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|Posted on November 14, 2016 at 10:40 PM||comments (0)|
Psalm 106:40-48 (KJV)
Faithful To the Faithless
Psalm 106:40 Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. 41 And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. 42 Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.
Over and over, Israel would subject to another culture. In Judges, we read that they would be oppressed and would cry out to the Lord. He would send a judge such as Gideon, Sampson, or Deborah to deliver them. But shortly after that they would return to the state described as “every man did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6 and 21:25 for example) In other words, instead of obeying God, they had an attitude of “If it feels good, do it.” Hmmmm. Sounds a bit like America today.
Psalm 106:43 Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.
Finally, history and the Bible both tell us that God was fed up and allowed the Assyrians and Babylonians to conquer Israel and lead her inhabitants into captivity. However, even then He had the prophets foretell that captivity was for a limited, pre-determined amount of time, after which they would return to Israel.
Psalm 106:44 Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry: 45 And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies. 46 He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives.
As their Father, God could not turn a deaf ear to the cries of His children. God caused the captors to have pity and compassion on their captives. When we read in the books of Daniel, Esther, and Nehemiah, we see that Israelites were even elevated to positions of authority while captive in foreign lands. The covenant God made with Abraham was solely dependent on God’s ability to keep it, not the ability of Abraham or his descendants. The disobedience of the people of Israel did not cancel that covenant in any way. In like manner, our covenant relationship with Jesus as our Savior and Lord is completely dependent on Jesus’ atonement on the cross and His ability to keep us in His care now that He is back at the right-hand of God the Father. We did nothing to earn it, and we can do nothing to lose it.
Psalm 106:47 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.
As we stated at the beginning of Psalm 106, this was probably written at the time that Israel was beginning to return and rebuild Jerusalem. The prayer is that the rest of the nation would be re-united with them and that they would be in right relationship with God.
Psalm 106:48 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the Lord.
After recounting all of their sins, the psalmist gives praise to the Lord who delivered them despite their unworthiness. There were consequences for their disobedience, but God remained merciful.
Challenge: Spend some time remembering your lowest points in your walk with the Lord. Thank Him again for His forgiveness and grace toward you personally. Praise Him for His faithfulness in the times you were faithless.
|Posted on November 14, 2016 at 10:30 PM||comments (0)|
Psalm 106:32-40 – Spiritual Adultery
Psalm 106:32 They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes: 33 Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips.
Once again the Israelites complained because they were without water, saying it would have been better if they had died and that Moses had led them out of a land of plenty (Egypt) to die in the wilderness. They had prayed for a deliver, and now they grumbled to the one God had provided. God instructed Moses to speak to a rock, and it would give them water. Moses was so angry with the people that he struck the rock with his staff instead of following the Lord’s instructions. Therefore, the Lord told Moses that he and Aaron would not be allowed to enter the promised land. Moses’ disobedience cost him life in the promised land. He gave into his anger rather than following God’s clear instructions. We may want to recall that the rock is often symbolic of Jesus. In John we learned that Jesus provides rivers of living water (John 7:38). The full account of Moses’ striking the rock can be found in Numbers chapter 20. I am beginning to understand why the Lord often called Israel a “stiff-necked people.” They stubbornly held on to rebellion and doubt rather than holding on to God and His promises. He was consistently faithful to them even when they were unfaithful to Him.
2 Timothy 2:13 (NASB) If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
Israel was consistently unfaithful to the Lord with brief times of repentance and obedience as the following summary shows.
John MacArthur Study Bible:
106:34–39 This section describes the general sins of Israel from the time they entered the Land (Josh. 3, 4) until they were exiled to Assyria (2 Kin. 17) and Babylon (2 Kin. 24, 25). They failed to expel the heathen and sadly conformed to their idolatry.
Psalm 106:34 They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them: 35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. 36 And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
God instructed His people to completely wipe out the pagan nations because He knew the influence they would have on the Israelites. They did not obey this command; and rather than converting the other nations to follow the one true God, they began worshipping the idols of the nations. God’s chosen people were self-destructing from disobedience within their own nation and within their own hearts. Sounds much like America today. We, as Christians in this nation, need to take heed to 2 Chronicles 7:14.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Notice that this verse does not call on the heathen to repent but tasks God’s own people with the responsibility to return to Him and pray.
