Psalm 106 (ESV)
“This psalm is the dark counterpart of its predecessor, a shadow cast by human self-will in its long struggle against the light.”
“The keynote of Psalms 105 is, ‘Remember His mighty deeds,’ that of Psalms 106 is, ‘They forgot His mighty deeds.’”
“Israel’s history is here written with the View of showing human sin, even as the preceding Psalm was composed to magnify divine goodness. It is, in fact, a national confession.”
Give Thanks to the Lord, for He Is Good
Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 106 begins the way Psalm 105 ended, saying hallelujah! Psalm 105 gave praise because of God’s many gifts and blessings to Israel. Psalm 106 gives praise because of God’s great mercy to an often rebellious and ungrateful Israel.
2 Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord,
or declare all his praise?
3 Blessed are they who observe justice,
who do righteousness at all times!
Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
4 Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people;
help me when you save them,
5 that I may look upon the prosperity of your chosen ones,
that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
that I may glory with your inheritance.
6 Both we and our fathers have sinned;
we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.
Psalm 106 is mainly focused the repeated failure of Israel through her history. Yet the singer of this Psalm does not see failure as something only of Israel’s past. He identified his present generation with Israel of old, connected in their sin, their iniquity, and their wicked deeds.
7 Our fathers, when they were in Egypt,
did not consider your wondrous works;
they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,
but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
that he might make known his mighty power.
9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry,
and he led them through the deep as through a desert.
from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael
Psalm 106:9 — He led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.
“Led” means there “caused to go on.” We all want to go on, not through the shallows but through the depths of prayer. The wild donkey of the Mexican deserts digs and digs in the sand until it finds water. It invariably does. What our wonderful God can do for His donkeys in the natural world He can do for those of us who are just that in the spiritual.
Let us allow all sorts of things to act as reminders, as calls to prayer. For example, once when held up by traffic on the road, the friend with me talked of someone who was lonely; thereafter, to be held up on the roads reminded me to pray for the lonely of the earth.
Then there is the flash of memory. A name, place, person, or something seen or heard or read flashes for one second across the mind. It can be lost or turned to prayer; the choice is with us.
As we go on practicing prayer in this simple way we can trust that He who caused His people to go through the depths as through an open wilderness will cause us also to go through these deeper places of prayer. The patient Spirit will help us in our weakness, for though we do not know how to pray as we ought, He Himself prays for us (Romans 8:26).
As a child growing up on an Iowa farm, I was given the task of the family’s ironing (see picture above, ha ha!). My mother taught me to pray for the person whose clothing I was ironing. It is a habit I do not choose to break, even though I do precious little ironing these days!
Joyce Meyer suggests hanging plaques of Bible verses around the house, to remind us to pray, to give thanks, to praise, to confess. Others listen to Christian music as they work at home or as they travel to keep themselves in a prayerful frame of mind and heart. I encourage us all to be more intentional in taking every thought and every minute captive to Christ, that He may lead us deeper and deeper into fellowship with Him.
10 So he saved them from the hand of the foe
and redeemed them from the power of the enemy.
11 And the waters covered their adversaries;
not one of them was left.
12 Then they believed his words;
they sang his praise.
13 But they soon forgot his works;
they did not wait for his counsel.
“Is it that way with you? You see God’s miracles, but at the first sign of any new opposition you forget what God has done and are soon rebelling against what you suppose to be your hard and painful life? Then, when God saves you again, you sing his praises but soon forget even that deliverance? That is exactly what you and I are like.”
–James Montgomery Boice
14 But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness,
and put God to the test in the desert;
15 he gave them what they asked,
but sent a wasting disease among them.
I like how the King James Version puts verse 15:
And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.
Let us not seek the material gifts if they come without spiritual blessing! Better a thin body, and a thin pocketbook, than a thin soul!
16 When men in the camp were jealous of Moses
and Aaron, the holy one of the Lord,
17 the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
and covered the company of Abiram.
18 Fire also broke out in their company;
the flame burned up the wicked.
19 They made a calf in Horeb
and worshiped a metal image.
20 They exchanged the glory of God
for the image of an ox that eats grass.
21 They forgot God, their Savior,
who had done great things in Egypt,
22 wondrous works in the land of Ham,
and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
Their sin was not only of idolatry and immorality, but also of plain ingratitude.
23 Therefore he said he would destroy them—
had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him,
to turn away his wrath from destroying them.
24 Then they despised the pleasant land,
having no faith in his promise.
25 They murmured in their tents,
and did not obey the voice of the Lord.
26 Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them
that he would make them fall in the wilderness,
27 and would make their offspring fall among the nations,
scattering them among the lands.
Which countries in the world have the largest Jewish population?
According to the Jewish Virtual Library’s figures for 2016: Israel has 6.3 million Jews (44% of all Jewry), and the USA has 5.7 million, (nearly 40%). Next is France, with less than 500,000 (3.2%). Then Canada, the UK, Argentina, and Russia.
28 Then they yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor,
and ate sacrifices offered to the dead;
29 they provoked the Lord to anger with their deeds,
and a plague broke out among them.
30 Then Phinehas stood up and intervened,
and the plague was stayed.
31 And that was counted to him as righteousness
from generation to generation forever.
32 They angered him at the waters of Meribah,
and it went ill with Moses on their account,
33 for they made his spirit bitter,
and he spoke rashly with his lips.
Spurgeon noted that sometimes congregations provoke their ministers or pastors as Israel provoked Moses. “We ought also to be very careful how we treat the ministers of the gospel, lest by provoking their spirit we should drive them into any unseemly behaviour which should bring upon them the chastisement of the Lord. Little do a murmuring, quarrelsome people dream of the perils in which they involve their pastors by their untoward behaviour.”
Oh, what can we do and say and pray, in order to support the ministers at our churches? Let us be encouragers rather than complainers!
34 They did not destroy the peoples,
as the Lord commanded them,
35 but they mixed with the nations
and learned to do as they did.
36 They served their idols,
which became a snare to them.
from Luther’s Small Catechism:
The First Commandment.
Thou shalt have no other gods.
What does this mean?
Answer: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.
37 They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to the demons;
38 they poured out innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
and the land was polluted with blood.
39 Thus they became unclean by their acts,
and played the whore in their deeds.
Joining themselves to a false god, they became spiritual adulterers.
Lord, where am I playing loose with You? Where do I not fear, love, and trust You above all things?
40 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
and he abhorred his heritage;
41 he gave them into the hand of the nations,
so that those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them,
and they were brought into subjection under their power.
43 Many times he delivered them,
but they were rebellious in their purposes
and were brought low through their iniquity.
44 Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress,
when he heard their cry.
45 For their sake he remembered his covenant,
and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
46 He caused them to be pitied
by all those who held them captive.
“This was particularly true as to the Babylonish captivity; for Cyrus gave them their liberty; Darius favoured them, and granted them several privileges; and Artaxerxes sent back Nehemiah, and helped him to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple.”
47 Save us, O Lord our God,
and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.
48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!
And let all the people say, “Amen!”
Praise the Lord!
Jewish music with pictures of synagogues around the world. The first song is “Oseh Shalom” and the second is “Am Israel Chai.” They are both sung HERE by Sam Glaser who also plays the piano.