PSALM 105 TALK: REMEMBER GOD’S DEEDS AND PRAISE HIM

PSALM 105 TALK: REMEMBER GOD’S DEEDS AND PRAISE HIM

 (A Psalm that recalls the marvelous deeds of God in the past calling a people to be his special nation called Israel and how what God did for them in the past is to be remembered and that memory of God’s deeds in the past is to be the basis of great praise to him. Also how this relates to us as God’s family or special people who have come into being as his people by what God did for us in the past through his son, Jesus Christ.)

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide”.

INTRODUCTION

When I was only 16 years of age I left school and started work and very quickly fell into a world outside of school that did not believe in God and in fact mocked the whole idea of him. I soon gave going to church away and started hanging out with young men my own age who encouraged me to live a life of drinking, partying and generally living the sort of life I knew deep down God did not want me to live.

For three years I sought to turn away from God and at times I argued with some catholic friends the idea that Christianity and the bible was just a made up fairy tale. This means I have had the experience of thinking and arguing from an atheists point of view. However deep down inside I was not a happy person and I believe God’s spirit was convicting me of my sinful thinking and actions. I might have given up on God but he had not given up on me.

At 19 years of age I had a crisis in my life when I realised my so-called non- Christian friends let me down in a number of ways and through the encouragement of an older youth leader I went back to the church youth group and through people who led that group I came back to believing and following the Lord.

Then I was invited by our churches assistant minister to join a small group of young people to attend a bible study and a meal in that minister’s house before we all went together to the youth orientated night church we had at that time.

The assistant ministers who I will refer to by his first name, Charlie was a Godly man who had a deep understanding of the bible and he encouraged me to become a serious student of the word of God. Charlie was a very senor man and only worked in our church for a few years before he retired from the ministry. Even though Charlie was an older man he had a wonderful way with young people and he led us through some amazing bible studies.

Charlie’s bible studies were unusual in that they were always bible character studies he called “People in the Bible” and he always told us that the bible presents people with warts and all. Warts and all means that the bible did not hold back on the problems and even failures these people had in life and in their faith in God.

Charlie always pointed out how the bible rings true not like a fairy tale and if it was a fairytale then it would not have presented its so called hero’s with flaws and weaknesses like us. Charlie was really good at applying the truths these bible characters show us for how God wants us to live for him today.

Psalm 105 to me is like one of Charlie’s bible studies in the form of a poem we call a Psalm. It calls on its hearers and now readers to remember what God did through people in the past with great wonderful and often miraculous acts and in remembering this we are to give God great praise and thanks. As verse 5 of Psalm 105 says,

“Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced”.

 And as the opening verse of this Psalm says,

“Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done”.

 Psalm 105 seems to have started life with its first 15 verses as a Psalm of David in 1 Chronicles 16: 8 – 22, a Psalm David composed when the Ark of the Covenant was installed on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. We find Psalm 105 in the fourth book of Psalms, which we know was put together around the time of the return of the Jews from exile in Babylon around 539BC when king Cyrus of Persian conquered the Babylonians and allowed the captive Jews in Babylon to return to their homeland in what was later known as Palestine.

It would seem likely then that some unknown author took 15 verses from David’s Psalm in 1 Chronicles and composed a new Psalm of 45 verses based on David’s original composition. Interestingly Psalm 96, which is also in book four of Psalms uses the 10 verses of David’s Psalm in 1 Chronicles 16 that follow the first 15 verses of that Psalm to compose a new Psalm of 13 verses.

It is interesting to speculate what David’s original Psalm, written around 500 years before the time of the Jewish return from exile would have meant to the people of that time. They were a people who had virtually lost their nation and were in danger of loosing their national identity bound up in their special relationship with their God who we know as the God of the bible.

David’s words would have reminded them of how their God was the great King above all kings as he was the one true God greater than any other supposed God. This God had chosen them as a nation and for nearly 2,000 years had guided and protected them from the nations birth in the time of Abraham to exile in Babylon and now a miraculous return from that exile in Babylon.

Both Psalm 105 and the next Psalm, Psalm 106 recounts some of this history as a source of inspiration to trust in their great God and to show that faith in him in with wonderful praise and thanks. Psalm 105 features the great hero’s of faith who God used to lead and guide his people while Psalm 106 features the love of God in that he still continued to love this people even though they continued to be unfaithful to the God who loved them.

This unmerited love, which the New Testament calls grace, is to be the grounds for great praise according to Psalm 106.

So I aim to write a Charlie type bible study or talk on Psalm 105, which is a study that features the great bible characters it mentions as a inspiration for us today to trust in the same God that they trusted in and through what God did for them and has done for us through The Lord Jesus Christ seek to obey his word and praise him as the last verse of Psalm 105 says,

“That they (we) might keep his precepts and observe his law. Praise the Lord”

 With the theme of remembering what God has done in the past, especially through some of the great hero’s of the bible that will help us in the present and will lead to praise and faith in him my outline for this Psalm is:

  1. (1 – 7) REMEMBER AND PRAISE

 

  1. (1 – 3)   Praise God as you remember his deeds in the past
  2. (4 – 7)   Remember God chose us

 

  1. (8 – 15) REMEMBER ABRAHAM AND GOD’S COVENANT

 

  1. (8 – 11)   Remember God’s covenant with Abraham
  2. (12 – 15) Remember how God protected the patriarchs

 

  1. (16 – 25) REMEMBER JOSEPH AND HOW GOD GUIDED HIM

 

  1. (16 – 22) Remember how God guided Joseph through difficulty
  2. (23 – 25) Remember how God blessed Israel in Egypt

 

  1. (26 – 44) REMEMBER HOW GOD USED MOSES AND AARON TO

                          SAVE ISRAEL OUT OF SLAVERY

  1. (26 – 36) Remember how God performed miraculous signs through

               Moses and Aaron

  1. (37 – 44) Remember how God led his people from Egypt to the

               Promise Land.

    

  1. (vs. 45) REMEMBER TO OBEY GOD’S WORD AND PRAISE HIM

 

1.  (1 – 7   REMEMBER AND PRAISE

  1. (1 – 3)   Praise God as you remember his deeds in the past

 This Psalm and indeed the next Psalm, Psalm 106 have a very obvious plan for praise and that is we are to look back in God’s word and read and remember how he worked in the past with individual people and particularly with his people Israel and use this as a source of praise to God.

Some might ask well how does events that took place, in some cases like Abraham, 4,000 years ago have any bearing on our lives today?

Yes I will agree how people lived and even thought in many ways 4,000 years ago is very different than how we live and think today but two things have always stayed the same and they are:

  1. People who lived even 4,000 years ago are human beings who are sinners just like us. Charlie my old faithful bible teacher always pointed out to me and the other young people in our bible study how the bible characters were different than us and in many other ways the same as us.

2. The second reason why remembering and learning from how God dealt with people in the past is   the fact that the God who helped and spoke to those people in the past is the same God who speaks and helps us today.

When God revealed himself to a person in a new generation in Israel’s history he often introduced himself like he did to Moses at the burning bush in the desert when he called Moses to lead his people out of slavery in Egypt as recorded in Exodus 3: 6,

Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God”.

So it is the same God right throughout the bible and he never changes as James makes it clear in James 1: 17,

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”.

So what people are like and need in their lives in any age and time particularly spiritually is provided by a God who stays the same yesterday, today and forever so as Charlie would have put it we can learn from the people in the bible how we can be helped by God today.

Both Psalm 105 and 106 start and end with a call to praise; Psalm 105 has three ways of putting this call to praise over three verses.

Verse 1, says,

“Give thanks to the Lord”

verse 2, says,

“Sing to him, sing praise to him”

and verse 3 says,

“Glory in his holy name”

All of these three calls to praise are to be anchored in remembering the great deeds of God for us in the past,

Verse 1, says,

“Make known among the nations what he has done”

verse 2 says,

“Tell of all his wonderful acts”

and verse 3 says,

“Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice”

This last reason for praise is built on remembering what the first two reasons for praise centre on, namely the great deeds or wonderful acts of God in the past.

What God did in the past should cause us to seek this great God of the bible who has made himself known in the past and wants to help us in the present.

The writer to the Hebrews brings these great deeds or acts of God up to date for us with the opening words of his letter, Hebrews 1: 1 – 3,

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven”.

