Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Psalms 106

Verses 1-5

Psalms 106

Israel’s Rebellion and God’s Mercy

This psalm describes Israel’s persistent path of sin and God’s abounding patience, mercy and pity. It reviews her history from their Egyptian bondage to their return from Babylonian captivity. Finally it offers a cry of confession of sins and a plea for pity.

Scripture v. 1-5:

Verse 1 calls for praise and thanksgiving to the Lord for His goodness and mercy that continuously endure forever, that never cease, as related 1 Chronicles 16:8; Psalms 25:8; Deuteronomy 4:31; Psalms 108:4. The word rendered praise is from the Hebrew "Hallelujah," as in Psalms 105:45.

Verse 2 inquires just who can "utter (describe) the mighty acts of the Lord?" indicating such is too great for any to do, except God should help. It challenges also, just "who can show forth all his praises?" praises justly due him, suggesting none can except by aid of the spirit, Psalms 26:7; Psalms 40:5; Psalms 71:15; Psalms 145:4.

Verse 3 declares that they are spiritually prosperous who "keep judgment" and "do righteousness (continually) at all times," as related and attached to provided blessings, Psalms 103:18; Psalms 1:1; Deuteronomy 16:20; Deuteronomy 4:27.

Verse 4 relates David’s call on the Lord, to be remembered with favor that He shows His people, and to be visited, with his restoring salvation, to bring Israel back to her own land, Nehemiah 13:14; Jeremiah 15:15; Genesis 43:29:1 Chronicles 16:35; Psalms 119:41.

Verse 5 asks that David (the petitioner) may see (realize) the good of God’s chosen people, that he might rejoice in the gladness of his nation, Psalms 1:3; Deuteronomy 12:7. The plea is that they are His chosen, His nation, and His inheritance, in spite of their sins, Isaiah 43:20; Isaiah 45:4; Deuteronomy 9:29. He desired to glory in Jehovah’s heritage, Psalms 37:11.

Verses 6-18

Sins of Forgetfulness

This section of Psalms 106 relates Israel’s sins of lust, envying, murmuring, forgetfulness, and disobedience.

Verse 6 Is a confession that all Israel and their fathers before them had sinned, committed Iniquities, repeatedly doing wickedly, as described Leviticus 26:40; 1 Kings 8:47; Daniel 9:5. These three strong verbs all appear in the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the temple, as cited above: In order, they come from the Hebrew (chata, aven, and reshang) Psalms 1:1. See also Numbers 21:7; Job 14:17.

Verses 7, 8 declare that their fathers: 1) understood not His wonders in Egypt; 2) remembered not the multitude of His mercies; but, 3) provoked Him at the Red sea, Deuteronomy 32:8; Isaiah 1:3; Exodus 4:1; Deuteronomy 4:9; Numbers 14:11; Exodus 14:11; Isaiah 3:8.

Verse 8 adds that in spite of their dullness, ingratitude, and provocations toward Him, He saved them for His name’s sake (His integrity or honor), that He might make His mighty power to be known, Genesis 18:26;1 Chronicles 29:12; Exodus 6:7.

Verses 9, 10 describe how He rebuked the Red sea, suspending the laws of gravity, causing the sea to dry up, as He led them Through dry shod, even Through the wilderness, saving (delivering them safely) from the hand (destruction) of their Egyptian enemy oppressors who hated them, Job 26:10; Exodus 14:16; Deuteronomy 8:2; Psalms 27:1; Exodus 14:30.

Verses 11, 12 assert that "the waters covered their enemies (collapsed on them)" so that there was not one of them left, who escaped alive, Exodus 14:28; Isaiah 34:2. At this point it is declared "they believed his words, they sang his praise," His song of victory, triumph, as the mighty, Jehovah God over all, Exodus 14:31; Exodus 15:1; Luke 17:5;1 John 5:4.

Verses 13-15 add that: 1) "they soon forgot his works," hastily forgot it, with ingratitude they brushed them aside, Exodus 32:8; Deuteronomy 11:3-4; Deuteronomy 2) They did not wait for His counsel, His own plan for their deliverance; 3) They lusted exceedingly, very covetously in the wilderness, that brought many death judgments upon them, at Kibroth-Hattaavah, which means "the graves of lust," caused by their lusting, Numbers 11:4; Numbers 11:34; Psalms 78:18; Psalms , 4) They tempted God by such conduct repeatedly in the wilderness, bringing heavy judgment. Verse 15 concludes that "He gave them the object of their craving lusts that resulted in leanness he sent to their souls," meaning sickness and death that came upon them, as an inflicted punishment for their crying lusts, Isaiah 10; Isaiah 16; Psalms 78:29-30; Numbers 11:6; Psalms 107:18.

