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“This Psalm,” says Perowne, “like the 78th and the 106th, has for its theme the early history of Israel, and God’s wonders wrought on behalf of the nation; but it differs from both those Psalms in the intention with which it pursues this theme. The 78th Psalm is didactic: its object is to teach a lesson; it recalls the past as conveying instruction and warning for the present. The 106th Psalm is a psalm of penitential confession. The history of the past appears in it only as a history of Israel’s sin. In this Psalm, on the other hand, the mighty acts of Jehovah for His people, from the first dawn of their national existence, are recounted as a fitting subject for thankfulness, and as a ground for future obedience. Those interpositions of God are specially dwelt upon which have a reference to the fulfilment of His promise, which exhibit most clearly His faithfulness to His covenant. Hence the series begins with the covenant made with Abraham, tracing all the steps in its fulfilment to the occupation of the promised land.” Neither the author of the Psalm nor the occasion on which it was composed is known.
THE WORKS AND WORSHIP OF THE LORD
Let us consider—
I. The worship of the Divine Being. The Psalmist calls upon Israel to celebrate the worship of Jehovah, in—
1. Thankful praise. “Oh give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name. Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him. Glory ye in His holy name.” The reasons for this praise are the Lord’s glorious deeds, afterwards mentioned in the Psalm, and His holiness. God should be thankfully and joyfully praised because of His perfections and works.
2. Trustful prayer. Here is prayer for Divine strength: “Seek the Lord and His strength.” Only as we are strengthened by the Lord are we able to perform the duties and endure the trials of life. For Divine favour: “Seek His face evermore;” i.e., Seek His favour. (See a sketch on Psalms 80:3.) Here is perpetual prayer: “Evermore.” The godly soul will seek the favour of the Lord through all time and all eternity, and will progress in the enjoyment of that favour evermore. Here is prayer with gladness of heart. “Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.” Barnes: “Let their heart rejoice, (a) because they are permitted to seek Him, (b) because they are inclined to seek Him, (c) because they have such a God to come to,—one so mighty, so holy, so good, so gracious.” And, may we not add? because of the encouragement which. His former deeds afford us in seeking Him.
II. The character of the Divine works. The deeds to which the Psalmist refers are those wrought on behalf of His people. He represents them as—
1. Marvellous. “His wondrous works, … marvellous works that He hath done.” The deeds mentioned in this Psalm (Psalms 105:27-41) were fitted to excite wonder and admiration.
2. Significant. In Psalms 105:5, Perowne does not translate “His wonders,” as in the A.V., but “His tokens.” The miracles which He wrought were not only surprising but instructive. His doings in the past were a foundation on which to base a joyful hope for the future. They abounded in encouragement and in warning.
3. Judicial. “The judgments of His mouth.” “The wonders of God in Egypt were exactly so many judicial decisions of God in the case of Israel against the Egyptians, or of the Church of God against the world.”
III. The treatment of the Divine works. The Poet calls upon the people to—
1. Remember them. “Remember His marvellous works.” The doings of God on behalf of His people, both providential and redemptive, should never be forgotten by them. To forget them would involve
(1) base ingratitude to God;
(2) foolish disregard of the advantage of remembering them. The recollection of them would tend to strengthen faith, promote obedience, &c.
2. Ponder them. “Talk of all His wondrous works.” Both Hengstenberg and Perowne translate, “Meditate,” &c. Reflection must follow recollection. (See a sketch on Psalms 77:11-12.)
3. Publish them. “Make known His deeds among the people.” Declaration should follow reflection. (See on Psalms 77:11-12.)
IV. The people of the Divine choice. “Ye seed of Abraham His servant, ye children of Jacob His chosen. He is the Lord our God.” “His chosen, plural, referring to the people, not to Jacob. It is on this ground, because they are Jacob’s children, heritors of the covenant and the promises, that they are bound beyond all others to ‘remember’ what God had done for them.”—Perowne. As the chosen people of God, they were the heirs of His promises, and so His mighty deeds in the past were pledges of His omnipotent help in the future. Being the people of God, theirs was the privilege of His protection and support and salvation. And theirs was the duty of praising His name, publishing His deeds, and performing His commands.
Let the people of God, in this age of Gospel grace, be mindful of both their privileges and their responsibilities.
(Psalms 105:3. “Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.”)
