Daily Family Worship

Psalm 105: Deliverance from Slavery

by | Jun 13, 2024

psalm 105

The first six verses of this Psalm contain a ringing summons to extol and contemplate God’s great deeds for His people of old. They are full of exultation; and in their reiterated short clauses, they are like the joyful cries of a herald bringing good tidings to Zion. There is a beautiful progression of thought in these verses. They begin with the call to thank and praise Jehovah, and to proclaim His doings among the people. It is significant to notice that God’s deeds among His people are to be His people’s message to the world, for it is by the declaration of such deeds that His name is proclaimed. What God has done is the best revelation of what God is. His messengers are not to speak their own thoughts about Him, but only to tell the story of His acts and let these speak for Him. The revelation of the Scriptures is not a set of propositions, but a history of Divine facts.

The fundamental fact underlying all of Israel’s experience of God’s care was His own love, which voluntarily entered into covenant-obligations with them; and thereafter, His mercies to them were ensured by His veracity and faithfulness to His Word and promises, as well as by His kindness (verses 7-15). Hence the Psalm begins its proper theme by singing of the faithfulness of God to His oath, and by painting the insignificance of the beginnings of the nation of Israel – showing that the foundation of God’s covenant-relationship with them lay entirely in Himself, and not in their own strength or merits. But in addition to the covenant, the Lord added a solemn oath and pledge. He swore by Himself; His own character is the guarantee of His promise! This helps give us an idea of the firmness of the Lord’s Word to His people – it stands “forever,” “to a thousand generations”; it is an “everlasting covenant.” Each of the fathers of the nation of Israel – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – had this covenant personally confirmed to himself. But with the history of Jacob, the royal singer transitions from the individual patriarchs to the nation as a whole. The lowly condition of these recipients of the promise not only exalts the love which chose them, but also the power which preserved them and fulfilled it. Hence this picture of the Lord’s people in ancient days bids the downcast – even today – to be of good cheer! He Who made a strong nation out of that small family of wanderers must have been moved to do so by the love of His own heart, and not by anything in them! And what He did long ago, He can – and does! – still do today. His past actions are the prophecy of His future dealings with His people.

In verses 16-22, the history of Joseph is spoken of as a link in the chain of Providential occurrences which brought about the fulfillment of the Lord’s covenant. It is often in God’s dealings of humiliation and affliction that the precursors of glory and triumph are found. Calamities prepare the way for prosperity. Such was the case with Joseph. In this account of his personal history, the points that are signalized are God’s direct agency in the whole narrative. The errand on which Joseph was sent to Egypt was to be the Divinely-appointed preserver of the lives of his whole family and nation. Verses 23-27 carry on the history of God’s people to the next step in the development of His purposes. The long years of the sojourn in Egypt are briefly summarized: the numerical growth of the children of Israel, the consequent hostility of the Egyptians, and the mission of Moses and Aaron. Again, the direct ascription to God of all the incidents here mentioned is to be noted. In the following enumeration of the “signs” or plagues (verses 28-36), the emphasis is entirely laid on God’s direct act. The tenth and final plague is briefly told; for the Psalm is hurrying on toward the triumphant climax of the Exodus (verses 37-38). Enriched with silver and gold, the tribes went forth in strength for their desert march; and once again, in relation to the Israelites’ wilderness-sojourn, it only brings into view the leading instances of God’s miraculous provision and protection.

In the concluding verses, the Psalmist gathers up the major lessons which he desired to teach in this sacred composition. The reason for God’s merciful dealings with His people is His remembrance of His Covenant. The purpose of this Covenant was that the nation – being thus admitted into a special relationship with God – should, by His mercies, be drawn to keep His Commandments and find rest and closer fellowship with Him. The Psalmist had learned that God gives before He demands or commands, and that Love – springing from a grateful reception of His benefits – is the fulfilling of the Law.

Thank You, Lord, for being mindful of Your Covenant with us, which has been ratified by the blood of Your Son. Thank you for choosing us to be Your sons and daughters, although we are absolutely unworthy to inherit Your Kingdom! Amen.

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