Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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      Psalm - Chapter 105 (Contemporary English Version)
    1. Praise the LORD and pray in his name! Tell everyone what he has done.
    2. Sing praises to the LORD! Tell about his miracles.
    3. Celebrate and worship his holy name with all your heart.
    4. Trust the LORD and his mighty power.
    5. Remember his miracles and all his wonders and his fair decisions.
    6. You belong to the family of Abraham, his servant; you are his chosen ones, the descendants of Jacob.
    7. The LORD is our God, bringing justice everywhere on earth.
    8. He will never forget his agreement or his promises, not in thousands of years. *
    9. God made an eternal promise
    10. to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
    11. when he said, "I'll give you the land of Canaan."
    12. At the time there were only a few of us, and we were homeless.
    13. We wandered from nation to nation, from one country to another.
    14. God did not let anyone mistreat our people. Instead he protected us by punishing rulers
    15. and telling them, "Don't touch my chosen leaders or harm my prophets!"
    16. God kept crops from growing until food was scarce everywhere in the land.
    17. But he had already sent Joseph, sold as a slave into Egypt,
    18. with chains of iron around his legs and neck.
    19. Joseph remained a slave until his own words had come true, and the LORD had finished testing him.
    20. Then the king of Egypt set Joseph free
    21. and put him in charge of everything he owned.
    22. Joseph was in command of the officials, and he taught the leaders how to use wisdom.
    23. Jacob and his family came and settled in Egypt as foreigners.
    24. They were the LORD's people, so he let them grow stronger than their enemies.
    25. They served the LORD, and he made the Egyptians plan hateful things against them.
    26. God sent his servant Moses. He also chose and sent Aaron
    27. to his people in Egypt, and they worked miracles and wonders there.
    28. Moses and Aaron obeyed God, and he sent darkness to cover Egypt.
    29. God turned their rivers into streams of blood, and the fish all died.
    30. Frogs were everywhere, even in the royal palace.
    31. When God gave the command, flies and gnats swarmed all around.
    32. In place of rain, God sent hailstones and flashes of lightning.
    33. He destroyed their grapevines and their fig trees, and he made splinters of all the other trees.
    34. God gave the command, and more grasshoppers came than could be counted.
    35. They ate every green plant and all the crops that grew in the land of Egypt.
    36. Then God took the life of every first-born son.
    37. When God led Israel from Egypt, they took silver and gold, and no one was left behind.
    38. The Egyptians were afraid and gladly let them go.
    39. God hid them under a cloud and guided them by fire during the night.
    40. When they asked for food, he sent more birds than they could eat.
    41. God even split open a rock, and streams of water gushed into the desert.
    42. God never forgot his sacred promise to his servant Abraham.
    43. When the Lord rescued his chosen people from Egypt, they celebrated with songs.
    44. The Lord gave them the land and everything else the nations had worked for.
    45. He did this so that his people would obey all of his laws. Shout praises to the LORD!
Reflections

Psalms - Chapter 105

Entered: March 16, 2009
The first 15 verses of this psalm are found verbatim in 1 Chronicles 16:7-22. David wrote the psalm found in 1 Chronicles on the occasion of the ark of the covenant being moved to Jerusalem. The psalm on that occasion was decreed by David to be used to give thanks to the Lord. Undoubtedly this 105th psalm is also intended for that purpose. It continues the theme established in those first 15 verses on through to Israel's arrival in it promised land of Canaan. So it remembers Israel's history in a nutshell from God's covenant with Abraham through the fulfillment of His promise to Abraham to make a great nation of his offspring in a land of their own. It is a good practice not only to give thanks to the Lord and praise Him, but to do so by remembering time and again what He has done for us throughout our lives. It occurs to me in reflecting on this psalm that a good exercise for me would be to write a short history of my journey with God that I can return to frequently and add to as the journey continues. In so doing, I believe I will be amazed at what God has done in my life, and I know I will benefit from remembering the lessons I have learned at various points along that journey.

Anyone even slightly familiar with the history of Israel will recognize the highlights mentioned in this psalm. When outlined in this manner they show a purpose to what may otherwise seem to be random events of history. That is another important reason to recall them as this psalm does. It helps to see God's hand in the events of our lives rather than having life pass by day after day and year after year and never noticing or acknowledging God's purpose in it all. By recounting in this manner otherwise insignificant events take on purpose as with Joseph being sold as a slave and taken to Egypt. This would seem a terrible tragedy without realizing that God had a purpose for it and following this purpose through to it fulfillment through Joseph's role in saving Egypt from a famine and bringing his family to Egypt so they might survive the famine and then flourish in that land while they became a people so numerous they were ready to form a fledgling nation.

The conclusion of this psalm reminds us of another reason to recall our journey with God. That is to remember not only the purpose God has for the events of our lives but also to remember the purpose He has for our lives. Verse 45 says, "All this happened so that they might keep His statutes and obey His laws." And if we look back to God's covenant with Abraham we see another part of that purpose which was that all nations would be blessed, which is a purpose that looks even beyond the time this psalm was written. So what is God's purpose for my life? I am reminded of it and it is brought into better focus as I recall my journey with Him as does this psalm for the people of Israel.

Entered: April 24, 2014

Those who seek the Lord have reason to rejoice. Why? Because He remembers His promises to those who seek Him. The fulfillment of His promises are accompanied with wonderful works that demonstrate His power to accomplish anything on behalf of His people. He has redirected the course of nations and nature on behalf of His people.

The writer of this psalm was addressing Israel and his example of God's faithfulness to His promises was the common recounting of God leading Abraham and his offspring throughout the fulfillment of His promise of a land and a special relationship. Does that mean, then, that this is not relevant for non-Jews? Not at all, for their history is also the history of the Christian and the fulfillment of God's promises to them a fulfillment for us. Especially God's fulfillment of His promise of a Messiah who is our Savior. So all who seek God can read this psalm with the hope that the God who fulfilled His promises to Abraham will also fulfill His promises to us, for "He is the LORD our God; His judgments govern the whole earth." (105:7)

Beginning with verse 8, read through the recounting of God's fulfillment of His covenant with Abraham and reflect on its meaning to you personally. God made a covenant with Abraham that promised certain things to Abraham on the condition that he continue to follow God. The verses of this psalm describe how God's promise grew and grew until a large nation of Abraham's descendents had possession of the land God promised to Abraham. The path leading to this fulfillment had many twists and turns in it, often appearing that it had gotten off-course completely. But each twist and turn was actually a means of putting in place another necessary piece in the accomplishment of the promise. But we must not lose sight of the fact that this promise to Abraham was not just for him and his descendents, but that all people might know of God and His greatness and might also follow Him. Likewise, His promises to each of us of Abundant life in Christ, are not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of others. And He is faithful to fulfill these promises.

The psalmist concluded that, "All this happened so that they might keep His statutes and obey His laws. Hallelujah!" (105:45) And so it is with us. Keeping God's statutes and obeying His laws are not merely a condition for the fulfillment of His promises, they are also the means. For He can only do for us what we will allow Him to do by opening our lives to follow where His promise leads.