Here is a generic term for God’s people—“they seek the Lord,”—definite, yet comprehensive; it may be applied to the awakened sinner—he “seeks the Lord,”—to the professing Christian—all his life life is “seeking the Lord,”—and the matured, departing believer can do no more; he dies, “seeking the Lord,” nor will he fully find Him until he sees Him as He is in glory,—“I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness.” To such persons it is that the Psalmist addresses the exhortation of the text: “Let the heart of them rejoice,” &c. Observe—
I. That it is God’s will that His people should be happy. We might show that, notwithstanding all the disturbing causes, the goodness of God in desiring His creatures’ happiness appears in the animate world and among men in general, but the text limits it to His own people.
1. Consider what God has done to promote and secure the happiness of His people. He has redeemed them from sin, guilt, and corruption by the death, and passion, and glorification of His dear Son. That Son lives to intercede for them, and supplies them with all grace out of His fulness in glory. To comfort, cheer, animate, as well as to sanctify them, His Holy Spirit dwells in them. “All things are theirs.” They have abounding consolation and Divine joys, and “peace which passeth all understanding.” See Psalms 84:11.
2. The exhortations to joy and peace abound in Holy Scripture. It is a duty, as well as a privilege, for believers to be happy. See Psalms 33:1; John 16:22; 2 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 4:4.
II. Still in all ages God’s people have been for the most part a sad and sorrowing people.
It is often assumed that their portion in this world is usually a sorrowful one. Large portions of sadness were administered to Jacob, to Joseph, to Moses, to David, Elijah, Jeremiah—to say nothing of Job himself. See Acts 14:22.
And of modern Christians it is constantly alleged that they are gloomy and melancholy,—and there is much in them to justify the world’s accusation, as happy and rejoicing believers are rather the exception than the rule among persons of piety.
III. How is this to be accounted for? God has made a rich provision for His people’s happiness, but they are not happy,—why is this?
May it not be accounted for by their trials, temptations, afflictions? Certainly not! because God sends corresponding help and grace; all persons of experience would attest that the happiest and most rejoicing Christians are to be found among those who are most deeply afflicted. See 2 Corinthians 1:5.
Does not God sometimes withhold spiritual consolations from His faithful and consistent people? He does so. See Isaiah 50:10. But such cases are rare, and the time of shadows short, and speedily lead to stronger exercises of faith and surer joys. The absence of religious joy and peace is chiefly to be accounted for—
1. In some instances by the hollowness of religious profession. The heart is not true and right with God,—some secret passion, appetite, lust, desire, is allowed or indulged in. There can be no real happiness in religion while an idol is in the heart. See Matthew 6:24; 1 John 3:21.
2. Where there is not direct heart treachery nor self-deception there may be an unsuccessful conflict with indwelling sin. See Romans 7:0; 2 Corinthians 5:4; Galatians 5:17. Natural character, impure or sceptical, or vain, passionate, and revengeful—and the workings of these destroy peace of mind.
3. Defective views of God’s all-sufficient grace:—labour as slaves, as hirelings, as legalists—forgetting that He who purchased forgiveness secured grace. See John 15:4; Romans 7:25; 2 Corinthians 12:8-9.
4. Errors as to the ground and source of a believer’s rejoicing. Our joy, peace, comfort, &c., must spring not from our growth in grace, nor from anything in us nor done by us, but in and out of Christ alone—and all our sorrows are intended to drive us to this. (Psalms 5:11-12; Isaiah 12:1-3; Isaiah 61:10-11; Habakkuk 3:18.) So in the New Testament. (Philippians 4:4.) God in Christ is the only abiding source of happiness to His people.
1. Let all sincere Christians believe that a sorrowful experience is a defective and imperfect condition of soul. Better be sad than indifferent, slumbering, &c. But a melancholy, gloomy, downcast, doubting state is not the normal condition of a believer.
2. Let all search and see whether any allowed sin, or inconsistency, or idol, remain in their hearts. There can be no peace, no success, no joy, till this A chan is stoned and burnt.
3. Let no one be satisfied until he is both happy and holy. Both within your reach.
Are you afflicted?—no matter from what source, rejoice. “Suffer affliction with people of God,” &c.
Consolation withheld? Wait, and watch, and pray—and look for the Spirit, and search for Christ until you find Him.
Corruptions? “Nothing too hard for the Lord.” Union with Christ by His Spirit alone subdues them.
Confused ideas? perplexed views? doubt? See Isaiah 54:13. Pray for light, &c.
Happiness, present now, immediate, in store for you. “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoiceth in God my Saviour.”—F. Close, D.D.