Psalm 106:37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, 38 And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
Human sacrifice was common in the religions of Canaan. Many of the Israelites, God’s chosen people, even sinned to the point of sacrificing their own children to idols! Instead of serving a loving, merciful God, they gave their devotion to idols who could do nothing for them. God used the prophet Jeremiah to remind them of the uselessness of worshipping idols.
Jeremiah 10:5 (NIV) Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.”
John MacArthur Study Bible:
106:36–38 idols…demons…idols. Demons impersonate idols and encourage idol worship (cf. Deut. 32:17; 2 Chr. 33:5–7; 1 Cor. 10:14–21; Rev. 9:20). The sacrifice of children was not uncommon (cf. Deut. 12:31; 2 Kin. 17:17; Ezek. 16:20, 21).
Psalm 106:39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.
God is often compared to being a husband to Israel, and in the New Testament, believers are called the bride of Christ. The Israelites were unfaithful to God, committing spiritual adultery by worshipping idols. As we will see in the next section, God punished them for their sinfulness; but He never abandoned them completely. He always saves a remnant.
This is why Susan refers to what remains of her legs as “remnants.” She says, “Stumps are something you pull out of the ground and get rid of, but God saves the remnants!” I admire my roommate’s sense of humor!
Challenge: Christians in America are often guilty of spiritual adultery. Our idols are not stone or metal, they are money, sex, alcohol, drugs, and anything else that turns us away from dependence on God and glorifying His name. This week, pray for our nation. Examine your own heart and see if there are “wicked ways” you should turn away from. We need to humble ourselves before our Lord and pray for Him to heal the strife in our land.
|Posted on November 11, 2016 at 11:35 AM||comments (0)|
Psalm 106:24-31 (KJV) - Judgment at Kadesh-Barnea
John MacArthur Study Bible:
106:24–27 This portion recounts 1) the nation’s rejection of Joshua’s and Caleb’s positive report from the Land, and 2) their desire to return to Egypt (cf. Num. 14:1–4). God responded with judgment (Num. 14:11–38).
Psalm 106:24 Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word: 25 But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord.
The nation of Israel discounted and ultimately rejected the affirmative report of Joshua and Caleb and believed the faithless, fearful report of the other ten spies. Here they were, on the verge of entering the promised land, having witnessed God’s miracles and provisions along their journey, and they doubted His ability to deliver a few gigantic people into their hands! It seemed they were more familiar with fear than they were with following God in faith. This, even though He had led them through the parting of the Red Sea, water from the rock, manna from Heaven, and quail in abundance. They did not understand that every exercise of God’s sovereignty was for their benefit. They did not have a vision of the priceless jewel He wanted to shape and polish them to be.
Psalm 106:26 Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness: 27 To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands.
God declared that all those 20 years and older at that time, would die while wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. They would not enter into the promised land. The exceptions were Joshua and Caleb who had given a report based on faith that God would enable them to conquer the inhabitants of the land. Once again, we see the mercy of the Lord in not killing off the entire nation. Moses had interceded on their behalf this time as well as the other times they rebelled. Had you ever thought of Moses as an inspiration for intercessory prayer before? No, I had not; but his prayers must have been heartfelt and convincing to save the nation of Israel from the wrath of God. He demonstrated true servant leadership by interceding for people who falsely accused him of self-aggrandizement. Moses either had huge chutzpah to intercede in this way or had an amazing intimacy with the Lord that enabled him to feel free to approach a Holy God frankly and earnestly.
Psalm 106:28 They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead. 29 Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them.
They began worshipping Baal and even ate food sacrificed to him. They took wives from the pagan people as well. Once again the Lord sent judgment in the form of a plague killing 24,000 people.
Psalm 106:30 Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed. 31 And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.
Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron, was zealous for God and slew an Israelite man and his Midianitish woman with a javelin. This ended the plague, and God blessed him by continuing the priesthood through his line. You will find the entire account in Numbers 25.
