.”
  • “All we have and are we owe to You, God.”
  • “We who know You shout our praises from the rooftops and dance in the streets singing Your praises.”
  • “A long time ago You spoke in a vision saying, ‘I’ve crowned a hero. I chose the best that I could find in all the land, David.’”
  • You promised to stick by him and let no harm come to him or any of his faithful sons.
  • You said, “I’m setting him aside to be the head of a royal blood line that will last forever.”
  • “Any of his disobedient sons I will punish and rub their faces in the dirt. But I will never abandon or disown them.”
  • “Do you think I would lie to David? His family tree is here for good..”
  • “BUT,” the author contends, “You have abandoned us. You have lost your temper with your anointed ones.”
  • “You have stomped his crown into the mud. You have abandoned us in our battles and refused to fight on our side.”
  • “You have humiliated this warrior, ground his kingly honor in the dirt and left him an impotent, ruined husk.”
  • “I have given You the best years of my life. Is this what I get in return?”
  • ”So, where is this love that You are so famous for?
  • “I am the butt of jokes amongst all nations, the taunting jokes of Your enemies.”
  • “Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever and ever!”

 

Reaction:

Throughout the history of Israel there have been faithful ones who have had the same questions on their minds. Even a cursory reading of the Old Testament will reveal a constant see-saw pattern of following God, both by individuals or nations.

Sometimes it was an evil king leading the people into rebellion against God. Sometimes it was the people having an evil influence on the king.

In this psalm it seems like Ethan is the king or perhaps just part of the royal household. He points out that he is faithful in following God, so why isn’t God doing His part and protecting His people.

Today, we call his position, a “Casualty of War.” If the wicked ones were to have their honor wiped in the mud for disobedience, it would seem that he is getting swept up with the crowd in God’s wrath. He doesn’t understand his plight any more than the Jews of WW II did, or His people do today.

We just don’t know the way that God works. Never did and probably never will. But we, like Ethan, must continue clinging to God, singing His Praise and proclaiming, “Blessed be the name of the Lord! Though He slay me, yet will I serve Him.”

Following In Mother’s Footsteps

Psalm 86

4/17/18

Synopsis:

  • A prayer of David.
  • He acknowledges his need of God’s protection and forgiveness.
  • “Bring joy to your servant, Lord. For I put my trust in you.”
  • “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call on You.”
  • “There is no god”, he proclaims, “like You. None whose deeds can compare with Yours.”
  • “Everyone that You have made will come and worship before You.”
  • Teach me Your ways.
  • Give me an undivided heart.
  • Arrogant fools are trying to kill me again.
  • Deliver me because I serve You, just as my mother did.
  • Give me a sign of Your goodness that my enemies may see it and be put to shame.

 

Reaction:

“Deliver me because I serve You, just as my mother did.” This is a very interesting statement considering the time in which he lived, when everything was man-centered. But, he makes no mention of his father’s training or influence on his life. I suppose that it could be implied that his father was not a particularly strong spiritual influence in his life. David was the youngest son, so maybe he was a “mama’s boy.” At any rate, despite the fact that her name is not mentioned anywhere that I could find, David still cites her training for his loyalty to God.

“Everyone that You have made will come and worship before You.” This is obviously a reference to the end of time at the second coming of Jesus. I am amazed that David had so many insights or visions of the future. For being such a cantankerous, blood-thirsty warrior, in his old age he spent a lot of time in prayer and being fearful of his future. I guess that when he was no longer strong enough to defeat his enemies he had to depend more on God’s protection.

It would have been nice if the author had put more context into this psalms or prefaced it with a historical context.


 

Psalm 87

4/18/18

 

Synopsis:

  • A song, or psalm of the Sons of Korah.
  • God has founded this city on a holy mountain.
  • The Lord loves Zion more than the dwellings of any other place occupied by the sons of Jacob.
  • Glorious things are said of the city of God.
  • Egypt, Babylon and all the surrounding nations acknowledge me. They take note of ones who are born in Zion.
  • Even the Lord will write in the register of peoples: “This one was born in Zion.”
  • As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in you.”

