Hallelujah! Give thanks to the Lord because he is good, because his mercy endures forever.
Who can speak about all the mighty things the Lord has done? Who can announce all the things for which he is worthy of praise?
Blessed are those who defend justice and do what is right at all times.
Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people. Come to help me with your salvation so that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones, find joy in our people’s happiness, and brag with the people who belong to you.
We have sinned, and so did our ancestors. We have done wrong. We are guilty. [vss 1-6]
When our ancestors were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles. They did not remember your numerous acts of mercy, so they rebelled at the sea, the Red Sea.
He saved them because of his reputation so that he could make his mighty power known. He angrily commanded the Red Sea, and it dried up.
He led them through deep water as though it were a desert. He rescued them from the power of the one who hated them. He rescued them from the enemy. Water covered their adversaries. Not one Egyptian survived.
Then our ancestors believed what he said. They sang his praise. [vss 7-12]
They quickly forgot what he did. They did not wait for his advice. They had an unreasonable desire ⌊for food⌋ in the wilderness. In the desert they tested God.
He gave them what they asked for. He ⌊also⌋ gave them a degenerative disease. In the camp certain men became envious of Moses. They also became envious of Aaron, the Lord’s holy one.
The ground split open and swallowed Dathan. It buried Abiram’s followers. A fire broke out among their followers. Flames burned up wicked people. [vss 13-18]
At Mount Horeb they made ⌊a statue of⌋ a calf. They worshiped an idol made of metal. They traded their glorious God for the statue of a bull that eats grass.
They forgot God, their savior, the one who did spectacular things in Egypt, miracles in the land of Ham, and terrifying things at the Red Sea.
God said he was going to destroy them, but Moses, his chosen one, stood in his way to prevent him from exterminating them. [vss 19-23]
(Psalms 106:1-23 GW)
Life and history are cyclical. All of Creation reminds us of the cyclical nature of life on earth. As Solomon wrote and Shakespeare repeated, "There's nothing new under the sun."
What's the purpose of this repetition and cyclical nature of life? Is there a purpose to it? Why did God implant this into His Creation?
This psalm reflects the beauty and tragedy of this repetitive course of life. The symmetry in this psalm reminds of God's faithfulness and humanity's rebellion towards God. It is both a prayer and historical reflection intended to bring correction and direction to motivate God's people to pray for their nation.
Many national holidays, including Memorial Day (in America), are days set aside to remember and reflect on our history and heritage. Is this just a tired tradition or is it a valuable reminder? It can be both but ought to be the latter.
Psalm 106 reminded Israel of their history and heritage which is based on God's favor and faithfulness. God birthed Israel for a purpose—to be a people that would be a shining light in the midst of the world's darkness.
The psalmist reminds God's people of His faithfulness to them and their fickle nature. He also reminds them of how Moses interceded for them—prayed that God would show mercy to them in spite of their rebellion towards God.
Later in this psalm, another Jewish leader, Phineas, also steps between God and His rebellious people to prevent their destruction—a just judgment they brought upon themselves.
This should serve as a warning and reminder for us in America, especially we who claim to be followers of Jesus and believers in God.
It is our responsibility to intercede—to stand in the gap between our nation and God—to plead for God's mercy. We have forgotten His faithfulness and ignored our own rebellion by embracing the culture around us and falling prey to its influence.
When a nation allows the darkness of a self-indulgent culture to displace the light of truth, righteousness, and justice, we are all guilty. This is the message of this psalm to us now—we need to remember God's favor and faithfulness in our history and heritage.
The psalmist sought God for his people to return to God in repentance so that the Lord would return Israel back to its promised land from their exile from it.
I pray for integrity and faithfulness—for God's people and for our leaders—that our hearts would turn to the Lord and remember His faithfulness and mercy.
How are you praying for your nation, your people and your leaders?
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?
I won't cover all 150 Psalms, but do selective devotionals through the rest of Psalms.
So if I skip one that you like... let me know and I'll try to cover it!