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Monday, July 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 105

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Verses 1-6


This psalm recounts what the LORD has done to fulfill His covenant with Abraham. The psalmist describes the great acts of power of God at the origin of His people, acts that the people should hold in grateful memory. He sings of the LORD’s faithfulness toward His people.

In Psalm 104 we find the glory of the LORD in connection with creation. In Psalms 105-106 we find the glory of the LORD in connection with His people Israel. Psalm 105 describes the ways of the LORD with His people before the law of Sinai, that is, the ways of God’s grace. The basis of those ways is the covenant He made with Abraham.

We see an example of the ways of God’s grace in the family of John the baptist in the Gospel according to Luke, which can be called the Gospel of God’s grace. His mother’s name is Elisabeth, which means God has promised (covenant). His father’s name is Zechariah, which means the LORD has remembered. The name of their son, John, means the LORD is gracious. That means that the LORD’s faithfulness to His covenant is only possible by the way of His grace, through the Mediator Who shed the blood of the new covenant. We recognize that here in Psalm 105.

The psalm begins at the beginning of Israel’s history and ends with the people’s entry into the promised land. We find these paths described in the section from Genesis 15 to Exodus 17. There is not a word about the sins and deviations of God’s people. Psalm 105 is only about what God has done. Finally, the remnant of the people are introduced into the promised land (Psalms 105:44-Romans :).

Psalm 106 describes the ways of the LORD with His people after the law at Sinai, that is, the failure of the people through their rebellion and sin. That psalm skips the period described in Psalm 105.

We can compare the difference between the two psalms to the difference between the books of Chronicles and Kings. In the books of Chronicles the emphasis is on the grace of God and in the books of Kings the (failing) responsibility of man, the people of Israel, is emphasized.

The history of God’s grace to Israel described in Psalm 105 is the history of Abraham (Psalms 105:7-Ezra :), Joseph (Psalms 105:16-Song of Solomon :) and Moses (Psalms 105:23-John :). Compare the speech of Stephen in Acts 7 where he also speaks of the history of Abraham (Acts 7:2-Ruth :), Joseph (Acts 7:9-Nehemiah :) and Moses (Acts 7:17-John :). In Psalm 105 we find in story of Abraham the promise of God’s grace, in Joseph the source of God’s grace, namely the suffering of Christ, and in Moses the effect of God’s grace, the redemption of the people.

Activities of God’s People

In 1 Chronicles 16 we can find the words of Psalms 105:1-Ezra : of this psalm almost word for word. There the words used here are attributed to David (1 Chronicles 16:7-Song of Solomon :). The fact that no poet of this psalm is named places even greater emphasis on its content as the expression of every believing heart. These verses first mention the activities to which God’s people are called (Psalms 105:1-Joshua :; 1 Chronicles 16:8-:) and then the promises of God (Psalms 105:7-Ezra :; 1 Chronicles 16:14-Song of Solomon :).

As we read Psalms 105:1-Joshua :, we see the activities to which the people are called as descendants of Israel and Jacob. The activities include to give thanks, call upon, make known (Psalms 105:1), sing, sing praises, speak (Psalms 105:2), glory, be glad (Psalms 105:3), seek (Psalms 105:4), remember (Psalms 105:5).

The psalmist begins by calling to give thanks to the LORD, the God of the covenant (Psalms 105:1). Then he says that God’s people must call upon His Name, that is, mention His Name when they speak of His wonders. Only those who are in a covenant relationship with Him can do that. This connection with God also has an outward aspect, to the nations around them. “Among the peoples” God’s people are to give testimony of God’s deeds. We see in this verse that the people are “a holy priesthood” toward God (Psalms 105:1; 1 Peter 2:5) and that they are also “a royal priesthood” toward the nations around them (Psalms 105:1; 1 Peter 2:9).