Atheists might argue today that we have no proof that God spoke to people in the past but this final speaking to us, through The Lord Jesus Christ was witnessed by hundreds of people especially when he proved he was God in the flesh by rising from the dead after winning our salvation on the cross.

As the apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15: 3 – 8,

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born”.

Some atheists in the past have tried to disprove the truth of the Christian faith by seeking to destroy what they see as the ridiculous claim that Jesus rose from the dead but like men like Frank Morrison who looked at the evidence came to say that the evidence in fact points to the resurrection being true. Frank Morrison, like many others who tried to disprove the truth of the resurrection of Christ became a believer and follower of Jesus Christ and wrote a powerful book about the evidence for the resurrection called, “Who moved the stone”.

So verse 3 says,

“Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice”

Verse 1 also puts this idea another way with the words,

“Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name”

The name of God is the character of God and God’s character is so vast and wonderful the bible has many names for him. Moses asked God for his name at the burning bush and God gave him this amazing answer in Exodus 3: 14,

“God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

This might seem a strange name but it is power packed with wonderful teaching, as God and later Jesus claimed to be the great, “I am”, the one and only eternal God who has always existed and will always exist.

When people ask, “Who made God”?

The answer is no – one because he has always existed and from him all things have come in to existence.

As John writes of Jesus in the opening of his Gospel where Jesus is called “The Word”, John 1: 1 -3,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made”.

The “I am” God is also, “The One and only God” and Moses later was given by this God the Ten Commandments which start with the words, Deuteronomy 5: 6 – 7,

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before me”.

No other God’s because he is the “I am” God the one and only God of heaven and earth and because of what he has done for us in the past we should praise him.

  1. (4 – 7)   Remember God chose us

 So the opening three verses call us to praise the God of the bible who the writer speaks of as the God of deeds and wonderful acts in the past and because of these deeds and acts we should want to praise him. He speaks of God’s character by calling us to glory in his name and he now speaks directly of an aspect of his character in verse 4, namely his strength to those he chooses to call to himself,

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always”

 This verse contains two important concepts:

  1. God’s Strength
  2. God’s Face

Let me explain what I know about these two concepts.

  1. God’s Strength

David relied on the strength of God and often referred to it like Psalm 62 verse 11,

“One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard; that you, O God, are strong”.

 David was forced to rely on the strength of God owing to the many powerful enemies he faced and in Psalm 18 verse 1 he calls God his strength,

“I love you, O Lord, my strength”

 In that Psalm, as in many Psalms he goes on to speak of God as his rock which he relied upon in many unsettling circumstances, Psalm 18: 2,

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold”.

So for David to say in the original poem or Psalm in 1 Chronicles 16: 11, to look to the Lord “my strength” was something David knew first hand and not simply as a theological theory as did the apostle Paul as he writes in 1 Corinthians 12: 10,

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong”.

 Charlie my bible study leader when I was young always encouraged us to trust in the great strong God of the bible like the great characters of the bible did especially when we feel weak and vulnerable and he spoke from real life experience himself as his wife had developed some form of mental illness which she would not recognise and had left him and joined a weird Christian cult. Charlie lost his right to be a minister in charge of a church owing to his wife’s actions and it was only the sympathetic loving attitude of our main minister that let Charlie minister at our church as the second in charge minister for a number of years before Charlie retired from the full-time ministry.

God’s strength will be revealed in various ways in the rest of this Psalm and I will comment on these when this occurs.

  1. God’s Face

What does it mean to seek the face of God?

I sought an answer to this question on the internet and came across a very helpful article by a Christian minister named Marcio Sierra Jr. who is the chief pastor of The Lighthouse Church in Madison, Wisconsin USA, Marcio answers the question this way,

“When we look at a person’s face, we are looking at a lot more than just a face. Just by looking at a person’s face you can tell if the person is angry, happy, sad, tired, worried, hurt, excited, in love, sick, and the list continues. The face of a person reveals a lot about that person. The face of a person is like an open window that allows us to see inside of that person; their thoughts, their pain, their joy, their heart.  This is what God showed me; to seek His face is to enter into God’s heart. When God asks us to seek His face, He is making a call for us to enter into His thoughts and see what He is thinking, to see what He is doing, how he feels about something, to see the love that He has for us, to look at the pain that our sin causes Him, etc.”

 Charlie the leader of the bible study I attended when I was young taught me that we can only learn what God’s thoughts are from his word, the bible and this is why we all must read and study God’s word if we want to seek God’s face and therefore know his thoughts.

 Two scripture references back this up and flesh this out, the first is from the Old Testament, Numbers 6: 22 – 26,

“The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:24 “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn his face toward you

and give you peace.”’

 And one from the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 4: 6,

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ”.

I reminded you earlier that at the start of John’s Gospel John calls Jesus the very word of God so when we look at what Jesus was like, did and said we are looking at what God is like and therefore we are looking at the face of God.

Moses discovered that the literal face of God cannot be looked at in this life as God is pure light and so Moses had to hide his face as God passed by but when Moses came down from the mountain something of that brilliant light of God, his glory was on Moses face and he had to veil his face after he met with God to speak to him and receive his word.

However as Paul indicated in the 2 Corinthian 4: 6 verse,

“God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ”.

The writer to the Hebrews says in Hebrews 2: 9,

“But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone”.

Charlie in his bible studies I attended as a young man always pointed us to Jesus in all of the character studies we did and of course it is through Jesus that we can come to God owing to his death and resurrection for us as the writer to the Hebrews is speaking of in the words,

“Crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone”.

Then David in his original Psalm in 1 Chronicles 16 adapted by a later Psalm writer lays down the core of this inspiration for praising God in the words of verse 5,

“Remember the wonders he has done his miracles and the judgment he pronounced”

When we remember what God had dome in the past we see yet again that he is strong and powerful and can do miraculous things to help and save us. However we also see that the God of the bible is a God who judges sin and from that we should be warned to be careful in how we live and treat others.

Psalm 106 will reveal to us that God’s people Israel often failed to truly love and follow God and in fact they often grumbled and complained and even turned away from God yet God continued to love them even though at times he had to discipline them with judgement for their wilful disobedience.

The writer to the Hebrews tells us that even that disciplining of his people is an act of love as we read in Hebrews 12: 5 – 6,

And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you

as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

I mentioned in my introduction that for three years I sought to rebel against God by turning my back on him and his church and I can tell you that during those three years deep down inside me I was not a very happy person. I seemed to be having a fun time with my friends but really I was pretty miserable and God made sure that those three years were not very successful for me and as I said even my so called new non-Christian friends really did not care or love me and when I had a major crisis and disappointment with them I started to realise what I had walked away from was my loving friends at my local church who knew God in their lives.

I still feel deeply for any back slidding Christians I come across today and I long for them to stop their rebellion to the Lord and turn back to him like I did when I was 19 years of age. Let me tell you the coming back was painful in itself but it was a pain that was well worth going through.

Then we come to two verses that speak of our special relationship with God as his chosen people. This is expressed by David in his original Psalm in 1 Chronicles 16 verse 13 and later adapted by the writer of Psalm 105 in two ways.

First in verse 6,

“O descendants of Abraham his servant, O sons of Jacob his chosen ones”.

 We can look at what this verse is teaching us on two levels.

The first is on the literal level as David and the original writer of Psalm 105 would have had in mind and that is that the nation of Israel through the covenant made with Abraham its great original ancestor are God’s special chosen people. I will have more to say about this in the next section of the Psalm talk when we look at Abraham and the covenant God made with him.

Secondly on the level of how the New Testament calls all people who have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as children by faith of Abraham as Paul states in Galatians

“So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[

 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith”.

What Paul is alluding to here is the new covenant which is a fulfilment of the Old Covenant through the death and resurrection of Christ which I will also discuss further in the next section of my Psalm talk.

However all I will say about this reference to God’s chosen ones here in verse 6 is that the bible makes it clear that we don’t choose God because of our sins, so God has chosen us and this a teaching right through the bible and here in Psalm 105 as Paul makes it clear in Romans 8: 29 – 30,

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified”.

Israel did not come into being by a nation suddenly deciding one day that they would be God’s special nation called Israel. No Israel as a nation only existed because God called its patriarch Abraham to go from Ur of the Chaldeans to a place God would lead him to and from him a new nation developed over many centuries that became the nation of Israel God’s chosen ones.