THE FAITHFUL PROMISES
The Poet here sings of the covenant of the Lord with His ancient people, and the early stages of its fulfilment. In doing this he brings out several truths of universal application as to God and His engagements with man, on which we may profitably reflect.
I. The Lord’s remembrance of His promises. “He hath remembered His covenant for ever.” God cannot forget anything. All the things which He hath promised He will perform, though tedious ages may intervene between the giving of the promise and its fulfilment. If God were to forget His engagements He would cease to be God. “If God were to forget for one moment,” says Macdonald, “the universe would grow black—vanish—rush out again from the realm of law and order into chaos and night.” His infinite intelligence, His unchangeableness and His past doings afford ample guarantees of the Lord’s unfailing remembrance of His promises.
II. The perpetuity of His promises. “The word which He commanded to a thousand generations.” Hengstenberg translates: “The word which He ordained,” &c. Perowne: “The word which He confirmed,” &c. “A thousand generations” means innumerable generations, always. AS the Psalmist says, the covenant is “an everlasting covenant.” “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” The promises of of God are to all generations. This is a glorious truth. Promises of pardon, sufficient grace, eternal and blessed life to every believer in the Lord, are for man in all ages and in all lands.
III. The confirmation of His promises. “The covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath unto Isaac, and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant.” For the confirmation to Isaac, see Genesis 26:3-5; and to Jacob, Genesis 28:13-15; and to Israel, Genesis 35:9-12. In the experience of every generation God confirms the truth of His promises. Every age, as it passes away from this world, leaves behind it an additional volume testifying most conclusively to the faithfulness of God.
IV. The recipients of His promises. Concerning these the Psalmist indicates three characteristics. They are—
1. Believers of the Divine Word. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were eminent for faith. (Hebrews 11:8-9; Hebrews 11:17-21.) God required the Israelites to believe His word and obey His commands. The blessings of salvation are promised to those who believe.
2. Consecrated to the Divine service. “Mine anointed.” The patriarchs were not anointed; but the Poet uses the language of his own day to set forth the idea that they were called and consecrated to the service of God. Those who truly believe the word of God, and accept the offers of His grace, devote themselves to His service. To them the promises of protection, sanctification, and the heavenly inheritance are made.
3. Recipients of Divine communications. “My prophets.” “A good instance,” says Perowne, “of the wide signification of this word. It is derived from a root signifying to boil, to bubble up. The prophet is one in whose soul there rises a spring, a rushing stream of Divine inspiration. In the later language he not only receives the Divine word, but he is made the utterer of it, the organ of its communication to others. But in the earlier instances, as in that of Abraham, his official character does not distinctly appear, though doubtless, like Noah, he was ‘a preacher of righteousness,’ and taught his own family (and through them ultimately the whole world) the way of the Lord. See Genesis 18:19. Here the prophet means little more than one to whom God speaks, one with whom He holds converse, whether by word, or vision, or dream, or inner voice. (Comp. Numbers 12:6-8.) We approach nearest to what is meant by styling the patriarchs prophets when we read such passages as Genesis 18:17 : ‘And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?’ or again, the pleading of Abraham for Sodom, in Psalms 105:23-33 of the same chapter. It is, indeed, as pleading with God in intercession that Abraham is termed a prophet in Genesis 20:7. The title is thus very similar to that of the ‘Friend of God’ (Isaiah 41:8; 2 Chronicles 20:7; James 2:23).” The people of God, in whose experience His gracious promises are fulfilled, are in communication with Him. He speaks to them by His Word and by His Spirit. They have fellowship with Him. Such are three of the characteristics of the recipients of the promises of the Lord.
V. The fulfilment of His promises.
1. God’s promises will be fulfilled however great the apparent improbability. When God promised the land of Canaan to the patriarchs, the fulfilment of the promise seemed utterly improbable. At that time they were
(1) very “few in number.” Was it likely that they would ever be able to take possession of the land? or that their seed would ever be “as the stars of the heaven” for multitude?
(2) They were strangers in that land. They did not unite themselves with the people of the land, or acquire property there.
(3) They were wanderers. “They went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people.” They had no fixed residence. They were exposed to frequent dangers. How improbable that the land promised to them should ever be theirs! Yet the Lord fulfils His promise, and gives them the land. The things which appear to man improbable, or even impossible, God accomplishes, if He has promised to do so. Apply this to the perfection of individual character, to the future triumphs of Christianity in the world, &c.
