Healthy spiritual practice

“O My people, what have I done to you [since you have turned away from Me]?
And how have I wearied you? Answer Me. 
“For I brought you up from the land of Egypt
And ransomed you from the house of slavery,
And I sent before you Moses [to lead you], Aaron [the high priest], and Miriam [the prophetess]. 
“My people, remember now
What Balak king of Moab devised [with his evil plan against Israel]
And what Balaam the son of Beor answered him [turning the curse into blessing for Israel],
[Remember what the Lord did for you] from [a]Shittim to Gilgal,
So that you may know the righteous and saving acts [displaying the power] of the Lord.” Micah 6:3-5

There is here shown, on the one hand, a danger, because Balaam was craftier than all the other enemies of the people, for he could have done more by his artifice than if he had armed against them the whole world: here then was the danger. But, on the other hand, we know what he answered; and it is certain that the answer of Balaam did not proceed from himself, but, on the contrary, from the Spirit of God. As Balaam spoke by the secret influence of the Spirit, contrary to the wish of his own heart, God thus proved that he was present at that very time, when the safety of the people was endangered. Think, then, or remember, what Balaam answered; as though he said, — “Balaam was very nigh cursing thee, for his mouth was opened: for he had sold himself to an ungodly king, and nothing could have pleased him more than to have poured forth many anathemas and many curses: but he was constrained to bless your fathers. What did this mean? Did not the wonderful favor of God shine forth in this instance?” We now perceive the Prophet’s design, and what a large meaning there is in these words.   Calvin

It is a healthy spiritual practice to recall God’s past deliverances and faithfulness especially when we find ourselves in present circumstances that are trying and confusing. David gives us a good “template” to follow — 

Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is [deep] within me, bless His holy name. 
Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And do not forget any of His benefits – Psalm 103:1-2 — Barker

Israel is confronted with the unwelcome truth that they are the problem, not God. God acted faithfully in the past and since God’s Character cannot change, He acts faithfully now and always. This aspect of memory is utilized in Church life today through the remembrance of the ministry, suffering, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and in the identification with our spiritual Kingdom community in the practice of communion, as Jesus invited us to “do this in remembrance of Me.”  There is another aspect of knowing – to “know about” (yada ki). Yada is a personal and intimate knowing, while yada ki is impersonal and distant knowing about. This same aspect of knowing and being known are evidenced in Jesus’ statements in the New Testament (John 8:19, 10:14, 14:7; Matt 7:15-23). Personal knowing and loving are transformational elements, while knowing about is merely informational having no transcendent component. – Waltke

 

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