Chew on This: Over and over, the Israelites witnessed the fact that their sovereign God must execute judgment in response to sin, yet they continued rebelling against Him. Do we do that in any way? Is there a sin, you need to confess, repent of, and ask the Lord to deliver you from? Take an honest look at your life. You cannot and should not judge other people, but you must judge yourself. (2 Corinthians 13:5, 1 Corinthians 11:27-32)
|Posted on November 1, 2016 at 4:40 PM||comments (0)|
Psalm 106:9-15 (KJV) - Deliverance and Doubt
The psalmist expounds upon God’s mighty miracle at the Red Sea but confesses that almost immediately, His people gave in to doubt once more.
Psalm 106:9 He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.
Every time God speaks, whether in the affirmative or the negative, what He declares is going to happen. God spoke instructions to Moses to lift up his staff, and the Red Sea parted leaving a path of dry land. Where the water had been deep, there was now not a drop.
Psalm 106:10 And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. 11 And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left.
Pharaoh’s army of men with horses and chariots had chased them to the water’s edge. Just as quickly as the sea had parted, the waves now came back together. Cue the ominous music…The chariots, horses, and soldiers were swallowed up and drowned. All the soldiers that pursued them were annihilated.
Psalm 106:12 Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.
Miriam composed a praise song on the spot.
Exodus 15:21 (KJV) And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
But the time of praise and rejoicing was short-lived as the Israelites were fickle (as we are today.)
Psalm 106:13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: 14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.
Here is where the murmuring and complaining began. How could they do that after such miraculous happenings that could hardly be put into words? I don’t get it. Although God had provided perfectly for them thus far, as soon as their water and food provisions began to run out, they doubted His ability or willingness to meet their needs. Instead of praying and seeking His answer, they grumbled.
Exodus 15:24 (KJV) And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
Exodus 16:2-3 (KJV) And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: 3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
They lusted after the comparative plenty they had in Egypt. Instead of seeking instruction, they resorted to accusations against Moses and Aaron and voiced their complaints.
Psalm 106:15 And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.
Psalm 106:15 (VOICE) Although He granted their request, He also sent a disease that caused them to waste away.
Numbers 11:33-34 (AMP) While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord struck them with a very severe plague. 34 So that place was named Kibroth-hattaavah (the graves of greediness), because there they buried the people who had been greedy [for more than the manna that God provided them].
The people were not satisfied with manna and water. They were spoiled and ungrateful and demanded meat. This was the height of arrogance to make demands of Almighty God! God gave them what they wanted but also punished their insolence.
Chew on this: God provides for us in so many ways, but often we forget and covet more. Take time to remember what God has done for you. Do not forget! Praise Him, thank Him, and trust Him for the future.
|Posted on November 1, 2016 at 4:25 PM||comments (0)|
Psalm 106:1- 8 (KJV) – God Never Gives Up on His Own
This Psalm was probably written after the Israelites returned to Jerusalem from captivity. This would have been the time of rebuilding the city and its wall under Ezra and Nehemiah. It was also a time of rededication to the Lord.
106:1 Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Even though Israel had sinned to the point of God having them taken captive, His mercy continued to abide, to remain with His people. In spite of their inconsistency in following the laws and precepts of the Lord, He continued extending forgiveness and mercy they did not deserve. He does the same for us today.
1 John 1:9 (KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God’s continued goodness and mercy is enough to warrant our praise and thanksgiving even if He were never to bless us in any other way. But He does bless us immensely in innumerable ways.
Psalm 106:2 Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? who can shew forth all his praise? 3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.
It is our privilege and purpose as believers to praise God and to tell others of all He has done throughout HIStory and for us personally.
We needed a little assistance to understand verse 3, so we looked at in other translations. The Amplified version makes it a bit clearer.
Psalm 106:3 (AMP) Blessed are those who observe justice [by honoring God’s precepts], Who practice righteousness at all times.
When we are observing what the Bible teaches and living in right relationship with God and people, we will show forth His praise with our lives as well as our lips.
Psalm 106:4 Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation; 5 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.
The psalmist is praying for his own salvation and that of his nation as well. He asks the Lord to allow him to experience the blessing of the Lord’s chosen people. After the time of captivity, he prays that the Lord will rekindle rejoicing and glory in Israel.
