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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
Psalms 105

 

 

Verses 1-6

1. Praise for God"s greatness105:1-6

The unknown psalmist called on Israel ( Psalm 105:6) to give thanks to the Lord in prayer, and to broadcast His deeds publicly. The people should sing His praises and take pride and joy in His character. They should also draw near to Him in prayer, seeking His help constantly. They should remember His works that inspire wonder and marvel in the beholder, and in the wise judgments that He has revealed.


Verses 1-45

Psalm 105

This psalm praises God for His faithful dealings with Israel. It reviews Israel"s history from Abraham to the wilderness wanderings (cf. 1 Chronicles 16:9-36), and the Abrahamic Covenant is its centerpiece.


Verses 7-11

God remembered His people ( Psalm 105:7, cf. Psalm 105:42), so His people should remember Him ( Psalm 105:5). God had been faithful to the Abrahamic Covenant ( Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 12:7; Genesis 15:18-21; Genesis 22:15-18; Genesis 28:13-15). He made this covenant with Abraham"s descendants as well as with him personally. A "thousand generations" means innumerable generations (cf. Exodus 20:5-6). Note that the psalmist called this covenant an "everlasting covenant" ( Psalm 105:10). That Isaiah , it would abide in effect as long at the earth abides. Of the three promises in the covenant, the writer mentioned only the land promise here.


Verses 7-41

2. The record of God"s faithfulness to Israel105:7-41


Verses 12-41

Psalm 105:12-15 describe God"s care of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (cf. Genesis 12-36). Psalm 105:16-23 summarize God"s preservation of the chosen family through Joseph"s protection ( Genesis 37-50). Psalm 105:24 refers to God"s increase of the Israelites during their Egyptian sojourn ( Exodus 1). Psalm 105:25-36 review how the Lord prepared His people to depart from Egypt with emphasis on the plagues He sent ( Exodus 2-12; cf. Psalm 78:44-51). Psalm 105:37-38 describe the Exodus itself ( Exodus 13). The order of the plagues is somewhat different from the order in Exodus , as is also true in Psalm 78 , another instance of poetic license. Psalm 105:39-41 recount His faithful care of His chosen people in the wilderness ( Exodus 14 - Deuteronomy 34).

"Given the prominent position of the first eleven chapters of Genesis in the Torah and the significant names that occur there, it is rather surprising that only one person from these chapters, Ham, is mentioned by name in the Psalter, and that one only incidentally [ Psalm 105:25; Psalm 105:29]." [Note: Bullock, p100.]


Verses 42-45

3. Praise for God"s faithfulness105:42-45

Again the psalmist reminded the reader of God remembering His unique promise to Abraham (cf. Psalm 105:8). The Lord brought Abraham"s descendants into the Promised Land and dispossessed the Canaanite tribes. He even gave them food that the Canaanites had planted and cultivated. He did all this so the Israelites would obey His will for them and experience all the good things He had in store for them. The psalm closes with a final call to praise the Lord ("hallelujah").

A key word in this psalm is "remember" ( Psalm 105:5; Psalm 105:8; Psalm 105:42). By remembering how faithful God had been in remembering His promise to their patriarch, the Israelites would remember to praise Him. God"s people benefit from reviewing history because it reminds them of God"s faithfulness. This reminder encourages us who are New Testament believers to trust in His promises given to us. We, too, can see that He has been consistently faithful to His word throughout history.

 


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Bibliography Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 105:4". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/psalms-105.html. 2012.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, December 9th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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