In all these activities, the wonders of the LORD are made the subject of the song and the deeds are displayed in which He reveals Himself, also to the nations. We may consider that for us all this is far exceeded by the wonders of the Lord Jesus at His coming in the flesh, His work on the cross, His resurrection and His glorification. What occasions for us to ‘display’ all this in worship before God!

God’s people have every reason to sing to Him and to do so with singing praises to Him (Psalms 105:2). Connected to that is the next call: they are to “speak of all His wonders”. God has done so many wonders for His people. Several are mentioned later in the psalm. “Speaking” means that they are to meditate on God’s wonders and bear witness to them (cf. Psalms 77:12-1 Chronicles :).

The glory of the people lies “in His holy Name” (Psalms 105:3). God’s Name is holy. This is how He has made Himself known (Exodus 3:15). That they are joined to Him, or rather, that He has joined them to Himself, is only His work. They are sanctified by Him and for Him. Nothing is due to them. The heart that is full of the LORD, “seeks the LORD” (Psalms 105:3; Psalms 105:4) and “seeks His face” (Psalms 105:4). God is the source of joy. His actions are a cause of joy.

The call to “seek the LORD and His strength” (Psalms 105:4) is the call to call on Him and His strength for help. He who seeks the LORD also seeks for “His strength” that has become manifest in his redemption. God has shown His power for his benefit. The consequence of this in turn is the desire to “seek His face continually”, that is, to live continually in His presence. Asking help of the LORD is not just asking for something from a distance, it is seeking His face, that is, He Himself comes to us with His strength (cf. Psalms 23:4; Psalms 27:8-1 Samuel :; Philippians 3:10; Ephesians 1:19-Proverbs :).

The last thing God’s people are called to here is to think “of His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth” (Psalms 105:5). The wonders He has done are each one worth thinking about and admiring. Wonders are events that work wonders. The psalmist mentions two aspects of them: His marvels and the judgments of His mouth.

These marvels are signs, that is, wonders with a meaning, with a message. In this case, the wonder implies that God was behind Moses’ message. These marvels are an endorsement, a seal, for the message being brought (cf. Mark 16:20). These wonders are also judgments, that is, God wondrously defeats the enemies and their gods. With His mouth He has pronounced His judgments on the enemies. Therefore, His people have nothing to fear from them.

The call to all these activities is made to a people who are in a special relationship with Him. That relationship is given in two names, each with a different addition. They are the “seed of Abraham”, to which is added “His servant” (Psalms 105:6). With the patriarch Abraham begins the history of the people, a people set to serve God.

They are also “sons of Jacob”, to which is added “His chosen ones” (Psalms 105:6). With “sons of Jacob” the emphasis is on the weakness of their devotion to God and the wrong ways the people have gone. That is why it is so beautiful that the very addition “His chosen ones” appears after this name, which speaks of the fact that God chose them despite their weakness and wrong ways.

Verses 7-11

The Covenant of God

The psalmist points to “the LORD” as “our God” (Psalms 105:7). The LORD is the God of His people. He also has control over “all the earth”, which He proves by passing His judgments on it. We see this further on in the psalm, where He passes His judgments on Egypt. These judgments are related to what Egypt has done to His people. His people are His covenant people.

He is always thinking of His covenant with His people, a covenant that is “forever” (Psalms 105:8; Luke 1:72). When God thinks of His covenant, it means that He fulfills it. In that covenant He has made promises that will be fulfilled “to a thousand generations” (cf. Deuteronomy 7:9). Many generations may pass and great changes may take place, but never will God forget His covenant. He remembers and fulfills every promise of it to the letter.

It is the covenant “which He made with Abraham” (Psalms 105:9; Genesis 15:18-Ecclesiastes :). It is a covenant with Abraham personally, and in him with his posterity. He confirmed that covenant to Isaac with an oath (Genesis 22:16; Genesis 26:2-Deuteronomy :Genesis 26:23-Jeremiah :). Therefore, its fulfillment is not dependent on man.