Psalm 106:6 We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.
He identifies with the nation by confessing the sin not only of past generations but that of his own as well. A major portion of this psalm will be recounting and confessing specific sins throughout Israel’s history. I wonder if we need to do that on behalf of our own nation? Perhaps if we spent some time remembering how we got where we are, we might avoid making the same gross errors. Certainly, I believe that we need to do this personally and as a nation if we are to have any hope of remaining and finishing well until Jesus returns in vitality and glory.
Psalm 106:7 Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea. 8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.
God had miraculously brought Israel out of Egypt using ten plagues, had fortified them with the Egyptians’ silver and gold, and had made sure all of them were able to walk out in health without stumbling. However, at the first major obstacle, the Red Sea, they lost faith in His ability to care for them. God had spent all that time showing up and showing out on behalf of His people Israel whether they realized it or not. God delivered them mightily in spite of their lack of faith and confidence in His ability to lead them back to the land promised to Abraham. God would have looked powerless to the Egyptians if He had brought them this far just to let them be re-captured or slaughtered. So, for HIS name’s sake, He parted the Red Sea so they could cross it on dry land. If God had allowed His people to drown at this point, He would have appeared unfaithful and powerless. By rescuing them despite their unbelief, He showed not only the Egyptians but also the Israelites His mighty power.
Question? Do we need to confess specific sins or just ask the Lord to cleanse us of all our sin? What benefit is there to being specific about our sin to the Lord? Of course, He knows them; but perhaps we need to remind ourselves how much He has forgiven in order to cultivate thanksgiving and praise in our lives.
|Posted on October 24, 2016 at 2:45 PM||comments (0)|
Psalm 105:39-45 - Deliverance in the Desert
The psalmist now recounts God’s provision for his people as they traveled to the Promised Land.
Psalm 105:39 He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night.
A cloud led them and covered them like a blanket, shielding them from the sun by day. A fire served as a nightlight to guide them and light their way safely when they needed to travel at night. The cloud and the fire both symbolized the power of the Lord God leading and protecting them.
Psalm 105:40 The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.
The psalmist is kind here by saying the people asked. Actually, they demanded that the Lord provide bread and later meat and threatened to go back to Egypt where they had plenty to eat. But God graciously provided for their needs. The manna they received fell from heaven each day. God was trying to teach about portion control and trusting Him to provide by giving exactly one day’s portion each morning and two the day before the Sabbath. In our study of John, we learned that Jesus is the true Bread of Heaven and partaking of Him, trusting Him, satisfies a deeper longing than the hunger for food.
John 6:31-32 (KJV) Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
John 6:35 (KJV) And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Psalm 105:41 He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.
There were two instances when water came from the rock (Exodus 17:6 and Numbers 20:1-11). In numerous places in both the old and new testaments, God (specifically Jesus) is referred to as the Rock. Jesus is the Rock from whom flows rivers of living water (John 7:38).
Psalm 105:42 For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.
What does all this have to do with the Abrahamic Covenant? God promised Abraham that his seed would exceed the stars in the heavens, that his descendants would inherit the promised land, and that all nations would be blessed through his seed (singular – i.e. Jesus). God was providing for Israel as he guided them back to the home they were to claim. We read that during the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness due to their unbelief their clothing and shoes did not wear out.
Deuteronomy 29:5 (NIV) Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.
Nehemiah 9:21 (NIV) For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen.
Nehemiah even noted that their feet did not swell during 40 years of hiking! Another miracle of God’s care for His children.
Psalm 105:43 And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness: 44 And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people;
God honored His word to Abraham down to the smallest detail. Although the people went through many trials (as a result of their rebellious attitudes), God ultimately allowed them to conquer the inhabitants of Canaan and possess the land originally promised to Abraham. This must have been cause for great joy and celebration.
Psalm 105:45 That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the Lord.
God’s purpose was to have a chosen nation to bring honor, glory, and praise to Him by being set apart to keep His laws. Thereby, all nations would realize that there was one true God. They did not always live up to this expectation, but God continued to work in and through them and to love them. Ultimately, the Messiah, Jesus, was born an Israelite, and all nations have the opportunity to turn to Him and be blessed.