This teaching as I have said is fleshed out in the next part of the Psalm and indeed becomes the main idea of the source of the wonderful acts of God David and the writer of Psalm 105 wants us to remember. As Stephen J. Cole puts it,

“The bulk of the psalm (vv. 8 – 44) traces God’s sovereign hand in choosing Israel as His people, protecting them when they were vulnerable and weak, delivering them through the miraculous events of the Exodus, preserving them in the wilderness, and bringing them into the Promised Land. The clear emphasis of these verses is that God did it all”.

Then in verse 7 we have another reminder of the special chosen nature of the nation of Israel,

“He is the Lord our God; his judgements are in all the earth”.

This verse is very interesting because it tells its readers or hearers that yes God is their God and they are therefore as the previous verse declares God’s chosen ones but note the verse also says that,

“His judgements are in all the earth”.

 God told Israel through Moses that they were God’s chosen people for a reason and that reason is stated clearly in Exodus 19: 5 – 6,

“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

 The way a lot of the people of Israel all through history, people we call the Jews today act is they heard the first part of what God said about being God’s “treasured possession” but failed to hear or respond to the second part of being a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation”.

 Being a kingdom of priest’s means that they were the nation God called to take his message to the world as verse 7 of Psalm 105 declares,

“His judgements are in all the earth”.

Even though Israel often failed to do this God still worked through them to take his judgements to the earth particularly by sending his son into the world by being born a Jew who through his followers after he died for our sins on the cross, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven now themselves become the world-wide kingdom of priests who proclaim God’s message to the world as Peter teaches in 1 Peter 2: 9,

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

We need to not fall into the trap the people of Israel often fell into of thinking of ourselves as an exclusive special people of God but who fail to take the message of God through Christ to the world. Charlie encouraged all of the people in his bible study for young people to always look for ways of serving God and four years after joining his bible study group after coming back from falling away from the Lord I decided to go into full-time ministry training at The Sydney Missionary and Bible College.

I only had the privilege of being in Charlies bible study group for two years because Charlie moved on to retirement but the next assistant minister and his faithful wife continued to disciple me and this minister had been a former bible college lecturer and his wife one of his students and therefore I got plenty of encouragement and practical help to go to Bible College myself.

  1. (8 – 15) REMEMBER ABRAHAM AND GOD’S COVENANT
  1. (8 – 11)   Remember God’s covenant with Abraham

So, as Stephen J. Cole indicated after reminding his readers and hearers of Palm 105 that they were God’s special chosen people and the Lord was their God he now sets down a lengthy account of how God did this for the rest of the Psalm up to the last verse, verse 45 which is a conclusion to the whole Psalm.

The writer, who we believe is David up to verse 15 and then is a Psalmist probably at the time of the return from Babylon exile starts this story of the Nation of Israel and how God called and formed them with its founding father Abraham.

In verse 8 and 9 he starts with a summary of the covenant or divine agreement God made with Abraham,

“He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore with Isaac”.

The idea that God’s remembers his covenant is not suggesting that God forgot the promises he made to Abraham but rather as Albert Barnes puts it,

“God has it constantly in remembrance”

God is not like human beings who forget and even deceive or lie as Numbers 23: 19 says,

“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfil?”

No God made a solemn agreement with Abraham expressed clearly in Genesis 12: 1 – 3,

“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all Peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Later God makes it even clearer that it is a nation of believers he wants to bless Abraham with, Genesis 22: 17 – 18,

“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

The Nation of Israel even in its hey day would not fulfil the description here but if you include in this prediction The New Israel of God (Galatians 6: 16) which Paul speaks of even more clearly in Galatians 3: 26 – 29, which is the church of Jesus Christ world wide and now being existence for over 2000 years than the descendants would number like the stars in the sky on a clear night.

Galatians 3: 26 – 29 speaks of this New Israel or new family of God being made up of Jew and Gentile, slave and free male and female and finally through Christ the seed or descendants of Abraham,

 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”.

This idea of the seed of Abraham being all people of faith in God from every nation through God’s Son Jesus Christ also fulfils the words of Psalm 105: 6 that say,

“He (God) remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded for a thousand generations”.

A thousand generations is not meaning God is counting down a thousand generations but this is a poetic description of an enormous number of generations. In Revelation 14 another poetic or symbolic number appears, that has been grossly miss-understood over the years when it has be interpreted as a literal number. I am speaking of the number 144,000, which is, I believe God’s complete number of all generations who will be with him in heaven. The number 144,000 is made up of 12,000 from each of the 12th tribes of Israel.

With this interpretation in mind let me quote Revelation 14: 1 – 3,

“Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth”.

Finally verse 9 ends with the words,

“The oath he swore to Isaac”

This means that the covenant God made with Abraham was passed on to the next generation represented by his son Isaac and this oath was literally recorded for us in Genesis 26: 2 – 3,

“The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham”.

This Abraham covenant promise of God is then spoken of passing from Isaac to Jacob his son in verse 10,

“He confirmed it to Jacob a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant”.

Which we read of happening in Genesis 28: 13 and Genesis 35: 12 and in Genesis 35 we read of how God planned to fulfil this promise through Jacob, Genesis 35: 10 – 13,

“God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel!]” So he named him Israel.

 11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty”]; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants. 12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” 13 Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him”.

This promise even in Isaac and Jacob’s time was the land they were wandering about as aliens which was called Canaan. Four hundred years later Canaan would be The Promised Land re-named Israel after Jacobs new name conquered under the leadership of Joshua.

This then is confirmed as the outcome of God’s covenant promise fulfilled in Psalm 105 verse 11,

“To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit”.

Some might ask why didn’t God just give Jacob and his growing family Canaan straight away and not wait 400 years to fulfil this?

The answer is simple Jacob and his family was no more than a couple of dozen people and it took 400 years for this family to grow into at least a small nation able to occupy a land of their own.

Also God had many more people to come who he could speak through as we will see in the rest of the Psalm and as Charlie my bible study leader when I was in my late teens early twenties often told us God spoke through people just like us warts and all so that we could learn how he wants us to relate to him in faith and obedience.

  1. (12 – 15) Remember how God protected the patriarchs

 Before the David and the writer of Psalm 105 wants his readers and hearers to remember some issues to raise about God’s wonderful deeds and acts in the care and protection of the small family groups of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in verse 12 – 15.

He speaks first of all about how vulnerable and fragile they would have been in an often hostile foreign land with no form of ownership or rites to any part of the land of Canaan. This idea is expressed in verses 12 and 13,

“When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it,13 they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another”.

This was particular dangerous time for what would have been a small group of people and yet God protected them time and time again. Abraham got into trouble with two different powerful kings which I will speak of in the next verse and Abraham nearly lost his brother lot when Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed and God had to send an Angel to warn them both of this coming disaster.

Isaac had to have a vision to warn him not to go down to Egypt during a famine in the Land of Canaan and Isaac suffered from the same trouble as his father passing his attractive wife off as his sister before the Philistine king of that time known as Abimelech. Abimelech sees Isaac caressing his wife Rebecca and realises that Rebecca is his wife but instead of becoming angry with Isaac over his deception he orders that no man is to molest Isaac or his wife (Genesis 26: 11).

Jacob has lots of problems living as a stranger and wanderer in the land of Canaan and a lot of his trouble is caused by his often arrogant and deceitful ways and he even ends up in conflict with his twin brother Esau who he steals his birthright from him with deception.

Jacob in later life has an encounter with God and after wrestling with an Angel from God is subdued by some kind of hip injury the Angel gives Jacob and from that time on Jacob seems to become a changed man and God gives him a new exalted name, Israel which could literally mean “one who has struggled with God and has prevailed”.

So verses 12 and 13 of Psalm 105 certainly are a good summary of those early years of Israel’s history.

Then we read in verses 14 and 15 how God specifically helped the Patriarchs and their families during their many years of wandering about the land of Canaan,

“He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: 15 “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”

 As I said it was a senor minister I am calling Charlie who first introduced me to the concept that the bible presents it’s so called hero’s of faith with warts and all, an expression that means the bible presents the people it speaks about with their failings as well as their successes or good points. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, men we call the Patriarchs are good examples of Charlie’s warts and all theory.

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all got themselves into trouble with powerful men in Canaan and Egypt in their day that could have easily ended their lives and caused an end to their families and to the ability for God to fulfil the many promises of his covenant particularly to make out of them a great nation.

Abraham twice tried to pass off his wife as his sister to two different powerful kings and both times God has to intervene to save the life of Abraham and his family because of his sinful deception. The first instance of this is in Genesis 12: 10 – 20 when he is in Egypt owing to a famine in the Canaan.