He also confirmed His covenant “to Jacob for a statute” and “to Israel as an everlasting covenant” (Psalms 105:10; Genesis 17:7; Genesis 28:13-Ezra :Genesis 35:9-1 Chronicles :). What God has established is fixed like a rock and cannot be undone by any man, including Jacob in his unfaithfulness. Jacob was made Israel or ‘prince of God’ by God. God’s covenant with Jacob is for Jacob confirmed statute and for Israel an everlasting covenant. No human being will change that.

It is, in short, about God’s electing grace and unrepentant promises (Romans 11:29; Leviticus 26:42-Romans :), all in view of the land of Canaan as their inheritance (Psalms 105:11). With so many blessings and assurances, the heart cannot remain unmoved and the mouth cannot remain silent.

God has spoken, which is emphasized by the word “saying”. What God says, His words, is always true and reliable (Hebrews 6:13-Job :). God cannot lie. Therefore, we can be sure that He does what He says. He has said: “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion of your inheritance.” His word is His guarantee. His promise He is fulfilling. This has been proven, for He has brought His people into Canaan.

Verses 12-15

The Protection of the LORD

From their earliest existence, “when they were only a few men in number”, God has cared for them (Psalms 105:12). That they were truly with a few is underscored by the addition “very few”. They were easy prey for malicious men and predatory gangs. Added to that, they were “strangers”, people without any right to stay and protection (cf. Hebrews 11:9). But God protected them.

Thus they wandered “from nation to nation” and “from [one] kingdom to another people” (Psalms 105:13). Abraham left Ur of the Chaldeans (Genesis 11:31). He entered Canaan (Genesis 12:4-Joshua :), he went to Egypt (Genesis 12:10-Proverbs :), and he lived as a stranger in Philistine Gerar (Genesis 20:1).

But God was with them. He stood up for them and “permitted no man to oppress them” (Psalms 105:14). He even “reproved” kings for their sakes. No ordinary, mortal man and no ruler have been able to lift a finger against God’s chosen people without Him chastising them.

This is what Pharaoh of Egypt and Abimelech of the Philistines experienced (Genesis 12:17-Proverbs :; Genesis 20:1-Job :Genesis 26:6-1 Kings :). God said to them in clear and threatening language: “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm” (Psalms 105:15). In this way He has protected them. He has seen to it that no harm has been done to those to whom He has made His promises.

God’s anointed are those whom He has chosen for Himself, whom He has set apart to serve Him. They belonged to God as sanctified by Him. Abraham is called a prophet (Genesis 20:7). Isaac and Jacob can also be called prophets. Isaac prophesied about Jacob (Genesis 27:28-Joel :) and Jacob prophesied about his sons (Genesis 49:1).

Psalms 105:12-Ezra : describe the people’s past, how weak and vulnerable they were. It shows how we too can feel in the world. Then the people are reminded how in those circumstances, when they seemed to be prey to hostile powers, God stood up for them.

Verses 16-22


Then we read that God called for a famine upon the land where Jacob and His sons lived (Psalms 105:16). He was fully involved in their protection, but also in their tribulation. He “broke the whole staff of bread”. That is, there was not one morsel of food that would give them strength to live. The supply of bread was taken away from them (Isaiah 3:1).

Why God did that is not mentioned here. We read about that in Genesis 41-44. There we read that God wanted to bring Joseph’s brothers to repentance. That is also what He wants to do with the remnant in the future: bring them into tribulation to purify them (Malachi 3:2-Leviticus :). The point here is that God had already provided someone who could supply His people with food. God sends tribulation into the believer’s life because He wants to work out plans of blessing in his life (Romans 8:28).

He had sent Joseph before them (Psalms 105:17), as Joseph himself later testifies (Genesis 45:7-Ruth :; Genesis 50:20). The psalmist describes the way in which God did this. It is a way of deep humiliation. It began with his sale as a slave. We know from the account in Genesis 37 that his brothers sold him (Genesis 37:28). That is not mentioned here. It is about the way God had determined for the man who would provide His people with bread.

After Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, he ended up in Egypt and in prison. Here we are told what that meant: “They afflicted his feet with fetters, he himself was laid in irons” (Psalms 105:18). We don’t read that in Genesis 39. There we read about his faithfulness to God that brought him in prison (Genesis 39:7-Proverbs :). They afflicted his feet with fetters as if he were a great criminal, so that he could not walk. That he himself came in the irons means that he suffered inwardly because of what was done to him.

God had set a limit to this severe trial. When His word came true – where we can think of the fulfillment of Pharaoh’s dreams whose meaning God revealed to Joseph (Genesis 41:14-Acts :) – Joseph’s captivity was over (Psalms 105:19). And how did Joseph endure this torment? God has been with him all this time with His word of promise. Through that promise, Joseph was “tested”, or “refined” (cf. Job 23:10). Every trial in our lives God wants to use to purify us. To purify is to make us, or our faith, pure and clean, so that more and more we have only Him in mind and not ourselves or our interests (cf. 1 Peter 1:7).

When God’s work on Joseph was finished, “the king sent and released him” (Psalms 105:20). This act of release is given added emphasis by saying the same thing again in other words, the ruler of peoples “set him free”. We know that it was God’s work in the king and that God is in fact the Ruler of the peoples. He made Pharaoh dream a dream that none of all the king’s wise men could explain. Only Joseph could do that because of the insight God had given him. Therefore, the king called Joseph to him (Genesis 41:8; Genesis 41:14-Nehemiah :).

After explaining it and the advice Joseph gave unsolicited, Pharaoh – who in the book of Genesis is a picture of God in his position as ruler of the world – appointed Joseph “lord of his house and ruler over all his possessions” (Psalms 105:21; Genesis 41:38-Matthew :; Acts 7:10). Joseph became the most powerful man in the land after Pharaoh. He was given authority to “imprison” Pharaoh’s princes “at will, that he might teach his [i.e. Pharaoh’s] elders wisdom” (Psalms 105:22). In Joseph we see the rare combination of power and wisdom. We see this in perfection only in the Lord Jesus, of Whom Joseph is a beautiful picture.

In God’s dealings with Joseph to fulfill His promise lies an encouraging lesson for us. We can trust that God knows all our difficulties and that He has already prepared a solution for them in advance. He oversees everything and directs everything for the good of His own. The way in which He does this, we can often only see afterwards. At the moment itself we wonder how things will turn out.

We see this also with Joseph. Who could imagine that God sent Joseph to Egypt in this way, to be a blessing to his father and his brothers in their time of need? For Jacob and his sons, that blessing is first and foremost spiritual: they are restored to their relationship with Joseph. The blessing is also as material: they receive food and are even allowed to come and live with Joseph in Egypt.

The deeper meaning of this section about Joseph is that he is a type of the Lord Jesus, Who as the Savior had to undergo a path of rejection and suffering before He could actually be the Savior. The Lord Jesus Himself expressed it this way: “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:26). The grace of God is expressed in this psalm because God Himself sent His Son into the world to save us.

Verses 23-36

God’s People in Egypt

Joseph had his father and brothers come to Egypt. The psalmist speaks that “Israel also came into Egypt” (Psalms 105:23). ‘Israel’ means ‘prince of God’ or ‘warrior of God’. It is the name that points to the privileges of the people. The name ‘Jacob’ is also mentioned and it is in connection with the sojourning “in the land of Ham”, which is Egypt. Jacob is the name that points to the weakness of the people.

God also takes care of the objects of His promise in Egypt. “He caused His people to be very fruitful” (Psalms 105:24; Exodus 1:7). Thus He made the people “stronger than their adversaries” (Exodus 1:9; Exodus 1:12). God’s people always grow in the face of tribulation. A people who suffer for Christ is a growing people.