Psalm 105 was a call to thanksgiving to the nation of Israel by recounting their miraculous history. We can look back on our lives with thanksgiving and praise as well.
Challenge: God provides for His people. List some ways God has provided for you and your family over the years. Praise and thank Him for taking care of you!
|Posted on October 24, 2016 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
Psalm 105:31-38 - Plagues and Plunder
Psalm 105:31 He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts.
The Amplified Bible, Classic Edition adds beetles and mosquitoes to the list of varmints that plagued the Egyptians. Imagine all those things swarming about you, landing in your hair, your food, your bed! Makes me itch just thinking about it! But the truly amazing thing about this miracle is not that God multiplied the natural pests, but that they attacked only the Egyptians and not the Israelites! God is in control of everything large and small. My Father is sovereign over all!
Psalm 105:32 He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land. 33 He smote their vines also and their fig trees; and brake the trees of their coasts.
Instead of gentle, seasonal rain to water their trees and gardens, God sent hail to beat them down even to the point of breaking branches. There were lightning strikes causing fire to run along the ground. What a terrifying storm this must have been! Since they were an agricultural community, this would have caused great loss and confusion. What would they do now that their crops and fruit trees were damaged or destroyed?
Exodus 9:23 (AMPC) Then Moses stretched forth his rod toward the heavens, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire (lightning) ran down to and along the ground, and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
Psalm 105:34 He spake, and the locusts came, and caterpillers, and that without number, 35 And did eat up all the herbs in their land, and devoured the fruit of their ground.
God spoke the creation, and it was good. But in His anger, He spoke and the creatures created havoc. God’s words are powerful for life or death.
Proverbs 18:21 (KJV) Death and life are in the power of the tongue
What would bring death to the Egyptians would bring about freedom and life for the Israelites.
Just in case the hail left some crops undamaged, God next sent locusts and caterpillars to feast on the smorgasbord of leftovers. A swarm of locusts can devour a grain field in moments. I have seen a tall flower complete eaten by a caterpillar overnight. By this time, Joe average Egyptian must have been praying to his gods that Pharaoh would let these people go! They must have been thinking, “Get them out of my town, out of my city, out of my country!”
Psalm 105:36 He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength.
Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and the Lord sent a final plague to strike right at his heart. The firstborn would include all the firstborn children and all the firstborn animals as well, and particularly, Pharaoh’s son and heir. Once again, the Israelites were protected from this plague of death by following God’s specific instructions to place the blood of a sacrificial lamb on the doorposts and lintel of their homes. Since they obeyed this command, the angel of death “passed over” each house with this sign, and the Israelites’ firstborn children and animals were spared. This is a foreshadowing of Jesus being the final sacrificial, Passover Lamb. We are saved by grace because of His blood.
Psalm 105:37 He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.
Where did they get this silver and gold? I thought they were slaves. Their Egyptian captors who had enslaved them for generations gave them their riches. As we stated at the beginning of this study of Psalm 105, the Israelites left Egypt wealthier than they entered it.
Exodus 11:2-3a (AMPC) Speak now in the hearing of the people, and let every man solicit and ask of his neighbor, and every woman of her neighbor, jewels of silver and jewels of gold. 3 And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians.
Proverbs 21:1 (AMPC) The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as are the watercourses; He turns it whichever way He wills.
The statement is made that not one of the Israelites who fled Egypt was “feeble.”
Matthew Henry’s Commentary
Their lives had been made bitter to them, and their bodies and spirits broken by their bondage; and yet, when God brought them forth, there was not one feeble person, none sick, none so much as sickly, among their tribes. They went out that very night that the plague swept away all the first-born of Egypt, and yet they went out all in good health, and brought not with them any of the diseases of Egypt. Surely never was the like, that among so many thousands there was not one sick!
This was a miracle we almost complete overlooked! So many precious details in each verse of God’s word.
Psalm 105:38 Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them.