The second time he falls to this, not having learnt his lesson the first time is in Genesis 20, where he has the same trouble with a Canaanite king named Abimelech.

The final words of verse 15,

“Do my prophets no harm”

 Could easily be applied to this second incident of Abraham trying to pass off his wife as his sister to the Canaanite king named Abimelech in something God told Abimelech in a dream recorded in Genesis 20: 7a,

“Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet”

Then we find Isaac falling to the same problem with his wife, Rebecca with a king with the same name Abimelech (probably son or grandson of the king Abraham dealt with) who is described this time as the king of the Philistines recorded in Genesis 26: 1 – 19. In Isaacs’s case he not only escapes death at the hands of Abimelech for his deception but is blessed by the king and is able to settle safely in his kingdom as we read in Genesis 26: 17 – 18,

“So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar, where he settled. 18 Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them”.

Finally as I said earlier Jacob had all sorts of life threatening experiences with his twin brother Esau and his father in law Laban’s sons and then even Laban himself who wanted to kill him because of the wealth Jacob had gained while living with Laban as they believed this wealth came at their expense. Jacob has to return to where his family live and therefore was again in danger of being killed by his twin brother Esau there. However God answered Jacob’s prayer and when he meets his bother he finds that his hatred towards him had passed and he greeted Jacob with tears and loving acceptance.

In all this we see the hand of God protecting and leading this fragile family during the time of the Patriarchs which again is spelt out in the words of verses 14 and 15 of Psalm 105,

“He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: 15 “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”

The way that God even worked through the failures and human weakness of these men who in many ways are no different from us is a testimony to the words of Paul in Romans 8: 28,

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.

I remember first time I really learnt the truth of these words in the bible studies I attended as a young man for two years under the leadership of the wise old assistant minister I am referring to as Charlie. This teaching was very important to me then as I had just come back from falling away from following the Lord and to realise that my salvation was centred in what God had done for me and not on how I had always trusted in God.

Therefore no matter how sinful I was God still loved me and was now even blessing me as he did like men like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the bible.

This was crucial teaching for me to learn that helped me really come back to serving the Lord and two years after those bible studies with Charlie I was preparing for full time ministry in Bible College.

  1. (16 – 25) REMEMBER JOSEPH AND HOW GOD GUIDED HIM

1.  (16 – 22) Remember how God guided Joseph through difficulty

The writer of Psalm 105 then stops his use of David’s original older Psalm in 1 Chronicles 16 and moves on to ask his readers and hearers to continue to remember how God led Israel to fulfil his covenant with Abraham.

Jacob’s second youngest son, Joseph who has an amazing story of the providential guidance of God, represents the first generation after the three Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Joseph story is taken up in a briefer poetic style telling in verses 16 – 22.

Psalm 105 telling of Joseph has, as I see it in these verses four parts:

  1. God creates a famine (vs. 16)
  2. God prepares a saviour through slavery (vv. 17 – 19)
  3. God raises this slave to be a ruler (vv. 20 – 21)
  4. God uses his ruler to teach and help others (vs. 22)

 So let’s have a closer look at this amazing story and as the Psalmist would like us to do remember and ponder the wonderful acts or deeds of God.

  1. God creates a famine (vs. 16)

The Genesis account of Joseph guidance of God does not have any mention of God creating a famine but verse 16 says,

“He called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food”.

 Albert Barnes says this about this God designed famine,

“It was, not by chance, not by mere operation of physical laws, but it was because God, ordered it”.

 The famine did not come unto years after Joseph sinful jealous brothers sold him in to slavery in Egypt but this shows God knew what he was going to do, which was call down on the land a famine in years after Joseph seemed lost into slavery in Egypt and through the terrible turn of events for Joseph have him perfectly placed to save his people from death by starvation.

Through the famine God would force Jacob’s growing family into Egypt where over 400 years they could grow into a nation big enough to inherit and inhabit the Promised Land of Canaan the very land they had to flee as strangers and aliens before the famine had come upon them by the hand of God.

All this reminds me of the famous hymn of William Cowper, “God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform”, which goes like this,

  1. God moves in a mysterious way
    His wonders to perform;
    He plants His footsteps in the sea
    And rides upon the storm.

 

2. Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov’reign will.

 

3. Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

 

4.Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

 

5. His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.

 

6. Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

  1. God prepares a saviour through slavery (vv. 17 – 18)

We are then told, in a kind of flash back how God prepared a saviour for his people when they faced death through starvation from the famine God brought upon the land of Canaan.

The saviour is named in verse 17 and the means of his placement in Egypt is also stated,

“And he sent a man before them – Joseph, sold as a slave”.

 Joseph is the victim of family in – fighting caused by jealousy encouraged by Joseph lack of tact about how God blessed him more than his brothers and Joseph acted, in my view a bit like a spoilt child insensitive to his brother’s thoughts and feelings. This of course is no excuse for Joseph brothers wanting to kill him and then through the intervention of another brother Reuben the plot to kill change the brothers minds to selling him as a slave to some passing Ishmaelite slave traders.

Verse 18, expresses the terrible plight of what being sold as a slave might be like,

“They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons”.

 The Genesis account has no mention of the shackling of Joseph but people of the time of the return from Babylonian exile would have been familiar with this kind of cruel treatment of slaves as it was apparently how slaves were treated in their day.

Joseph had got into the mess he was in because he told his brothers and even his father the dream God gave him that implied that one day he, Joseph would rule over his brothers. This seemed to be the last straw with Joseph brothers and their actions actually led to the actual dream prediction being fulfilled as the next verse in Psalm 105 implies, verse 19,

“Till what was foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved true”.

 Yes Joseph was sold into slavery but in Egypt he ends up being bought by an influential Egyptian official of the Pharaoh’s court named Potiphar and Joseph quickly rose to a privileged position in this mans house. However what seems like another tragic turn of events sees Joseph thrown into prison, which comes about because Joseph refuses to have an affair with Potiphar’s wife and she after being rejected by Joseph had him accused of attempted rape.

However even in prison God blessed Joseph and he quickly rises to a privileged position and while there he helps a cupbearer of Pharaoh interpret his dream of immanent release correctly and this turns out to be God’s guidance again to get Joseph out of prison.

  1. God raises this slave to be s ruler (vv. 20 – 21)

The cup-bearer initially forgets the favour Joseph did for him unto Pharaoh has some troubling dreams himself which non of his so-called wise men can interpret and the cupbearer remembers poor Joseph. Psalm 20 – 21 speaks of what then happens,

“The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples set him free”.

 Joseph is sent for by Pharaoh and interprets his dreams correctly, which foretell of the coming famine in Egypt and even as far as Canaan and Joseph ends up freed from prison. Then a remarkable turn of events takes place, expressed poetically by verse 21,

“He made him master of his household, ruler over all he possessed>”

 Albert Barnes explains the significance of this verse with these words,

“This implied that the administration of the affairs of the nation was virtually committed to him”. 

  1. God uses his ruler to teach and help others (vs. 22)

 So from being sold into slavery to end up in prison God uses all these terrible turn of events to be his means of raising Joseph to an exalted position in Egypt at a vital time to help them and his own people with wisdom only God could give them as verse 22 implies,

“To instruct his princes as he pleased and teach his elders wisdom”.

 Joseph becomes a kind of Governor under Pharaoh to administer the country during the years of good harvests and famine.

All through this amazing story of Joseph is the obvious hand of God in his life expressed so well by Pharaoh himself in Genesis 41: 38,

“So Pharaoh asked them, ‘Can we find anyone like this man (Joseph), in whom is the spirit of God”.

 People might deny the existence of our God but they cannot deny that we, as believers in that God are blessed by something they seem to lack and I believe this can be a powerful tool in our presentation of the Gospel message as Peter advises us with the words of 2 Peter 3: 15 – 16,

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander”.

The story of how God guided Joseph also reminds me of the famous verse Romans 8: 18, which I quoted earlier which says,

“And we know that in all things God works for good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.

Joseph was called according to God’s purpose and so through slavery, false charges and imprisonment God guided Joseph to be a Governor in Egypt to save Egypt and his family from starvation and as we will see in the second part of this third section of the Psalm bring his extended family into Egypt to become a great nation.

