Bible Commentaries
Psalms 106

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-48

Psalms 106:1-48 :

Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? Who can show forth all his praise? Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times. Remember me, O LORD, with the favor that you bear unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation; That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance ( Psalms 106:1-5 ).

Now, in Psalms 105:1-45 he rehearses their history with the emphasis upon God. God promising the land, God bringing them into the land. Psalms 106:1-48 is another rehearsal of their history, but it's an emphasis now upon them, the people. And what a vast difference when you look at history with the emphasis upon God and you look at history with the emphasis upon man. You look at history with the emphasis upon God and you see the faithfulness of God in history. You look at history with the emphasis upon man and you see the unfaithfulness of man. And so as he looks now at history with the emphasis upon man, he confesses:

We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly ( Psalms 106:6 ).

Just like our fathers, we are guilty. We have sinned. We've committed iniquity. We've done wickedly.

Our fathers understood not your wonders in Egypt ( Psalms 106:7 );

He referred to these wonders, the plagues in the last chapter, but the Israelites did not understand them.

they remembered not the multitude of your mercies; but they provoked him at the Red Sea ( Psalms 106:7 ).

God brought them out of their bondage, but they didn't get but a day's journey away when they were murmuring and saying, "Why did you bring us out here? To kill us out here? Weren't there enough graves back there? Why did you bring us out here?" They began to murmur and complain against God two days out. And they never stopped.

Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known. He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. And the waters covered their enemies: and there was not one of them left. But then they believed his words; and they sang his praise. But they soon forgot his works; and they waited not for his counsel: But they lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and they tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness to their soul ( Psalms 106:8-15 ).

Their request was for the satisfying of their fleshly desires. God gave them their request. He satisfied their fleshly desires, but as a consequence, it brought a leanness to their spirit. So oftentimes this is true where we get our eyes upon the material things where we begin to live a very materialistic existence. This may be something that we're really desiring and longing after, the things in the material realm. And God may give us those things that we are longing for. But unfortunately, so often it brings with it a leanness to my own soul. I suffer spiritually as the result of it. How hard it is for those who trust in riches to even enter into the kingdom of heaven, for they that will be rich fall into divers temptations which drown men's souls in perdition.

And so the children of Israel, God gave them their request. Sometimes that can be the very worst thing that can happen to us spiritually, for God to answer our prayers. He gave them their request, but gave them leanness into their soul.

They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the LORD. The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram. And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked. They made a calf in Horeb, and they worshipped a molten image. Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass. They forgot God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt; Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red Sea [or awesome things by the Red Sea]. Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them. Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word: But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not to the voice of Jehovah. Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness: To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands. They joined themselves also to Baal-peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead. Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague broke in upon them. Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: so that the plague was stopped. And that was counted unto him for righteousness to all generations for evermore. They angered him also at the waters of Meribah, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes ( Psalms 106:16-32 ):

Here's an interesting insight. The reason why Moses couldn't go into the Promise Land was for their sakes. That God might teach them the importance of obedience to God. Obedience to God is surely one of the most important things in life for each of us. What does God require of me? Obedience. Moses was disobedient to God in the eyes of the people. God said to Moses, "Go out and speak to the rock and it'll give forth water." Moses took his staff and he hit the rock. "Must I hit this rock and give you water?" And thus, he failed to represent God, and for the people's sake God didn't let him go into the land.