2. God’s promises will be fulfilled though their fulfilment may necessitate the control of the greatest powers. “He suffered no man to do them wrong; yea, He reproved kings for their sakes.” See Genesis 12:10-20; Genesis 20:1-7. The Lord controls the mightiest as well as the meanest powers, for the protection of His people and the fulfilment of His promises.
1. Warning to the wicked. God will inflict the punishment which He has denounced against sin.
(1) to the repentant sinner. The promises of forgiveness and grace are gloriously reliable.
(2) To the people of God. However improbable, apparently, not one good thing of all that He hath promised shall fail.
From the 16th verse to the 38th verse the Psalmist gives an outline of the history of Israel in Egypt, exhibiting in it the fulfilment of the Divine purposes and the working of the Divine power. In the verses under consideration at present we have several surprises of the Divine providence.
I. A famine driving the people from the land promised to them, yet contributing to their possession of it. “He called for a famine upon the land; He brake the whole staff of bread.” The famine referred to is that which occurred in the time of Jacob, and which occasioned his migration into Egypt. This famine was no chance occurrence; it came not merely by the operation of material laws; God called for it; He ordered it. By reason of it “Israel also came into Egypt, and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.” Thus they departed from the promised laud; and so the fulfilment of the promise was rendered apparently more unlikely than ever. Yet in the providence of God their absence from the land of Canaan contributed to their ultimate possession of it. While in Egypt they increased in number, in power, in intelligence, &c.
II. A slave becomes the saviour of a country and of the chosen people. Notice here—
1. The sin of man. “Joseph was sold for a servant,” or slave. Joseph’s position as a slave in Egypt was brought about by the envy and jealousy, the hatred and cruelty, of his brethren.
2. The providence of God. “He sent a man before them.” God so ordered events that Joseph was taken into Egypt, and there wondrously enabled to preserve the people of that land from perishing by famine, and to arrange for the reception and support of Israel and his family. Joseph’s position in Egypt was not an accident or a freak of fortune. “Be not grieved, nor angry that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life. Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” The brethren of Joseph were free in their wickedness in selling him; they were guilty, in the sight of God, of jealousy, hatred, cruelty. God’s overruling of man’s sin does not extenuate his guilt. “Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee,” &c. In the providence of God, the detested slave became the honoured saviour of nations.
III. A prisoner is made the ruler over the land.
1. Imprisonment as the result of the wickedness of another. Joseph was imprisoned despite his own virtue, and by reason of the sins of his master’s wife. (Genesis 39:7-20.)
2. Imprisonment painful to the sufferer. “Whose feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in iron.” Margin, as in the Heb.: “His soul came into iron.” P. B. V.: “The iron entered into his soul” is a very expressive rendering, but it is incorrect. Perowne points out that in this verse we have a picture of an imprisonment much more severe “than that given in Genesis 39:20-23; Genesis 40:4. But it may refer to the earlier stage of the imprisonment, before he had won the confidence of his gaoler, or it may be tinged with the colouring of poetry.” But even, under the least unfavourable circumstances, imprisonment is painful to an upright man. It is one of the most severe trials to the soul of such a man. Moreover, in the case of Joseph, imprisonment was a trial of his faith. “The word of the Lord tried him.” God had promised to the family of which he was a member the possession of Canaan; and to him, in his dreams, exaltation and honour had been promised. So the saying or promise of God is said to try him, because during the years of his suffering and imprisonment it tested his faith and patience. Would God make good His word and raise him to honour? was an inquiry which often pressed itself upon Joseph.
3. Imprisonment Divinely overruled. Joseph’s imprisonment was overruled by God to promote the accomplishment of purposes the most important and benevolent. The Psalmist mentions
(1) The means by which his release was brought about. “Until the time that his word came.” The “word” is the word of Joseph by which he interpreted to the servants of Pharaoh their dreams in the prison. The verification of his interpretation of the dreams and his release from prison are regarded as cause and effect.
(2) The wisdom which he displayed. Joseph manifested such wisdom in interpreting the dreams of Pharaoh, and advising him as to the measures to be adopted to provide for the people during the years of famine, that the elders of Egypt were instructed by him. “To teach his senators wisdom,” is not to be interpreted that he literally instructed them in the art of politics. He displayed a wisdom superior to theirs, by which they were instructed.