  1. (23 – 25) Remember how God blessed Israel in Egypt

 So through Joseph God’s fragile blessed family, which was the out working of his covenant or agreement with Abraham was saved yet again, this time from starvation. This famine that verse 16 was from the direct hand of God also was used for another great purpose in God’s plan and that was to bring Jacob and his growing family into Egypt as verse 23,

“Then Israel entered Egypt; Jacob lived as an alien in the land of ham”.

 Jacob and his family had been alien’s in Canaan before the famine but now verse 23 says they were now aliens in the land of Ham which is a common bible name for Egypt. Leupold explains the use if the title “land of Ham” this way,

“”The land of Ham indicates that the ancestry of Egypt was well known to the Israelites”, (see Genesis 10: 6 – Cush is the people in north Africa in the region of the upper Nile)

The reason for this change of land for Jacob and his family is poetically explained in verse 24,

“The Lord made his people very fruitful; he made them too numerous for their foes”.

 So over a total period of 400 hundred years The Lord blessed Jacobs family and they grew into a nation of people within a nation and this is always a recipe for conflict.

However God knew that Jacobs family could not have developed so quickly and so well in Canaan so he led them through the famine and the rise of Joseph to Egypt where they could grow into a small nation.

As I said nations within nations is a recipe for conflict and this is spoken of in the second half of verse 24 and verse 25,

“He made them too numerous for their foes, whose hearts he turned to hate his people, to conspire against his servants”.

 So the scene is set for the greatest historical story the Jews remember namely the Exodus from Egypt for the hate and fear the Egyptians had for the Israelites lead them to seek to ruthlessly suppress them by turning them into a nation of slaves.

What is being set up here is not just salvation for God’s people out of Egypt but also God’s judgment on Egypt for their cruel and unjust treatment of God’s people, the Israelites the direct descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

I have always had a pet hate for racial prejudice and I see it as another way sin is seen in our world. So often I have seen that racial prejudice is a result or ignorance and false fears of a group of people different than they see themselves. I have always attempted to try to understand people different from myself by seeking to try to stand in their shoes or see the world the way they see it and this has helped me to stop falling into ignorance and racial prejudice thoughts and actions.

  1. (26 – 44) REMEMBER HOW GOD USED MOSES AND AARON TO

                           SAVE ISRAEL OUT OF SLAVERY

  1. (26 – 36) Remember how God performed miraculous signs through

               Moses and Aaron

 The one great act of God that the Old Testament constantly remembers is his act of salvation in the Exodus of his people out of Egypt. It has been said that the word Egypt appears over 700 times in the Old and New Testament and Doug Ward makes this amazing observation of the first five books of the bible and particularly the Exodus story with these words,

“The five books of Moses-Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy-are of critical importance for understanding the rest of the Bible. Themes that begin in these books are expanded and developed throughout the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. In particular, motifs from the exodus account, their central story, appear again and again in the psalms, prophets, gospels and epistles”.

 So it’s not strange that our writer of Psalm 105 spends 19 verses on reminding his readers and hearers of God’s deliverance of Israel out of slavery in Egypt to occupation of the promised land of Canaan.

Our writer speaks of the actual Exodus itself in verses 26 – 36 and I have broken this story of God’s great act of salvation of his people into two parts:

  1. (vv. 26 – 27) The sending of Moses and Aaron to Egypt.
  2. (vv. 28_ 36) God’s miraculous signs in Egypt.

Lets then have a closer look at these two parts:

  1. (vv. 26- 27) The sending of Moses and Aaron to Egypt.

The account of the Exodus story the writer of Psalm 105 wants his readers and hearers to remember is the calling and sending of two senior men, Moses and his younger brother Aaron that he poetically describes this way in verses 26 – 27,

“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”.

This calling of Moses to go or be sent by God to Egypt, again described poetically by the writer of Psalm 105 as the Land of Ham is recorded for us in Exodus chapter 3. It takes place according to this chapter far off from Egypt in a desert area east from Egypt called Midian, which was located in the Northwest Arabian Peninsula.

I recently heard an Atheist making fun the story of Moses calling saying it was from a burning bush that did not burn up way out in the desert where their was no witnesses, “no witnesses”, he jested, how convenient”. Well there are a lot more miraculous events to take place than a bush that does not burn up to come when Moses and Aaron answer the call and perform great signs and wonders in Egypt and there were thousands of witnesses to them.

Moses is not a young man and either is his brother Aaron but Moses particularly had an incredible life story that prepared him in a wonderful way to be God’s perfect servant and leader of his people out of Egypt.

Moses was brought up and educated in the Egyptian Pharaohs court, which meant he knew their language, customs, history and for the sake of the written record of the bible he learnt ways of writing but we simply don’t know what ancient script Moses actually used some bible scholars say it was what is called Paleo-Hebrew, or a closely related derivative, generally considered to be an offshoot of ancient Phonecian script. However copies of the bible in this Ancient Hebrew script have been lost as a more modern form of Hebrew script was fully adopted scholars say by the sixth of seventh century.

Moses had to flee Egypt as a relatively young man and spent up to forty years in the desert area of Midian keeping sheep. He probably kept up his reading and writing skills and certainly learnt a lot about living and travelling in a desert area’s which meant God had prepared him to lead his people for the last forty years of his life in the desert area’s between Egypt and Canaan before God allowed the people of Israel to occupy the Promised Land.

Moses was a reluctant leader and he offers God at the burning bush many excuses why he is not the man for the job but God offers up his younger brother Aaron to work with him on going down to Egypt to call on Pharaoh to let his people go from Egypt and slavery there.

Psalm 105 verse 26 has two key words to describe Moses and they are:

  1. Servant
  2. Chosen

Let me speak briefly about these two key descriptions of Moses:

  1. Servant

Moses is called “God’s Servant” even in the New Testament in Hebrews 3: 5,

“Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house”.

 The title servant means that Moses was faithful and obedient to a master and his master was God himself. Moses sought to follow the word and direction of his master and he basically did this all through his leadership of his people in the story of their deliverance out of Egypt and Hebrews 11 says that Moses did all this by faith.

Moses then was a great example of Servant leadership and this is what “gotquestions?org” says about Christian Servant leadership,

Servant leadership is best defined by Jesus Himself: “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26–28). In the Christian realm, all leadership should be servant leadership.

  1. Chosen

Moses like Joseph before him and indeed Abraham were all men chosen and prepared to do a specific job for God but each man, like us has to respond to the call of God when he shows us he has chosen us.

Paul taught in a number of places that God chooses men and women to follow him and that choice of God goes far, far back in the mind and plan of God as he writes in Romans 8: 29 – 30,

 “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified”.

Some Christians resist the idea of God choosing us to follow him but others find it a great comfort and means of praise to God. I personally do find this teaching a great mystery but accepting it gives me confidence that if I am faithful in presenting God’s word to others and leave the work of changing men and women’s hearts and minds to understand it to God then he will call those he has chosen to follow him.

The story of Moses calling and the preparation that led up to it is yet another story of how God works over many years in the hearts and lives of men and women that my old bible study leader I had in my late teens, who I call Charlie would say are men and women just like you and me.

  1. (vv. 28_ 36) God’s miraculous signs in Egypt

So verse 27 said that God sent Moses and Aaron into Egypt to perform God’s miraculous signs and wonders and now, again, in a poetical form the writer of Psalm 105 describes some of these signs and wonders God did through them in Egypt.

I say some of these signs and wonders because Psalm 105 account of these is different than the account we find in Exodus 7 – 12, as not all the plagues are mentioned in Psalm 105 and there order is changed.

Allan Harman explains how the writer of Psalm 105 sets down the story of the plagues in Egypt this way,

“The poet highlights the final two plagues (darkness and death of the firstborn) by placing the other plagues between them”.

 Also two plagues are omitted from Psalm 105 account of the plagues namely the plague on livestock and the plague of boils.

So the writer of Psalm 105 is using a poetic description of what he calls God’s signs which Spurgeon describes this way,

“They were speaking marvels, which testified more plainly than words to the omnipotence of Jehovah, to his determination to be obeyed, to his anger at the obstinacy of Pharaoh”.

 Lets have a closer look at how the writer of Psalm 105 describes the seven “speaking marvels” of God.

  1. Plague of Darkness (vs. 28)

The writer of Psalm 105 starts with plague number 9 recorded in more detail in Exodus 10: 21 – 29, the writer of Psalm 105 describes it this way,

“He sent darkness and made the land dark – for had they not rebelled against his words?”