Verses 16-18 add further that there arose envy in the camp of Israel against Moses and Aaron, the saints of the Lord, God’s consecrated servants; This envy and sedition, led by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, consisted also of 250 famous princes of Israel’s assembly who gathered in collusion against Moses and Aaron, Numbers 16:3; so that "The earth opened and swallowed Dathan and covered the company of Abiram," Numbers 16:41; Exodus 28:3; Numbers 16:5; Numbers 16:7; Numbers 16:37; Note: Dathan and Abiram and their Reubenite followers were non-Levitical rebels that were swallowed up by death In the earth, Numbers 26:10; Deuteronomy 11:6; Numbers 16:32-33. Korah and the 250 Levitical rebels were, however, punished by fire that burned up the wicked, even as they had sinned presumptuously .by fire in offering incense; much as Aaron’s sons had sinned by offering strange fire that caused them to be consumed by fire, Numbers 16:35; Numbers 26:10; Leviticus 10:1-2.

Verses 19-33

Golden Calf Worship, Moses’ Intercession Scripture v. 19-33:

Verses 19, 20 declare that they (Israel) "made a calf in Horeb and worshipped the molten image," thus changing, debasing, or diverting their glory into that of an ox that eats grass. This insult was done to God almost immediately after He had joined them in the Mosaic covenant and given them the 10 commandments at Horeb, in which idolatery was forbidden, they pledged to avoid it, Thus they turned back to their Egyptian ways, Joshua 24:14; 1 Kings 11:40; 1 Kings 12:28. So recently God had shown His glory in destroying the gods of Egypt, to which they so soon turned back, Numbers 33:4; Deuteronomy 4:7; Deuteronomy 10:21; Romans 1:2-3; Jeremiah 2:10-13;1 Kings 14:9; John 4:24.

Verses 21-23 recount that because they forgot God their savior, their liberator who had done miraculous plagues and miracles in saving them out of Egypt, even in the "land of Ham," and at the Red sea, He said that, "He would destroy them," in His wrath, for their rebellious insolence and ingratitude, Exodus 32:10; Deuteronomy 9:8; Deuteronomy 9:18; Isaiah 34:2; "Had not Moses stogy , in the breach," of . broken fellowship between God and disobedient Israel as an intercessor, Psalms 105:26; Exodus 32:32; Ephesians 1:16. Even so Jesus stands as an intercessor for the sinning child of God now, Hebrews 7:25-26; 1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:1-2.

Verses 24, 25 indict ungrateful Israel with "despising" (taking lightly) the pleasant land, and "believing not the word of the Lord," that led them to murmuring, complaining, faultfinding against God, "heeding not His voice." What insolence! Numbers 14:31; Hebrews 3:18-19; Hebrews 4:1; Judges 1:5. These fortified their lives in their rebellion, 1 Corinthians 11:30-32.

Verses 26, 27 relate that because to their contemptible murmuring, rejection of, and ingratitude toward God He lifted up His hand against them to judge them in the wilderness, to overthrow their send (cause them to fall) also among the nations where they wandered, and to scatter them in the lands, as related Numbers 14:28-29; Exodus 7:5; Leviticus 26:33; Deuteronomy 4:25; Deuteronomy 28:32; Leviticus 26:33.

Verses 28-30 charge that "they joined themselves even to Baalpeor and ate the sacrifices of the dead," casting off the yoke of the Lord, which is easy, Matthew 11:29; for the yoke of the Moabite idol Chemosh, a dead god, in contrast with the living God; Provoking God to anger with their inventions, bringing a Divine judgment plague upon, Numbers 31:16; Deuteronomy 4:3; Deuteronomy 32:17; Hosea 9; Hosea 10; Revelation 2:14; 1 Corinthians 12:2.
Verse 30 declares that at this point of plague suffering Phinehas arose and executed judgment so that God’s judgment was stopped, Numbers 25:8; Even as Aaron did on another occasion, Numbers 16:48.