Then we read that God turned the hearts of the Egyptians, “to hate His people, to deal craftily with His servants” (Psalms 105:25; Exodus 1:13). Up to that point, the Egyptians had been benevolent to God’s people. When they began to pose a threat, their kindness turned to hatred. God had previously prevented people and kings from doing anything to His anointed ones (Psalms 105:15). The Egyptians began to oppress God’s people and impose hard slave labor. We see the LORD directing the history of the people in such a way that the people needed redemption. Here we are taught the truth that God’s people are a people in need of redemption.

For this, God provided a deliverer. As He sent out Joseph before them, so now He sent out Moses and Aaron (Psalms 105:26; Exodus 3:10; Exodus 4:14-Nehemiah :). Moses is the servant of God (Exodus 14:31; Psalms 105:6; Psalms 105:42), who represented God to the people; he spoke God’s words to them. Aaron was chosen by God to be high priest; he represented the people to God. In Moses and Aaron together we see a picture of the Lord Jesus as the Apostle and High Priest (Hebrews 3:1). As the “servant” of God, Moses is a reference to Christ, the Servant of the LORD. He is also a type of the remnant of Israel in the future, the servants of the LORD.

Like Joseph in Psalms 105:17, Moses and his brother Aaron were sent by the LORD to redeem Israel. They were sent by God to Egypt to perform “wondrous acts” there “which He had commanded” (cf. Exodus 10:2), as well as the “miracles in the land of Ham” (Psalms 105:27; Jeremiah 32:2; Micah 7:15). Egypt, in Hebrew Mitsraim, was one of the sons of Ham (Genesis 10:6). The signs and wonders that Moses and Aaron did were signs and wonders that came directly from God. He commanded them. Moses and Aaron did nothing but carry out God’s commands. These signs are wonders that were to make it clear to Pharaoh that Moses and Aaron had been sent by the LORD, the God of Israel.

The psalmist selects eight of the ten wonder plagues that were performed. He lists them in a different order than in which they are described in Exodus 7-11. These signs begin and end with the most important signs, the ninth and tenth signs: darkness and death. This is done to indicate that the moral condition of the world is darkness, without light, and that the end is death, separated from the living God.

A sign means something, it is a clue, it refers to something; a wonder is something supernatural, its origin is not a man, but God. It is a sign of authenticity. Just as a director puts his signature under a letter written by his secretary, so through these wonders God puts a signature under the message of Moses.

Both signs and wonders are a testimony to God’s people of His faithfulness, that He stands up for them. What were signs and wonders for God’s people were plagues for the Egyptians. Each time the psalmist, in mentioning the signs and wonders or the plagues, speaks of two things:
1. God causes the plagues. They come from Him. We always read in these verses about what “He” does. They describe His deeds and His wonders. The psalmist has called for these in Psalms 105:1-Exodus :.
2. The plagues are about everything that belonged to the Egyptians. We can see this by the recurring “their”, such as “their waters”, “their fish”. It concerned “their land”, “all their territory”.

The first plague the psalmist mentions is the ninth, that of darkness (Psalms 105:28; Exodus 10:21-Isaiah :). God “sent” this plague – as He had previously sent Joseph and then Moses – ”and made [it] dark” (cf. Isaiah 45:6-Judges :). During this plague, all light is absent from Egypt and darkness prevails. This is the result of rejecting God, the source of light. “But all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings” (Exodus 10:23).

Moses and Aaron “did not rebel against His words”, but announced all the plagues in obedience to God’s command. They were not deterred by the threats of the mighty and proud Pharaoh. As faithful messengers of God they fearlessly presented him with the revenge of heaven each time he refused to let God’s people go,.

The second plague mentioned by the psalmist is the first in Egypt. It is the sign of the change of water into blood (Psalms 105:29; Exodus 7:15-Lamentations :). What is supposed to mean life, water, turns into blood, signifying the death of all life in the water. The fish are particularly mentioned as the life that is killed because fish are a food source (Numbers 11:5).