 Darkness for three days Exodus 10: 23, would have been a very frightening thing to go through but the God who made light right at the beginning of creation now stops light shinning in Egypt. This shows God’s total control and also says to Pharaoh and Egypt that if they defy the word of God then that word that originally made light itself will be deprived of you.

John 3: 19 – 21 says this about the coming of God’s light to the world through the Lord Jesus Christ and his message which is God’s spiritual light to the world,

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God”.

Pharaoh opening defied the God Moses and Aaron spoke on behalf of so over and over again Pharaoh refused to acknowledge the God of the bible and as the second part of verse 28 says, Pharaoh and the people of Egypt he ruled over,

“Rebelled against his (God’s) words?”

 For this they were under the judgment of God as are people today who hate the light of God, God sent into the world namely Jesus Christ who interestingly is called in John 1: 14,

“The word (of God) become flesh”

  1. Plague of water into blood (vs. 29)

The very reason why Egypt existed and prospered as a nation was the fertility of the waters of the great river Nile. In the area that Ancient Egyptians lived was very fertile because it was in the area that the river Nile spread out and often silted up with rich nutrients for growing large food crops.

So we read in verse 29 a terrible plague that effected what only could be called the life- blood of the Egyptian Empire, the river Nile,

“He turned their waters into blood, causing their fish to die”.

 Whether this was literally blood or some red appearing toxic substance that looked like blood really doesn’t matter as the end reflect is the same, the fish die and therefore the river is no longer an agricultural blessing but a curse.

I also read in my research that fish caught in the river Nile was also an important part of ancient Egyptian diets so again God is acting through nature to judge Egypt for their rebellion to his word carried to their Pharaoh by Moses and Aaron.

  1. Plague of frogs (vs. 30)

It has been speculated that because the Nile and all the waterways in Egypt were now toxic to amphibian creatures the next plague which was frogs swarming across the land and entering the buildings of the Egyptians is a natural progression as the frogs sought fresh water as did man.

Verse 30 speaks of this plague this way,

“Their land teemed with frogs, which went up into the bedrooms of their rulers”.

 Exodus 7: 22 – 24, tells us what Pharaoh’s response to the river Nile turning to blood was,

“But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. 23 Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart. 24 And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile to get drinking water, because they could not drink the water of the river”.

Like many non believers today Pharaoh chose to willfully turn away from the word of God and shut himself up in his palace thinking that this God of the Hebrews might strike his beloved river Nile but he was safe inside his palace locked away from Moses and Aaron and their supposed God of the universe.

How wrong Pharaoh was as God sent frogs loose all over the land and as the second part of verse 30 says, the frogs,

“Went up into the bedrooms of their rulers”.

 People cannot escape the coming judgment of God except by faith in his Son Jesus Christ who through his death on the cross has cleared a way for anyone who turns in repentance and faith in him to God himself. Faith is Jesus Christ is the only way to escape this certain Day of Judgment.

Interestingly Revelation 6: 15 – 17 speaks of kings of the earth seeking to run away and hide from the coming judgment when Jesus returns and these verses tell us this,

 “Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

  1. Plague of flies and gnats (vs. 31)

With all the dead fish and indeed dead frogs around the next natural plague is flies and gnats feeding and breeding on all the dead flesh lying around the banks of the river Nile and throughout the land from the plague of frogs who have now perished.

Verse 31 says,

“He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, and gnats throughout their country”.

 God often brings his specific acts of judgment to the world through natural processes but he is behind all as we learnt in the last Psalm seen in a verse like Psalm 104: 29,

“When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to dust”.

 God is the sovereign Lord of the universe and he is in control of this world giving by his hand his judgments and his blessings as Psalm 104: 27 – 28,

“All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time.28 When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things”.

  1. Plague of hail (vs. 32 -33)

Then we read in verse 32 skips past the next two plagues recorded in Exodus 9 to another natural part of nature being used by God as a judgment on rebellious Egypt and its ruler, Pharaoh,

“He turned their rain into hail, with lightening throughout their land”

 This was not just a big thunderstorm but as Exodus 9: 18 – 19, the worst

Thunderstorm in Egypt history as described in these verses like this,

“Therefore, at this time tomorrow I will send the worst hailstorm that has ever fallen on Egypt, from the day it was founded till now.

19 Give an order now to bring your livestock and everything you have in the field to a place of shelter, because the hail will fall on every person and animal that has not been brought in and is still out in the field, and they will die.’”

 I like what Moses tells Pharaoh leading up to these verses in verses 15 – 17,

“For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. 16 But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. 17 You still set yourself against my people and will not let them go”.

God is not just judging the rebellious sins of Pharaoh and his people he is saying something to the world in Moses and Aaron’s time and in the future that he is the one true great and powerful God of heaven and earth and that to rebel against him has dire consequences.

This is a message very much-needed today as people today are just like Pharaoh and his people in Egypt they refuse to even listen the God and his word and instead choose to turn their backs on him and his offer of salvation through Christ his one and only son.

The hail was so large and came down with such force that animal or human would die if they were out in the open and not under shelter. Psalm 105 speaks of the devastation in Egypt caused by this massive thunderstorm and the hail it rained down with these words,

“He struck down their vines and fig trees and shattered the trees of their country”.

We all need the spiritual shelter Christ offered through his sacrifice of his life on the cross for our sins to escape the coming judgment of God but so many refuse to shelter or live in Christ so they have no hope of escape from the coming judgment of God.

  1. Plague of Locus (34 – 35)

If the hail and the devastation it caused to the land of Egypt had not destroyed Egypt’s economy at that time the next certainly finishes it off destroying anything left in the fields of the land. For verses 34 and 35 speak of the plague of locusts,

He spoke, and the locusts came, grasshoppers without number; 35 they ate up every green thing in their land, ate up the produce of their soil”.

 Spurgeon speaks of these locusts as a kind of natural army and then writes,

“Commissioned as these were by God, we may be sure they would do their work thoughly, and leave behind them nothing but desolate wilderness”.

 It has been said that the plagues were also a judgment on the Egyptian supposed God’s that combined nature, like cows and frogs heads on their description of their God’s. Now God is using nature like frogs and here locusts to attack their lives and crops that is saying to Pharaoh and his people that they need to turn away from these false God’s and worship the one true God of heaven and earth.

Paul speaks of the foolishness of mankind when they turn away from God in sinful rebellion in Romans 1: 21 – 23,

 “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles”.

No Egyptian God could stand up against the one true God of heaven and earth to stop his army of locusts devouring the land yet we learn with dismay and unbelief still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened in rebellion to God.

  1. Plague of the death of the first-born (vs. 36)

So finally after nine plagues that struck Egypt and after nine times Pharaoh still refused to acknowledge the one true God of heaven and earth he now faced the loss of his first-born son, the very heir to the throne of Egypt,

“Then he struck down all the firstborn in their land, the first fruits of all their manhood”.

 So not only Pharaoh lost his first-born son but all other Egyptians as well lost their first-born sons. Of course Exodus 12 tells us that all the first-born of the Israelites who put the blood of the sacrificed lamb on their door posts were saved because God’s angel of death passed over these houses and the first-born sons inside were saved from death.

This very night has become ever since a special night of remembrance when all Jews conduct the solemn celebration of “Passover” and it is at the same time Christians celebrate the solemn celebration of Easter.

 

We might not celebrate the birth of Jesus at the right time of the year but we certainly celebrate his death on the cross at the right time. Just as the blood of the slain lamb saved the firstborn sons of the believing Israelites so the blood of Jesus Christ God’s sacrificial lamb saves us all who believe in him from eternal death and wins for us eternal life.

As Peter speaks of in 1 Peter 1: 18 – 21,

 “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God”.

 The faith and hope of the Israelites in the time of the original Passover was in God and he saved them like he saves anyone from any nation or life status today if they believe in, “the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect”.

 Pharaoh and the Egyptian people obviously did not believe and hope in the one true God of heaven and earth and in fact chose to defy his rule in their lives and rebel against his word given to them through his prophets Moses and Aaron and suffered the judgment of God on that terrible night long ago in Egypt.

This must serve as a warning to all who today choose to turn their backs on God and his word and who mock the salvation he offers through the Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. (37 – 44) Remember how God led his people from Egypt to the

               Promise Land.

     So no mention of the Passover is made in Psalm 105 but this was such a vital part of every Jewish believer’s life when every year they remembered the Lord and his great deeds in the time of the Exodus so he does not need to refer to this for them.