I think part of the reason the Egyptians gave all their jewels and valuables to the Israelites was their intense desire to be rid of them and their God who was causing all the plagues. They had been experiencing utter mayhem because of these slaves. Hanging on to the slave labor no longer seemed worth it!
Chew on this: Pharaoh was hard-hearted to the point of allowing his people to be subjected to plague after plague rather than release the Israelites. Does the Lord sometimes have to get our attention multiple times before we surrender to His will?
|Posted on October 21, 2016 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
Israel Captive in Egypt
Psalm 105:23 Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
The Israelites came to Egypt because of the famine and Joseph’s invitation to dwell there where provisions had been stored up. He even took care of his brothers who had sold him into slavery and their families and told them:
Genesis 50:20 (NASB) As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
As we have already pointed out, this was a fulfillment of God’s word to Abraham that his descendants would be strangers and slaves in another land for 400 years.
Psalm 105:24 And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies.
The Lord made the Israelites fruitful, and they multiplied to the point that they outnumbered the Egyptians.
Genesis 1:27-28 (KJV) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
The children of Israel were physically strong due to the types of work they did.
Psalm 105:25 He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants.
After Joseph died, a Pharaoh came to power who did not know Joseph. The Egyptians grew to fear and hate the Israelites. They defrauded them and made slaves of them.
nakal5230 – to defraud, act treacherously: beguile, conspire, deceiver, deal subtilly (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible)
Why would God make the Egyptians hate His people? If the Egyptians and the Israelites had all been one big happy family, perhaps they would not want to leave to go on the journey with God. Their preference would be to stay, and it would be harder to move them back to the Promised Land of Canaan according to God’s plan.
Psalm 105:26 He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen.
Why did God send Moses and Aaron to the Israelites captive in Egypt? God called Moses to be His mouthpiece. Moses thought he needed Aaron, his brother, for encouragement, support, and to do most of the speaking since Moses felt that was not his forte. So God sent both of them back to Egypt to deliver His people.
Psalm 105:27 They shewed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.
The land of Ham is another name for Egypt. Some of the descendants of Ham, Noah’s son, had settled in the region of Egypt. First, Moses and Aaron had to convince the Israelites that God had truly sent them. God had told Moses His name, “I AM THAT I AM,” and had given him two signs he could perform for the people to convince them God had sent him (Exodus 4).
Psalm 105:28 He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against his word.
WHO did not rebel? Let’s look at this verse in the Amplified version:
Psalm 105:28 (AMP) He sent [thick, oppressive] darkness and made the land dark; And Moses and Aaron did not rebel against His words.
Here, the Psalmist begins to recall the plagues the Lord sent against Egypt through Moses and Aaron. He begins with the ninth plague of darkness. Darkness often symbolizes evil. This could be why most children are naturally afraid of the dark and why we walk more cautiously through a darkened area. Moses and Aaron were obedient to all the Lord commanded them, no matter how strange or drastic it might have seemed to them. (Exodus chapters 7-12)
Psalm 105:29 He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish. 30 Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings.
Moses put his staff in the water of the Nile, and all the water in Egypt was turned to blood (Exodus 7:14-25). This was the first plague God sent against the Egyptians. Then the Lord sent frogs, lots of frogs, to the point that they were even in Pharaoh’s own bed! (Exodus 8:1-15). One would think this would be enough to convince him to let the Israelites leave, but Pharaoh’s heart was hardened by God as Pharaoh continued to ignore Moses’ request that he free His people.
Chew on This: God’s people did not enter Egypt as slaves. They became complacent, and the Egyptians deceived them into slavery. God used this to give them the desire to return to the land promised to Abraham. Even the frogs remind us that they needed to Fully Rely On God instead of depending on their Egyptian masters. Does God sometimes use something “bad” to move us from our complacency, to return us to the path of His will?
|Posted on October 21, 2016 at 12:05 AM||comments (0)|
Joseph - Protected from Famine
Psalm 105:16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.
Wait! God caused the famine until their food supply was completely gone? Yes, but as we shall see He had already provided the solution to their food problem. Also, God had told Abraham many years before that his descendants would be enslaved for 400 years but would come out with great riches, so God was facilitating the fulfillment of that prophesy.