The frogs, the second plague in Egypt (Exodus 8:1-Judges :), are mentioned by the psalmist as the third (Psalms 105:30). He says that “their land swarmed with frogs”. Frogs are considered sacred and treated with reverence by the Egyptians. Therefore, they are not to be killed. These idols, under the judging hand of God, now take the form of a plague.

The frogs are a picture of unclean spirits, especially sexual uncleanness (Revelation 16:13-Ezra :). The love between man and wife in marriage is a natural blessing that God has given to man. But that blessing has become a curse. We see this in society. Think, for example, of homosexual relationships, extra-marital or premarital sexual relationships, pornography in magazines and through television and the Internet, sex shops, sex clubs. The frogs are everywhere, in all homes, even in the often well-protected “chambers of their kings”, where we should also think of the princes of the various cities.

Then come the “flies” (Psalms 105:31), the fourth plague in Egypt (Exodus 8:24). The flies come through the speaking of God. “He spoke” and they came. The flies, possibly a mixture of all kinds of vermin, carry all kinds of diseases. As a result, people’s lives are defiled and corrupted.

As an application for our time, we can think of all kinds of irritations, jealousy, bullying, frustrating each other in every possible way. These things destroy the atmosphere between people and make life unbearable. Loud music at the neighbors’, misbehavior in traffic, challenging behavior in the store, and so many other things that annoys you very much.

The psalmist continues with the plague of the “gnats”, the third plague in Egypt (Exodus 8:16-Psalms :). They come through the same speaking of God. Gnats or mosquitoes are little animals that suck the blood, the life, out of man. Our complicated society is full of gnats. Countless people are anxious, confused, nervous, suspicious. The mental institutions are often full. Mental tensions are increasing hand over fist. Many are driven to suicide. Life has no meaning for them anymore, it offers no prospects. The gnats do their deadly work.

The next plague the psalmist mentions is that God “gave them hail for rain” or, “made their rain hail” (Psalms 105:32). The hail was accompanied by flashing fire in the midst of the hail. This is the seventh plague in Egypt (Exodus 9:22-Ezekiel :). The judgments strike the entire land of Egypt in all their ferocity. “He”, that is God, struck down with His hail “their vines also and their fig trees” (Psalms 105:33). “He”, that is God, shattered with His hail “the trees of their territory”.

God lets down from “the storehouses of the hail” the hail that He has kept therein “for the day of war and battle” (Job 38:22-Isaiah :), the day that had come for Egypt. It is an example of the great hail by which the world will soon be ravaged when the church has been caught up (Revelation 16:21).

God had to continue to show His will toward His people because Pharaoh would not let His people go. “He spoke, and locusts came, and young locusts, even without number, and ate up all vegetation in their land, and ate up the fruit of their ground” (Psalms 105:34-Habakkuk :). This is the eighth plague God brought on Egypt (Exodus 10:12-Ezra :). A single grasshopper is insignificant, it represents nothing and can be trampled to death just like that. The Israelites in their unbelief felt this way in the face of the giants in Canaan (Numbers 13:33). In great numbers they are overwhelming and destructive (cf. Judges 6:5; Judges 7:12).

Finally, there is the last plague, the tenth in Egypt, which is also mentioned here last (Psalms 105:36; Exodus 11:5; Exodus 12:29-Amos :). The hour of judgment has come. It may take a long time, God is patient, but then there is no more delay. God also struck down “all the firstborn in their land, the first fruits of all their vigor”. This plague breaks all resistance. There is not a house in all of Egypt in which there is not a dead one. It is the final blow.

Verses 37-43

Israel Brought Out of Egypt

The unfolding of God’s power in and against Egypt broke Egypt’s strength. There was no longer any power to keep God’s people in bondage any longer, nor any desire to do so. The plagues were God’s way of leading His people out of the house of bondage (Psalms 105:37).