What he does remind them of about the Exodus from Egypt is what they left with in verse 37,

“He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold, and from among their tribes no one faltered”.

 We read of this plundering of Egyptian treasure in Exodus 12: 33 -36,

“The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. “For otherwise,” they said, “we will all die!” 34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing. 35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians”.

The writer of Psalm 105 suggests why the Egyptians would have given over these treasures in verse 38,

“Egypt was glad when they left, because dread of Israel had fallen on them”.

Pharaoh and the Egyptians just wanted the Israelites out of their country now and were willing to hand over valuables to help achieve this as they now feared that this powerful God of the Israelites might turn on them and wipe them out just as they had just seen in the death’s of their first-born sons. We know from the Exodus account that this attitude of Pharaoh and his people did not last as after a few days had passed Pharaoh sent an army out to hunt Israel down and kill them all. Tremper Longman 111 points out the significance of the Israelites plundering the Egyptians when they left Egypt,

“In a sense, the Hebrew’s were finally paid for their onerous labour for the Egyptians”.

Then the writer skips over the great salvation of God seen in the crossing of the red sea with its crushing victory over the Egyptian army that was sent to cut them down.

For in verse’s 39 – 41 he speaks of two amazing aspects of the way God led and fed and watered his people during the forty years of wandering in the wilderness before he allowed them to enter the Promised Land of Canaan.

In these verses he reminds his hearers and readers to remember three things:

  1. How God guided them (vs. 39)
  2. How God fed them (vs. 40)
  3. How God provided water for them to drink (vs. 41)

Lets have a closer look at each of these three ways God provided for the Israelites during the forty years of wandering in the wilderness.

  1. How God guided them (vs. 39)

Even before the crossing of the Red Sea Exodus speaks of the way God guided his people in the wilderness by day and night and verse 39 describes it this way,

“He spread out a cloud as a covering and a fire to give them light at night”.

 Here the cloud at day and fire or pillar of fire at night is not just for guidance but also protection. We read of the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day guiding or leading the people in the wilderness in Exodus 13: 21 – 22,

“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people”.

The protection of the cloud by day of the Israelites is described this way in Exodus 14: 19 – 20,

 “Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long”.

So God led and protected his people and he promises the same guidance and protection for all who put their faith in Christ and seek to live for him as we read in Paul’s prayer request for God’s protection from the devil as he and his companions spread the Gospel message of the Lord on his missionary journeys in 2 Thessalonians 3: 1 – 3,

“As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honoured, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one”.

 We don’t have a cloud or pillar of fire to guide us but as Jesus promised on his last night on earth we have his Holy Spirit who will guide us and lead us into all truth, John 16: 13 – 15,

 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

 The apostles wrote down for us faithfully what they heard Jesus taught and did and this was inspired by the Holy Spirit as Jesus promised them in John 16. So we can read Jesus words and also the inspired words of the apostles who not only wrote it down but fleshed out what Jesus said, applying it to our lives and giving us direction through it.

So we are led and protected by God’s Holy Spirit in our daily lives just as the Israelites of long ago were led and protected by The Angel of the Lord who appeared to them in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

  1. How God fed them (vs. 40)

Just as the Patriarchs lived in a hostile world as strangers and wanderers and could have perished so easily in that environment now a whole nation probably around 2 million people moved around the desert area’s between Egypt and Canaan and this was a miracle in itself that such a large number survived in such difficult conditions. They would have spent some time in many of the places they made camp in but still the feeding of such a number would have been even in modern times a logistical nightmare yet verse 40 says,

“They asked and he brought quail and satisfied them with bread of heaven”.

 Psalm 106 which parallel this Psalm in remembering this amazing history of the nation points out how God answered their request for food even though it was asked for in a grumbling sinful way, Psalm 106: 13 – 15,

“But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
14 In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wilderness they put God to the test.15 So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease among them”.

So they asked God for food grumbling and saying why God did you take us out of Egypt where we had food, Exodus 16: 2 – 3,

“In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”

The general grace of God for the world is expressed in Jesus words in Matthew 5: 45,

“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous”.

So God fed the grumbling sinful Israelites with two more miracles of quails blown off course from the coast to be caught and eaten and through the miracle of the manna, which even to this day we cannot understand just exactly what it was. Gotquestion?org makes this fascinating observation,

What was manna? Interestingly, the Israelites asked the very same question: “When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat’” (Exodus 16:15). The Hebrew word translated “manna” literally means “what is it?”

Whatever Manna was Psalm 105: 40 says God,

“Satisfied them with bread of heaven”.

 Jesus tells people who followed him for a easy free meal, John 6: 35,

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”.

Even in my poorest time of my life when I was a student God always made sure I never went hungry but Jesus is speaking of a far deeper hunger, spiritual hunger that of course only by faith in him can it be satisfied.

  1. How God provided water for them to drink (vs. 41)

Even more difficult than food is the provision of enough water for over two million people in a desert area and so the writer of Psalm 105 in verse 41 calls on his hearers and readers to remember God’s provision of water for Israel in their forty-year desert wanderings, he writes,

“He opened the rock, and water gushed out; like a river it flowed in the desert”.

 Numbers 20: 1 – 13 records the details of God doing this, providing water from a rock in the desert and this passage refers to this as,

“Waters of Meribah” verse 13 and Meribah means quarreling and this place is called Massah in the Exodus 17 account of this incident and Massah means testing and this is because again like with food the Israelites who had already seen God’s great many previous miracles could not believe he could or would provide them with water in the desert when there seemed no hope for it there.

Yet even as Moses himself sins by striking the rock in anger when he was specifically to speak to the rock, Numbers 20: 8,

“Speak to the rock before their eyes and it will pour out water”

 God opens the rock and water gushes out which probably means this rock provided access to artesian water. Moses and Aaron for this sinful way of following the command of God are forbidden to lead the people into the promised land, Numbers 20: 12,

“But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them”.

This story teaches us many things not to mention that God does not care for grumbling and complaining but his grace is so great that even sinful people like these Israelites were still helped and saved by him which will be a major theme of the next Psalm, Psalm 106.

Jesus also refers to himself as the one who quenches our deep spiritual thirst, John 7: 37 – 38,

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them”.

I feel that many people today suffer great spiritual thirst which I believe that only faith in Jesus Christ can quench and I have a much more involved study on this in my Psalm talk on Psalm 63. The first verse of this Psalm reads like this,

“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water”.

 Then in the last three verses of this second part of the fourth section of the Psalm we have the poetic description of the conquest of God’s Promised Land for his people.

The writer presents three things he wants his readers and hearers to remember about the conquest of the land in these next three verses:

  1. How the land is the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham (vs. 42)
  2. How the people entered the promise land with joy (vs. 43)
  3. How God conquered nations to give them the Promised Land (vs. 44)

Lets look a little closer at each of these three things the writer of Psalm 105 wants his readers and hearers to remember about how the ancient Israelites entered God’s Promise Land.

  1. How the land is the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham (vs. 42)

First we have yet another reminder that the land of Canaan was promised to Abraham a long time before the Israelites with God’s help were able to conquer and settle in it. This is expressed in verse 42,

“For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham”.

 The readers and hearers of this Psalm are to remember that the land of Canaan was only theirs because God promised it to Abraham as a vital part of his covenant with Abraham, which was the basis of the covenant he made to them through Moses. It is interesting that the covenant of God to Abraham and his descendants is now the completed or made new in the work of Jesus Christ for us.

We gain a very real understanding of how Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant and founder of what we now call “The New Covenant” through the teaching of the book of Hebrews in the New Testament.

 I don’t have time to go into a detailed discussion and explanation of the relationship between the Old and New Covenants but here I will just look at two issues relating to verse 42 of Psalm 105.

The first is that the New Covenant established by the work of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins is a new covenant because it is superior to the covenant or agreement that verse 42 speaks of because it achieves far more and is no longer restricted to the descendants of Abraham.

We see this in a passage like Hebrews 8: 6 – 13,

“But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said]: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.

 

It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.


10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people. 11 No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” 13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear”

The second observation I would like to make about the New Covenant and the Old Covenant relating to Psalm 105 verse 42 is its relationship to the inheritance of the land and a verse that points us to how the New Covenant should shape our thinking on the promised inheritance of the land is Hebrews 9: 15,

“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant”.