Genesis 15:13-14 (KJV) And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
Psalm 105:17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: 18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: 19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him.
You may remember the story of Joseph the Dreamer. His brothers sold him to slave traders; and due to God’s sovereignty, he ended up in Egypt. He was an excellent servant but was falsely accused and imprisoned until the Lord God orchestrated his release.
Psalm 105:20 The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.
Why did the king, the Pharaoh, release Joseph from prison? He heard that Joseph could interpret dreams, and the king needed his services because he had a very troubling dream. Joseph correctly interpreted the dream to mean that there would be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine and advised the Pharaoh to prepare (Genesis 41).
Psalm 105:21 He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: 22 To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.
Joseph became second in command, only to Pharaoh. He was like the vice president of Egypt. He was wise and commanded that grain be stored in preparation for the lean years. Joseph took this action on the basis of insight given him by the Lord.
I had a hard time with why God would move the Israelites from the land of Canaan, the land of promise, to be captives in Egypt just to have to bring them out later on. But He had a purpose. As we will see later, they came out much wealthier than when they went in!
Chew on this: Many times, the way God moves us into His place for us seems “wrong” to us. Wait patiently. Trust. Know that your Heavenly Father will always do what is best for His children. Remember the hymn “Trust and Obey.” Meditate on the last line of the chorus: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus; but to trust and obey.”
|Posted on October 11, 2016 at 5:20 PM||comments (0)|
God’s People Protected
Psalm 105:8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
This passage is talking about the Abrahamic covenant in which God promised to give Sarah and Abraham an heir in their old age, to multiply his descendants to be as the stars in the sky, and to give them the land of Canaan as their inheritance (Gen. 12:1–3; 15; 17). The next few verses show how God remembered and acted upon His covenant through divine intervention.
Psalm 105:9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; 10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: 11 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: 12 When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.
God reaffirmed the Abrahamic covenant with Abraham’s son Isaac (Genesis 26:1-5).
Genesis 26:3-4 (KJV) Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
What is the point in the Psalmist recounting these historical events? He is reminding the nation of Israel of God’s faithfulness and protection throughout their journey as a nation.
Abraham and his family were nomads in the land of Canaan up until the famine that took them to Egypt which will be discussed later. They lived in tents and had no permanent dwelling even though the Lord already knew the land would ultimately be theirs. It would be generations before they truly possessed the promised land.
How does their story relate to us as Christians? Abraham continued to trust that God would fulfill His covenant even when he could not see the completion of the promise. This belief, this trust, was what was counted as righteousness, not Abraham’s good works. Abraham demonstrated faith in God.
Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Hebrews 11:1 gives the best definition of the kind of faith Abraham had and we need:
Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Using the wonderful website www.biblegateway.com, we were able to look at this verse in several translations, each of which enhances our understand and insight to faith.
Hebrews 11:1 (CJB) Trusting is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1 (VOICE) Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (AMP) Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].
Like the children of Israel, we do not yet possess everything the Lord has promised us; but we can be assured He is guiding and protecting us throughout our journey. Susie and I get lessons in this almost every day.
Psalm 105:13 When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; 14 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; 15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
Even when Abraham and later his descendants acted foolishly, God still kept His covenant and protected them (Genesis 12:10-20, 26). We must remember, that in this covenant, God was the one responsible for making it all happen; and He kept His word.
In our covenant relationship with Jesus, who did all the work to make it possible? Jesus did it all on the cross. He paid the penalty for our sin, then defeated death by His victorious resurrection from the grave. We did not earn or deserve this gift of being able to know God and spend eternity with Him. Since He gave this life to us, He is also the one responsible for keeping us in His care. But oh, how thankful I am, that He redeemed me with the wonderful sacrifice of His life as the perfect, sinless Lamb of God! We have committed our lives to Jesus, and can say with Paul that we know Jesus is capable of taking care of the rest.
2 Timothy 1:12b (KJV) for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Chew on this: God has preserved the nation of Israel throughout persecution, wars, famine, the Holocaust and all kinds of trials. As Christians, we are also His people – a chosen generation (1 Peter 2:9). Meditate on the safety net of being held securely in the hand of the almighty God (John 10:27-29).