“Summaries, Psalms 105-106”Categories: Bulletin Articles
Possibly, Psalms 105 and 106 were originally a unit, like Psalms 42 and 43 were. Even if they weren’t, they are clearly intended to be understood together.
Psalm 105 recounts God’s care for His people. It begins by calling the Israelites to remember the way He protected the patriarchs. Because God is faithful, He remembers the covenants He makes, including the promise (originally made to Abraham, confirmed to Isaac and Jacob) to give them the land of Canaan as an inheritance.
His faithfulness first manifested itself in the way He safeguarded them. Even though they were few and weak, He still kept them safe from the powerful and would not allow anyone to oppress them. Even when He sent famine on the earth, He provided for His people by sending Joseph to Egypt. Joseph suffered as a slave, but then he was exalted and given great power. As a result of this, Israel found provision in Egypt.
When God prospered the Israelites so much that the Egyptians began to hate them, He sent Moses and Aaron to deliver them. Through them, He performed the miracles of the ten plagues. As a result of this, Israel left Egypt with great riches, and the Egyptians were glad to see them go. On the journey, God provided guidance for them with the cloud and the fire, and He provided for their needs with manna, quail, and water in the desert—all because of His promise to Abraham. He brought them to Canaan and gave them the land so that they could honor Him, and He is indeed worthy of praise.
If Psalm 105 is about God’s faithfulness, Psalm 106 is about Israel’s faithlessness. The psalm opens by exalting God and appealing to God to bless the psalmist so that he can rejoice.
From there, he acknowledge that both he and his fathers have sinned. In Egypt, even though they forgot Him, He saved them by leading them through the Red Sea and destroying the Egyptian army. However, despite this, they forgot His goodness and tested Him in various ways.
They complained about the manna and were stricken with disease as a result. They rebelled against Moses and Aaron, and the ringleaders were swallowed up by the earth and consumed with fire. At Sinai, they made and worshiped a golden calf, provoking God to such anger that He would have destroyed them but for Moses’ intervention. They questioned whether He would give them the land, causing Him to condemn them to die in the wilderness. They committed idolatry and immorality at Baal-Peor, leading to a plague until Phinehas righteously intervened. Finally, they rebelled at Meribah, angering Moses and causing even him to sin.
Even once they received the land, their sin continued: not destroying the nations, intermarrying with them, and committing idolatry. Most egregiously, they sacrificed their children to Molech, polluting the land with innocent blood.
God attempted to chasten them through foreign oppressors, but their repentance was never more than temporary. Finally, God sent them into exile, but even there He had compassion on them and protected them from their captors. The psalm concludes with a prayer for God to restore them to the land and a call for His people to bless Him.