You see, their history was oral history for many years. They learned their history from the stories that were told by the mothers to the children. Stories of their past, the story of God's work in their midst. From the time a child was first cradled in its mother's arms, the mother would whisper in the child's ear, "The Lord is God. The Lord is God." And very early they would begin to rehearse the stories of God's work in their history to their children. And they would pass down by oral tradition the stories of God's deliverance, God's power, God's work. And as they would tell the story of the bondage in Egypt, after the death of Joseph and the Pharaoh who arose and knew not Joseph and how that their fathers were placed under cruel subjugation by the Pharaoh. How that he had ordered all the baby boys to be slain. And the terrible cruel bondage, the slavery. But then God raised up a leader, even Moses, who was a man of God and God spoke unto Moses. And God sent Moses down to Egypt, and through Moses brought the plagues upon the Egyptians. And they would tell their children the exciting story of how a man in tune with God was able to bring their fathers out of the bondage of Egypt. And Moses was the hero, the man of God, the man that God used. But then their voices would become hushed, as they would say to their children, "But Moses could not go into the Promise Land because he disobeyed God." And that importance of obedience to God above everything else was just burned into the mind of the children as Moses the example of a man of God highly honored and favored. A man like no other man with whom God did speak in such a direct way, and yet, this man Moses, as close as his relationship was with God, he was held back from the greatest ambition of his life. He could not go into the land because he disobeyed God. And for the sake of the people, Moses was not able to go into the land.

Because they provoked his spirit ( Psalms 106:33 ),

The people had provoked Moses' spirit.

so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips. They did not destroy the nations, though they were commanded to do so. But they mingled with the heathen, and they learned their ways. And they began to serve their idols: which were a snare to them. Yes, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to devils ( Psalms 106:33-37 ),

They followed the practice of the Baal worshippers, who would sacrifice their little babies in these little arms of their gods. Baal... you see the little iron and stone gods and their arms are outstretched with the hands in an upward position. You can see them in the museums over there, the little gods that have been uncovered by the archeologists. And what they would do is place these little gods in the fire until the metal, the iron would turn glowing red hot and then they would take their babies and place them in the glowing hot arms of this idol of Baal sacrificing their babies. And as the babies would scream in pain and all, they would dance and scream so that they couldn't hear the screams of their children. Practices of the heathen. This is why God drove the people out of the land. This is why God commanded them to destroy the people, because their practices were so corrupt. But they disobeyed God and exactly what God knew would happen did happen. They began to follow after these pagan, licentious, horrible, evil practices of worship.

They shed innocent blood, even the blood of their own sons and their own daughters, who they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood ( Psalms 106:38 ).

Now the interesting thing is that God here declares that they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils. In other words, behind the idol worship was Satan worship. And this is true; behind idol worship is Satan worship. Paul said, "They that do sacrifice things unto idols do sacrifice them unto devils" ( 1 Corinthians 10:20 ). It is common belief that many of these idols are actually inhabited by demon spirits. Even as a demon is embodied in human bodies sometimes, demons often will seek embodiment within an idol that is worshipped by people. And thus, prayers and all to the idol can be answered by demon activity. There is power; there are things that can be done in a supernatural realm by the demonic forces that are inhabiting these idols. And behind the false worship is the worship of Satan. That is why it is so totally inconsistent to say, "Well, all religions really lead people to God. And how can you say that Christianity is the only real way to God, because these people are very religious, they're very sincere. Look at the way they are worshipping their idols." The scriptures said they're worshipping devils. And Satan is really the choreographer behind all of the religious systems of the world, apart from Christianity.

And so the people were defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, inasmuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand. Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity. Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry: and he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies. He made them also to be pitied of all of those that carried them captives. Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD ( Psalms 106:39-48 ).

Now, again the Amen, the doxology brings us to the end of the fourth book of the psalms. And beginning with Psalms 107:1-43 we enter now into the fifth book of the psalms. And so entering in now to a new, the fifth and the final book of the psalms, which goes from here to Psalms 150:1-6 .

I think at this point we'll cut it off for this evening, and next week we'll pick up with Psalms 107:1-43 . Because these are relatively long psalms through here, but the next ten psalms are quite short. So we'll go from Psalms 107:1-43 through 116 for next week, and then we'll go 117 through 119. That will be plenty for the following week. Psalms 119:1-176 in itself would be a lot, but 117 and 118 are short, relatively short psalms.

Shall we stand.

May the Lord help us not to forget His greatness, His mercy, His love, His wisdom, His power. May we walk in the consciousness of His presence. May we become more attune to His works and to His love. May God be with you and may God bless you and may God strengthen you through this week. In Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 106". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.