 

Reaction:

The Message version of the Bible leaves one with the impression that because of the events that would unfold here during the life and death of Jesus, people around the world would be getting born again and be registered in God’s Book of Life. Like “born in Zion” was a euphemism for being born again.

Am I Vexing God or Glorifying Him?

Psalm 84

4/12/18

Synopsis:

  • A psalm of / by the Sons of Korah.
  • The author describes the loveliness of God’s dwelling place.
  • “My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”
  • Even the sparrows have a home near the alter where they can raise their families in peace.
  • “Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising You.”
  • “Hear my prayer…look with favor on your anointed one.”
  • “Better is a day in the house of the Lord than a thousand elsewhere.”
  • “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.”
  • “Blessed is the one who trusts in You.”

 

Reaction:

The whole tenor of this psalm is unusually different from most of the others so far. The author spends some time describing the dwelling place of the Lord, and I ‘m thinking that he is speaking of heaven. But then he specifically mentions that place as Zion. Zion or Mt. Zion, as it turns out, has several meanings.

He could have been referring to the glory days of King Solomon’s rule or the earth-made-new time in the future. The reference to sparrows living in His house makes me think that the referenced Zion was “back then” in his day. Perhaps he longed to be one of the priests serving God in His temple. Or he could be referring , literally to the life of a sparrow that lived in the temple. It would have been a blessed life. No one would be trying to kill it, as long as it remained there. It would have all the food scraps it needed to live and raise a family. It would face no natural enemies. It would essentially be living in a heaven on earth.

“Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising You.” Maybe his aspiration was to be one of the Temple Singers. Or he could have been drawing a comparison with the carefree sparrows singing its praises in the temple.

My father had a saying that he used often as I was growing up, “I’d rather be a water boy in heaven than not be there at all.” I think I finally found from where he paraphrased this saying.


 

Psalm 85

4/16/18

Synopsis:

  • A psalm from the Sons of Korah.
  • The author reminds God that He restored the fortunes of Jacob and restored his lands in the past.
  • He forgave the sins of His people.
  • He set aside His wrath and fierce anger.
  • Now he is asking that God would do this again.
  • “Will you be angry with us forever?” he asks, “Will You prolong your anger through all generations?”
  • “Show us Your unfailing love and grant us Your salvation.”
  • God promised peace to His faithful servants.
  • Surely salvation is near those who fear Him.
  • In faith he proclaims, “The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. Righteousness goes before the Lord and prepares the way for His steps.”

 

Reaction:

It is SO easy to question, “Why?”

Why were these people so stubborn?

Why? When there was famine in the promised land, and the whole family of Jacob went to Egypt, did they STAY there for so long after the crisis was over? The famine was over in 14 years, but they stayed for 400 years!

Did they stay longer because Joseph was a ruler there and they wanted to be with him? I think not. The brothers didn’t like him when he was younger, why would they like him when he became an adult? Perhaps it was because Jacob still loved Joseph and didn’t want to leave him.

So, why didn’t Joseph want to return to Canaan? Was it because he had been trained in the ways of the Egyptians and was influenced by their wealth and power? Had he eventually lost sight of God and was living the life of the rich and famous?

In fourteen years they should have gone home. But no, it was four hundred years before God told Moses that it was time to get His people out of there.

Evidently, in that 6-7 generations, most of the people had turned from God and He had punished them long enough. It seems that the only reason they were willing to leave was to escape slavery. The majority of the people were still a rebellious and complaining lot. Their trail across the desert was marked by one rebellion after another. God answered every complaint with a miracle. They would find fault with each miracle and complain again. As a result, it took more than 40 years to make a trip that shouldn’t have taken more than a month or so.

Did the author of this psalm have all this past history in mind as he prayed this psalm? He must have, for he starts out by reminding God of His past deliverance and the restoration of His people to their lands. He finds himself asking for forgiveness for the sins of his people and pleading that God will do this again in this age.

But does our hindsight, either at reviewing their history, or our own, help us? When we read these stories do we find our position any better than theirs? Haven’t we been wooed and wowed from our walk with God by the magical glories of the life we see around us? Haven’t we put too much stock in our portfolios of the world? It seems that most of us have not resisted the temptation to have all the “toys” and labor saving devices for which our worldly brothers strive.