It was not a carefully prepared escape or a fearful flight. Egypt conducted the people out and provided them with silver and gold (Genesis 15:14; Exodus 3:22; Exodus 11:2Exodus 12:35-Zephaniah :). Normally, silver and gold are the spoils after a victory in a war. Here, however, the people did not have to fight, for the battle was the LORD’s. The people of Israel only had to receive the spoils.

He also provided them with the necessary strength, for their strength had been used up under the hard yoke of slavery. As a result, “among His tribes there was not one who stumbled” (cf. Isaiah 5:27; Zechariah 12:8). He sustained them by His presence. What a wonderful God He is to His people!

“Egypt was glad” of their departure because it marked the end of the plagues (Psalms 105:38; Exodus 12:33). Because of those plagues, “dread” of God’s people had “fallen upon them” (cf. Genesis 31:42; Genesis 35:5; Esther 9:2). The land had been devastated by all the plagues. In all the homes there was sorrow over the death of the firstborn. It was fear of the God of this people. After all, He had brought His plagues upon Egypt, which are evidence of God’s care for His people.

After their exodus from Egypt, God’s care for His people had not stopped. God continued to care for His people. God’s provisions for His people in their exodus from Egypt and their journey through the wilderness are all inextricably linked to the oath He swore to Abraham. For their journey through the wilderness, He provided a covering against the daytime heat by “a cloud” (Psalms 105:39). Through that cloud He also led them. During the night, that cloud became a pillar of fire to guide them (Exodus 13:21-Song of Solomon :; cf. Isaiah 4:5-Joshua :).

To their request for food, He answered by bringing “quail” and satisfied them with “bread of heaven”, the manna (Psalms 105:40; Exodus 16:13-Nehemiah :). To quench their thirst, He opened “the rock and water flowed out” (Psalms 105:41; Exodus 17:1-Judges :). “It ran in the dry places [like] a river”, continually supplying them with fresh water (Isaiah 41:18; Isaiah 48:21; 1 Corinthians 10:4).

He has a reason for all these benefits, which we see from the word “for” (Psalms 105:42). He did all this because “He remembered His holy word [with] Abraham His servant”. That He remembered it does not mean that He had forgotten it. When He remembers it, it means that He is going to work to fulfill His made promise. His holy word is His absolutely reliable word. He does, what He has said (cf. Joshua 23:14).

Here it is clear that the LORD’s dealings with the people of Israel as painted in this psalm are based on the covenant He made with Abraham (Genesis 15:2-Ecclesiastes :). It is a one-sided covenant, which therefore can also be called a promise.

“And He brought forth His people with joy” (Psalms 105:43). They are His people. Their deliverance by Him from the yoke of slavery has caused joy in them. How joyful they have been. They are “His chosen ones”. For that reason alone He has dealt with them in this way. What grace they have rejoiced over. Thus Psalm 105 is an illustration of what the LORD is going to do in the future by virtue of the new covenant, a covenant that is better because of the power of the blood of the new covenant, by which all is grace.

Verses 44-45

Israel in Canaan

He finally gave them “the lands of the nations” (Psalms 105:44). It is a reference to what the LORD will do in the future (cf. Isaiah 54:3). At least seven nations lived in Canaan (Genesis 15:19-Ecclesiastes :). God’s people did not have to do anything but take possession of “the peoples’ labor” (Deuteronomy 6:10-1 Kings :).

He did it for the purpose that “they might keep His statutes and observe His laws” (Psalms 105:45). God wanted His people to be an obedient people. Should He expect anything else after all His benefits to His people? What a grateful people such a people who have been so richly blessed by God must be. What a desire they must have to obey that God with all the love of their hearts!

The psalm rightly ends with the exclamation “hallelujah!”, “praise the Lord!”

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Psalms 105". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/psalms-105.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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