Psalm 105 The Message (MSG)
After reading Stephen’s account of the history of Israel vigorously proclaimed to the Sanhedrin, we will now look at two Psalms which also give us a historical perspective. Remember that, as part of the family of God, this history is YOUR history, too!
Whoever arranged and ordered the Psalms set 105 and 106 together purposefully. “This and the following psalm are companions. They reveal the two sides of the relation between God and His people during a long period. This one sings the song of His faithfulness and power; while the next tells the sad story of repeated failure and rebellion on the part of His people.” (G. Campbell Morgan)
Hallelujah! Thank God! Pray to him by name!
Tell everyone you meet what he has done!
“Be thankful for the smallest blessing, and you will deserve to receive greater. Value the least gifts no less than the greatest, and simple graces as especial favors. If you remember the dignity of the Giver, no gift will seem small or mean, for nothing can be valueless that is given by the most high God.”
–Thomas a Kempis
Sing him songs, belt out hymns,
translate his wonders into music!
Honor his holy name with Hallelujahs,
you who seek God. Live a happy life!
Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works;
be alert for signs of his presence.
Remember the world of wonders he has made,
his miracles, and the verdicts he’s rendered—
O seed of Abraham, his servant,
O child of Jacob, his chosen.
7-15 He’s God, our God,
in charge of the whole earth.
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
–from the Nicene Creed
And he remembers, remembers his Covenant—
for a thousand generations he’s been as good as his word.
It’s the Covenant he made with Abraham,
the same oath he swore to Isaac,
The very statute he established with Jacob,
the eternal Covenant with Israel,
Namely, “I give you the land.
Canaan is your hill-country inheritance.”
When they didn’t count for much,
a mere handful, and strangers at that,
Wandering from country to country,
drifting from pillar to post,
“Not all who wander are lost.”
–J. R. R. Tolkien
He permitted no one to abuse them.
He told kings to keep their hands off:
“Don’t you dare lay a hand on my anointed,
don’t hurt a hair on the heads of my prophets.”
16-22 Then he called down a famine on the country,
he broke every last blade of wheat.
But he sent a man on ahead:
Joseph, sold as a slave.
They put cruel chains on his ankles,
an iron collar around his neck,
Until God’s word came to the Pharaoh,
and God confirmed his promise.
God sent the king to release him.
The Pharaoh set Joseph free;
He appointed him master of his palace,
put him in charge of all his business
To personally instruct his princes
and train his advisors in wisdom.
Don’t envy sinners,
but always continue to fear the Lord.
You will be rewarded for this;
your hope will not be disappointed.
23-42 Then Israel entered Egypt,
Jacob immigrated to the Land of Ham.
God gave his people lots of babies;
soon their numbers alarmed their foes.
He turned the Egyptians against his people;
they abused and cheated God’s servants.
Then he sent his servant Moses,
and Aaron, whom he also chose.
I tremble for my country when I hear of confidence expressed in me. I know too well my weakness, that our only hope is in God.
–General Robert E. Lee
They worked marvels in that spiritual wasteland,
miracles in the Land of Ham.
He spoke, “Darkness!” and it turned dark—
they couldn’t see what they were doing.
He turned all their water to blood
so that all their fish died;
He made frogs swarm through the land,
even into the king’s bedroom;
He gave the word and flies swarmed,
gnats filled the air.
He substituted hail for rain,
he stabbed their land with lightning;
He wasted their vines and fig trees,
smashed their groves of trees to splinters;
With a word he brought in locusts,
millions of locusts, armies of locusts;
They consumed every blade of grass in the country
and picked the ground clean of produce;
He struck down every firstborn in the land,
the first fruits of their virile powers.
He led Israel out, their arms filled with loot,
and not one among his tribes even stumbled.
Egypt was glad to have them go—
they were scared to death of them.
God spread a cloud to keep them cool through the day
and a fire to light their way through the night;
“Pillar of Fire” by Jeanne Kun
They prayed and he brought quail,
filled them with the bread of heaven;
He opened the rock and water poured out;
Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me . . .
“The earthly form of Christ is the form that died on the cross. The image of God is the image of Christ crucified. It is to this image that the life of the disciples must be conformed; in other words, they must be conformed to his death (Phil 3.10, Rom 6.4) The Christian life is a life of crucifixion (Gal 2.19) In baptism the form of Christ’s death is impressed upon his own. They are dead to the flesh and to sin, they are dead to the world, and the world is dead to them (Gal 6.14). Anybody living in the strength of Christ’s baptism lives in the strength of Christ’s death.”
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
it flowed like a river through that desert—
All because he remembered his Covenant,
his promise to Abraham, his servant.
43-45 Remember this! He led his people out singing for joy;
his chosen people marched, singing their hearts out!
He made them a gift of the country they entered,
helped them seize the wealth of the nations
So they could do everything he told them—
could follow his instructions to the letter.
Perhaps you are in a busy or difficult or trying time in your life right now. Perhaps you have lost a loved one, or maybe you are moving, or you could be looking for a different job. As I was working on this psalm, I felt a sweet assurance that, just as God led the people of Israel out of bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land, so we can count on the Lord to lead us where we need to go. And this is not wishful thinking, or a false hope — Jesus has promised to be with us always!
Fanny Crosby wrote the hymn “All the Way My Savior Leads Me.” HERE is Chris Tomlin’s version.
The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
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