Could it be that we are living our “good” lives falsely believing we are being blessed by God, when in fact, we are being tempted by the devil. We set up elaborate retirement schemes to provide for a long life of doing those things that God never intended for us to do. We drift along life’s course thinking we are free, when in fact we are being enslaved?

I know that I have been jealous of the things that others have and have spent a lot of needless time and money on that pursuit. So, am I any different from the men of old who vexed the heart of God with their complaining and willful disregard of His will?

He wants the best for me, but too often, I just covet for ME, regardless of whether it is best for me or not.

Lord help me to have the will to do your will, that my life here on this earth will be one that will glorify You for the rest of my days.

 

 

God Wants More From Us Than “Following the Rules”

Psalm 82

4/9/2018

Synopsis:

  • God calls the Judges themselves into court.
  • He accuses them of corrupting justice long enough.
  • “When,” He asks, “Are you going to defend the helpless.”
  • “Why do you let the wicked get away with murder?”
  • He reminds them that it is their job to make sure the underdogs get a fair break.
  • The world is coming unglued and they haven’t a clue as to what they SHOULD be doing.
  • “You’ve got the whole world in your hands, Lord. Give them their just reward,” the author pleads.

 

Reaction:

This psalm is NOT addressing the wicked nations around them, but the wicked within their own people. It obviously is during a period when the whole nation of Israel was going to hell in a hand basket.

Not only were the judges corrupt, but the kings were marrying foreign women who brought their gods into the palace and polluting the people. Money bought judgments in favor of the wicked. The common man on the street didn’t stand a chance of fairness.

Is it any different today? We get the best kind of president that money can buy. Occasionally, a man will be elected who is rich on his own, but most are backed by big businesses who are seeking legislation in their favor. Laws, regulations, and rulings are bought and sold on a daily basis in our country. Many people literally get away with murder.

Just in my lifetime, these I have witnessed; There was the famous president of my childhood that I liked. In fact I wore the big pin-on button declaring, “I Like Ike.” But he had a not-so-secret love affair with his lady driver while serving as a Military General.

There was the famous football player who murdered his wife and got off scot-free.

There was the president who left a string of sexual affairs and murders in his wake, on the way to the White House.

There are innumerable judges who rule in favor of big-business interests to the detriment of the little guys.

There was the Kennedy who ran his lover into the bay in his car and made sure she died before getting “help” for her.

The other Kennedy who, as president, had several affairs with movies stars.

The complete list would take more words than I have used up to this point in this blog, “Thoughts on Psalms.”

So, even in my day we are suffering the results of sinful living, with God turning us loose to suffer the results of our lusts.


 

 

 

Psalm 83

3/10/2018

 

Synopsis:

  • An Asaph psalm.
  • This prayer song starts an appeal to God, to not turn a deaf ear to their plight.
  • The surrounding nations are whooping it up and conspiring against God’s people.
  • “Come,” they say, “Let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is no longer remembered.”
  • With one mind and goal, nine nations have joined forces with the Ishmaelites to wipe Israelites from the face of the earth.
  • He prays that God will do to them what he has done to their enemies before, make them perish in disgrace.
  • “Let them know that You alone are the Most High over all the earth.”

 

Reaction:

Apparently, God does have limits to His forbearance. He keeps forgiving their (and our) sins, over and over again, until He must turn to punishment to get their attention.

This happened to their ancestors on the way to this Promised Land. It is about to happen again, with Assyria and Babylon in the lead. It would happen again under the rule of Germany’s Hitler.

At some point God draws the line, and declares, “Enough is enough.” When people claim to be following God, but fail to maintain a relationship with Him, they have no choice but to walk into sin. How can God help us if all we care to do is use Him as a “fire escape” to keep us from the fires of hell?

He wants more from us. He loves us with a devoted love that took Him to the cross to die the punishment for our sins. Too many of us fail to see that, or don’t understand what He did. We think that He requires us to “follow the rules,” and by doing so we’ll be saved. But if that was the way it is, those with super self-control might make it, and wouldn’t need the sacrifice of Jesus. Meanwhile, the majority, weak-willed people would never make it.