So heaven is the Promise Land of the new covenant which is spoken about by all of the New Testament writers as we see in 1 Peter 1: 3 – 5,

“ Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time”. 

  1. How the people entered the promise land with joy (vs. 43)

 The second thing the writer of Psalm 105 wants his readers and hearers to remember about the ancient Israelites entering the Promise Land is in verse 43 which speaks of the way the people came into the land, he writes,

“He brought out his people with rejoicing his chosen ones with shouts of joy”.

 The Israelites who entered the Promise Land had in one sense had waited hundreds of years for that day to come as God’s people descended from Abraham. Their fathers had been slaves in Egypt and many of them had spent 40 years wandering around the wilderness living in tents but now they had finally entered the Promise Land and what a day that must have been for them and they would have been shouting great words and songs of rejoicing and praise in their God.

It is the book of Joshua records the way God led his people into the Promise Land and helped them to conquer it. Joshua 5: 10 – 12, speaks of a great first Passover celebration that took place in the Promised Land at a place they called Gilgal,

 “On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan”.

What a great day of celebration that would have been and note how God’s provision of manna stopped that day as they now could eat produce grown in the Promised Land for the first time.

The New Testament speaks of how we are to live our lives in Christ with praise and rejoicing as Paul teaches in 1 Thessalonians 5: 16 – 18,

 “Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.

Paul’s prayer for the Colossians in Colossians 1: 9 – 12, includes giving thanks and being joyful as we live a life worthy of the Lord as we move towards entering our eternal inheritance,

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light”.

So as we remember what Christ has done for us through his death and resurrection we are to live a life worthy of the Lord giving thanks and being joyful as we share even now in God’s great inheritance which we only have now a foretaste in his church that will be ours completely when we enter in heaven one day in the future.

  1. How God conquered nations to give them the Promised Land (vs. 44)

The third and final thing the writer of Psalm 105 wants his readers and hearers to remember about the ancient Israelites entering the Promise Land is in verse 44 which speaks of how God conquered nations to give them the Promised Land people in the past like Moses and Aaron toiled for,

“He have them the lands of the nations, and they fell heir to what others had toiled for”.

 The conquest of the Promise Land was an often slow but sure process of victory after victory of a tiny nation that defeated far bigger and more powerful nations that occupied the land of Canaan at that time. The big difference was their God who went before them time and time again and made their victories against often-ridiculous odds possible.

I like the glimpse we have of how many Canaanites actually thought of the coming of the Israelites to their lands which is provided through what could only be called the words of the converted prostitute Rahab in Joshua 2: 8 – 11,

“Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.

11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below”.

The Nations in Canaan must have got even unnerved after the fall of Jericho and the circumstances of its conquest. So God went before his people Israel and gave them the lands of Canaan a land already prepared for occupation as its former owners had developed it which is what the second part of verse 44 is saying,

“They fell heir to what others had toiled for”.

 Paul speaks of the preaching and spreading the Gospel of the Lord is like a victory march in 2 Corinthians 2: 14 – 16,

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?”

  1. (vs. 45) REMEMBER TO OBEY GOD’S WORD AND PRAISE HIM

The writer of Psalm 105 then brings his poem of remembrance of what God has done that should lead us to praise with to final exhortations:

  1. Remember to obey God’s word (vs. 45a)
  2. Remember to Praise the Lord (vs. 45b)

Lets look at each of these two final exhortations a little close:

  1. Remember to obey God’s word (vs. 45a)

What did God want his people to do as they lived in his Promised Land?

The writer of Psalm 105 answer is,

“That they might keep his precepts and observe his laws”

 Spurgeon explains this well with these words,

“The chosen nation was to be the conservator of truth, the exemplar, the pattern of devotion: everything was so ordered as to place them in advantages circumstances for fulfilling trust”

Joshua at the end of his life at 110 years gathered the people of Israel together and said these words to them, Joshua 23: 6,

“Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left”.

He completes this speech with these words, verse 16,

“If you violate the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you.”

We learnt earlier that God called Israel for a special purpose to be a kingdom of priests to the world, Exodus 19: 5 – 6,

“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

This priestly role and priest means go – between was to proclaim the message of God and how he wants the people of the world to live in obedience to his word. We also learnt the Peter now reveals to us that we as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ redeemed by his blood on the cross are now his priests or go – betweens God and the unbelieving people of this word, 1 Peter 2: 9,

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Note Peter makes it clear that as priests we are to,

“Declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

This involves declaring the word of God, which we cannot declare effectively if we are not trusting and obeying it in our daily lives.

The sad truth that we will see in the next Psalm, Psalm 106 is that by and large the people of Israel once they entered the Promised Land and settled down generally failed to,

“Keep his precepts and observe his laws”

This fact would have been a living reality in the mind of the writer of Psalm 105, if he wrote it as we think, around the time of the return from Babylonian exile. He would have known that for hundreds of years leading up to the Babylonian exile the people of Israel who lived in the Promised Land failed over and over again to keep the precepts of God and observe his law and even turned away from following the God of the bible to other God’s.

For this God judged his people and for seventy years the majority of them were taken into exile in Babylon away from the Promised Land of Israel. However after 70 years they were allowed to go back as God moved yet again in history to help them return to the Promised Land of Israel under the rule of the Persians.

This writer is reminding his readers of this so that they might learn to trust and obey the word of God as they come back to Israel the Promised Land of God.

He knows that God only gave them this land so that they could fulfill his promise of them being his special people who would be his priests to the world declaring to the world his word.

So we now as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ have a special mission to fulfill expressed by Jesus in Matthew 28: 19 – 20,

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

  1. Remember to Praise the Lord (vs. 45b)

The final words of the Psalm are short but sweet, they simply say,

“Praise the Lord”

 All through the Psalm the message has been remember God’s deeds and praise him. The words that follow the quote I gave in the previous part from the exposition of this Psalm by Spurgeon go on to say this about how God wanted his people to live in his Promised Land,

“Theirs was a high calling and a glorious election. It involved great responsibilities, but it was in itself a distinguished blessing, and one for which the nation was bound to give thanks”.

 There remembering was to lead to praise and this praise was to come from what they remembered the Lord had done for them. This was the high calling they had for the many privileges God gave them as his special people living in his Promised Land.

We too have a high calling expressed so well by Paul in Ephesians 1: 11 – 12,

“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory”.

May we all learn the lesson that the writer of Psalm 105 has given us in his long and amazing Psalm, which is,

“Remember God’s deeds and Praise Him”.

I close as usual with a new poem based on the Psalm and a prayer:

 

REMEMBER THE LORD AND PRAISE HIM

(Based on Psalm 105)

 

Remember what the Lord has done

And give him thanks and praise.

Tell all the nations of his deeds

Praise his name all of your days.

His glory has been revealed

By his acts of mighty love

For Jesus came to die for us

From heaven up above.

 

Chorus:

 

Remember the Lord and praise

And live for him all your days.

Remember the Lord and praise

For he has shown his love in all his ways.

 

 

Remember all the wonders the Lord has done

Many miracles he has performed.

O people who have faith like Abraham

Remember the Lord and be transformed.

For he is the Lord our God

And he judges all the earth

But remember that faith in Jesus Christ

Will save us and gives us new birth.

 

CHORUS:

 

Remember the covenant God made with Abraham

He promised him he would inherit a land.

And although he wandered from place to place

God protected him by his mighty hand.

And we have an inheritance

That will never fade away

For in Jesus we will live forever more

When we pass from this life one day.

 

CHORUS:

 

Remember the stories of the people of God

Who were trapped in a land as slaves.

But God sent Moses to help free them

But Pharaoh stood in God’s way.

But God showed him many powerful signs

Nine plagues came on Egypt’s land

The tenth sign of God was the death of first Son’s

But God’s people were saved by God’s hand.

 

CHORUS:

 

Remember how God led his people to

The land he promised to Abraham.

With many miracles he helped them to survive

And conquer the land of Canaan.

And Jesus has made us a way

To an eternal home above

But we must trust in him for our Salvation

And praise him for his love.

 

CHORUS:

 

 

By: Jim Wenman

 

PRAYER:

We thank you Lord for your wonderful deeds of Salvation throughout history for the people you have called into your kingdom. Above all we thank you for your great deed of love in sending your Son Jesus Christ into our world to die on the cross for our sins and for his rising from the dead that sealed our salvation and won for us the eternal inheritance of heaven itself that will never fade or pass away. We praise you then for your many wonderful deeds of salvation for us. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s