"They forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt." (Psalm 106:21)
Psalm 106 rehearses Israel's story. The New Interpreter's Bible points out, "The people constantly forget, and their forgetfulness leads to a history of faithlessness that is costly to the people and painful for their spurned lover-God." Forgetting God's faithfulness left the people in exile which is the time period this psalm was written.
While the present time is empty and filled with sin, there is hope for a transformation in the future. The psalmist can trace the people's lack of faith all the way back to Egypt. Verse 13 confirms, "But they soon forgot his works." "Soon" is an understatement. Within three verses after being saved from Pharaoh's army, by the crushing sea, the people are already complaining again.
What the history of Israel teaches us, is that God is patient and long-suffering. But before we are too judgmental regarding our Israelite brothers and sisters, we must remember, humbly, that God continues to forgive and provide grace even for us sinners. We are called to learn from the mistakes of our past, redefine our present, and trust God to transform our future.
In your prayers today, begin with confession. Confess not only your present sins, but also the sins of your past which continues to haunt your present. But, before you become overwhelmed with despair, remember God's gracious act of grace. God forgave the people over and over again. Jesus called the faithful to forgive seventy times seven. How much more will God forgive, sustain, and redeem you and me. God will not cast us away. God needs us and loves us deeply. Prayerfully think about what God's is calling us to do with our lives next. Trust in God's steadfast love, to redeem and bless us now, so we can be a blessing in the future.