I am so glad that he did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

Thank you, Jesus!

 

 

Is God asking Too Much Time of Us?

Psalm 80

4/7/18

 

Synopsis:

  • An Asaph psalm, to the tune of “Lilies of the Covenant.”
  • “Hear us, Shepherd of Israel…. Awaken Your might; come save us.”
  • “Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us…”
  • “You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors…”
  • “You have transplanted us from Egypt like a vine…”
  • “Why have you broken down our walls?”
  • “Look down from heaven and see! Watch over this vine, the root your right hand has planted, the son that you have raised up for yourself.”
  • “The vine is cut down, it is burned with fire; at Your rebuke Your people perish. Let Your hand rest on the man at Your right hand, the Son of man you have raised up for Yourself…” (Emphasis mine)
  • “Make Your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.”

 

Reaction:

First, let me say that I was curious about this and other psalms that were prefaced similarly. A check of Youtube revealed several presentations about the psalms, and to what “Lilies” refer.

It seems that “Lilies” would be a closer translated, “nuggets” or “lessons of truth” in our American English. So, I would have to say that this is would be nuggets from the Covenant; the Covenant of God made with Israel after coming out of Egypt.

The author is reminding God that He has a Covenant with Israel to make them great, to protect them. To the author, it looks like He is not fulfilling His part of the agreement. Their country is in a shambles. Most of the people have turned away from God and God’s enemies are massacring the people.

As I read this selection, “The vine is cut down, it is burned with fire; at Your rebuke Your people perish. Let Your hand rest on the man at Your right hand, the Son of man you have raised up for Yourself…” (Emphasis mine)

I couldn’t help but be struck by the reference to Jesus sitting at the right hand of God.

I was also compelled to acknowledge, again, how blind these people are, as to the reasons that they were getting slapped around and defeated by the enemy. They were leaving God, worshipping idols, and not passing on the knowledge of God to their offspring.

But, Whoa! Don’t we do about the same today? If so, do we have the right to plead with God for His forgiveness? Absolutely! In fact, if we don’t, why would we expect any better treatment than He gave them?


 

Psalm 81

4/8/18

 

Synopsis:

  • An Asaph psalm according to gittith, “Sing for joy to God, our strength.”
  • Use all the instruments to make your music.
  • When God went out against Egypt He established an ordinance for His people; to sound the ram’s horn at the new moon and the full moon for there were to be festivals.
  • “In your distress you called on me and I rescued you.”
  • “Hear me, my people, and I will warn you…”
  • “Just listen and pay attention, you shall have no foreign god among you. You shall worship no other god but me.”
  • I am the God who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.”
  • “But my people would not listen or submit to me, so I turned them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.
  • “If my people would only listen to me and follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies!”
  • “Their punishment would last forever.”
  • “You would be filled with the finest bread and honey.”

 

Reaction:

It is unclear to me whether this psalm was written during a time when there were wicked Israelite kings ruling the land or when they were in captivity. It is clear that this song was a call for the people to turn from their worship of foreign gods and to return to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

At one point the author says, “I heard an unknown voice say to me:” and then he continues as though he is quoting God. That’s interesting, because the descendants of Asaph, who would author this song were Temple singers, yet they didn’t recognize His voice.

Were they the precursors of the “Minor Prophets” who would be giving the call for people to return to the Lord?

They are reminded of how God led their forefathers through the desert, tested them at Meribeth, and told them that could not enter the land yet. They would spend the next 40 years wandering around waiting for everyone who was over a certain age to die. Joshua and Caleb were the only surviving men of the original group. But even in that punishment, God protected and fed them and let the results of sin take its course.

I wonder, did the people raise their children to be more loyal, trusting followers of God? Probably not, for with the second conquest of the city, some were secretly disobedient, taking forbidden spoils. God called them out on it and punished them for it. Later they would capture people to be used as slaves. Also forbidden. Those captives would eventually lead their masters into idolatry.

Is a weekly Sabbath day and a bi-monthly festival too much time for God to ask of us? I think not. In fact we would do well to spend some time out of every day meditating on what He has done for us and to take time to listen for His voice so that when He speaks it will not be an UNKNOWN voice.