The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
It’s not like it was when I was a kid.
Oh, people knew how to do things properly back then.
This is made in the traditional way, that’s why it tastes so good.
People are so selfish now, they used to be so community minded.
Nostalgia. Looking back through ‘rose-tinted glasses’. Humans have been doing it for centuries. Hesiod, the 8th century BC Greek poet, wrote about how the youth of his day were far worse than when he was a young man.
We are normally wrong – the past is not better than the present – just different.
However, does the writer of Psalm 105 go in for a serious slice of nostalgia? He writes a long psalm (it must have been hard to sing!) – and largely goes back and tells the stories of many things that God did for Israel in the past:
23 Then Israel entered Egypt; Jacob resided as a foreigner in the land of Ham. 24 The Lord made his people very fruitful; he made them too numerous for their foes, 25 whose hearts he turned to hate his people, to conspire against his servants. 26 He sent Moses his servant, and Aaron, whom he had chosen. 27 They performed his signs among them, his wonders in the land of Ham.
(I quite like the idea of a land of ham – mmmmm – bacon! But it’s not very Jewish.)
The writer particularly tells again the story of the Exodus – of Israel escaping from slavery in Egypt. This story is at the heart of Jewish identity – and turns up a lot in the psalms. But is this just nostalgia for things that God did in the past?
No. It has a very specific purpose. If God has done this in the past, what can He do today? If God could be trusted in the past, can’t He be trusted now?
5 Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, 6 you his servants, the descendants of Abraham, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob. 7 He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth. 8 He remembers his covenant for ever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
Remember what he has done.
When I take the trouble to go back over my life and remember just a few of the things that God has done – I think “wow”. He has done so much, he has answered so many prayers, he has spoken so much – why do I forget? But when I do remember, it inspires me to pray and to praise.
Look back, and remember what God has done for you.