Verses 31-33 relate first that the judgment act of Phinehas was computed to him as a man of righteousness, with integrity, so that God gave him an enduring family priesthood lineage, in contrast with other descendants of Aaron’s lineage from whom it passed away, Numbers 25:10-13; Ezekiel 14:14; Ezekiel 14:20.
Verse 32 asserts they (Israel) angered Him also at the waters of strife, as recounted Deuteronomy 1:37; Deuteronomy 3:26; Numbers 20:3-12, causing Moses to sin in impatience, to the extent that he was excluded from entering Canaan. "Because they provoked His spirit, so that he spoke unadvisedly with his lips, Numbers 20:10; James 3:2; See also Ephesians 4:30.

Verses 34-48

Israel’s Marriage Rebellion

God’s Pity

Scripture v. 34-48:

Verses 34-36 relate that they: 1) did not destroy the nations, as God commanded them, for lack of faith and zeal.
Verse 35 adds that they "mingled among," intertwined with these heathen, and learned to practice their wicked deeds, though warned not to, Joshua 23:12-13; Deuteronomy 7:3-4; As Solomon too sinned later, turning also to idolatry by evil influence of such forbidden marriage union, a snare to their destruction, like a bird or animal trapped by a snare, Exodus 10:7.

Verses 37, 38 charge that they too sacrificed (burned) their sons and their daughters unto devils (demon spirits), in worship to the idol gods of Canaan, shedding the blood of their innocent (small) children, polluting the land with their blood, Deuteronomy 32:17; This was in defiance of Deuteronomy 19:10; Deuteronomy 12:31; Deuteronomy 18:10; So the land was polluted with children sacrificed to Moloch, Numbers 35:33.

Verse 39 adds that in this behavior they were "defiled with their own works, and went a whoring (spiritual fornication) with their own inventions, Leviticus 17:7; Numbers 15:39.

Verse 40 explains that God was so incensed for their sins of intermarriage and spiritual fornication with heathen Idolatry that He "abhorred his own inheritance," His own people, Psalms 78:59; Psalms 78:62.

Verses 41, 42 relate that He gave them (for chastisement) into the hands of the heathen who ruled over them with an hand . of despicable hatred; They stooped so low in their moral, marital behavior, and their embracing idolatrous worship, that even the heathen with whom they mingled In marriage hated them,’ Judges 2:14; Leviticus 26:17. Their enemies oppressed them, even to abject slavery under their hands, Judges 3:30.

Verse 43 recounts that God delivered them many times (repeatedly) from heathen oppression, yet they kept on provoking Him by disregarding His counsel so that they were impoverished or weakened because of their lawless ways, Judges 2:16; Nehemiah 9:26-37; Ezekiel 33:10.

Verse 44 explains that "nevertheless he regarded their affliction (with pity), when he heard their cry," their plea for mercy, Judges 10:10; Exodus 2:25; Exodus 4:31.

Verse 45 certifies that "He remembered for them his covenant," for His integrity’s sake, Leviticus 26:41; 2 Kings 13:23; Psalms 105:6; Luke 1:71. And he "repented (turned from destroying them) "according to the multitude of His mercies," La 3:32; Deuteronomy 4:31.

Verse 46 adds that He caused the ones who captured them to show mercy also to them, even according to Solomon’s prayer, 1 Kings 8:50; Daniel 1:9; Genesis 39:21; See also Evil Merodach’s kindly treatment of Jehoiachin, King of Judah, 2 Kings 25:27; Ezra 9:9; Jeremiah 42:12.

Verse 47 appeals "save (liberate) us, O Lord our God, and gather us (Israel) from among the heathen," that we may "give thanks (gratitude) unto thy holy name, and (cause us) to triumph in thy praise," Jeremiah 32:37; Jeremiah 32:41; Luke 1:74; 2 Corinthians 5:15; See also the promise on which this prayer rested, Deuteronomy 30:3; 2 Chronicles 7:14-16; 1 Chronicles 16:35-36, Psalms 48:10; Psalms 105:3.

Verse 48 expresses a benediction to the Lord God of Israel, with a doxology of praise "from everlasting to everlasting," much as each of the previous three books of the PSALM has concluded. Though "Hallelujah" is here added as a praise call. It is concluded that all the people should say "Amen" and "Hallelujah" to the Lord. This closes the fourth book of the Psalms 90-106, corresponding with the book of Numbers.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Psalms 106". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.