(3) The power with which he was invested. As a result of the wisdom which he manifested, Pharaoh “made him lord of his house and ruler of all his substance,” &c. The administration of the affairs of the kingdom was placed entirely under his control. The most complete authority was given unto him. (Genesis 41:44.) Wonderful are the changes brought about in the providence of God, and wonderful the means by which they are brought about!
IV. A subject people growing stronger than a sovereign people. “He increased His people greatly, and made them stronger than their enemies.” (Exodus 1:7-9.) This increase in number and power the Poet attributes to God. The virtues of a godly character promote the growth and progress of a people. We have an illustration in the growth of the Christian provinces of Turkey in Europe, while the dominant Mahommedans are decaying.
CONCLUSION. From these surprises in the outworking of the Divine Providence, let us learn to TRUST GOD amid its mysteries.
1. Let those who are condemned and suffer wrongfully trust Him. In due time He will vindicate them, even as He did Joseph.
2. When the current of events seem opposed to His avowed purposes and promises, let us trust Him. He oft moves in a way that is mysterious to us. But He will accomplish His purposes and fulfil His promises.
A CRUEL PERSECUTION AND A GLORIOUS EMANCIPATION
In these verses the Psalmist gives us a glimpse of—
I. Israel persecuted in Egypt. We see here
1. The root of the persecution. “He turned their heart to hate His people.” The hostility of the Egyptians to the Israelites is here ascribed to God. Now we know that God is not in any sense the author of moral evil. “God is light.” Hence the statement of the Psalmist has occasioned much difficulty. The difficulty is of the same kind as when it is said that the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh. (See Homiletic Commentary, Critical Note, on Exodus 7:3.) We shall do well to bear in mind three facts.
(1) Pharaoh and his people were free in what they did to the Israelites.
(2) The Lord manifested His disapprobation of their conduct.
(3) Yet, “nothing—not even the human will, free as it is—is independent of God; and not even the worst passions of men are outside of His plan, or independent in such a sense that He does not afford the opportunity for their development and display.” God so ordered events that the Egyptians became the enemies of His people, and rendered their removal to another land necessary. The goodness of the Lord to the Israelites exasperated the Egyptians against them. “Though God is not the author of the sins of men, yet He serves His own purposes by them.” The root of the persecution was the hatred of the Egyptians. The growing number and power of the Israelites aroused the jealousy, suspicion, and hatred of the Egyptians. Hatred is incipient murder.
2. The manner of the persecution. “To deal subtilly with his servants.” The word which is here rendered “to deal subtilly,” in Genesis 37:18, is rendered “they conspired against.” There is a reference to Exodus 1:10 : “Come on, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply,” &c. So, with diabolic cunning and cruelty, the male children were ordered to be slain as soon as they were born, and the burdens of the people were grievously increased. “Malice is crafty to destroy: Satan has the serpent’s subtlety with his venom.”
II. Israel emancipated from Egypt. God listened to the cries of His oppressed people and delivered them. Their emancipation was effected by the Lord God—
1. By human instruments. He employed Moses and Aaron to accomplish this great work. They were
(1) Divinely commissioned. “He sent Moses His servant, Aaron whom He had chosen.” They were not popular agitators, but men of distinguished abilities, called of God to a great work.
(2) Divinely authenticated. “They showed His signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.” (Comp. Exodus 4:28; Exodus 4:30; Exodus 10:2; Psalms 78:43.)
(3) Obedient to the Divine commission. “They rebelled not against His words.” At first Moses was unwilling to undertake the mission; but afterwards he and Aaron shrank not from the task, but faithfully performed the bidding of the Lord. Unmoved by fear of Pharaoh, or by pity for his people, they did the work which the Lord committed to them.
2. By overcoming the most persistent resistance on the part of Pharaoh. Pharaoh would not obey the Divine command until the Lord had visited him and his people and country with terrible plagues. Psalms 105:28-36. (See Homiletic Commentary on Psalms 78:42-53, and Exodus 7-12.)
3. In circumstances favourable to His people. They were brought out of Egypt with
(1) Wealth. “He brought them forth with silver and gold.” In Exodus 12:35 it is said, “They borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver and jewels of gold.” “Borrowed” is an unhappy rendering, as the word—שָׁאַל—signifies to penetrate, to ask pressingly, to require, to request, to beg, &c.
(2) Health. “There was not one feeble person among their tribes.” Perowne: “There was none among their tribes that stumbled.” Notwithstanding their afflictions, the people were healthy and hardy when they left Egypt.
(3) Respect. “Egypt was glad when they departed; for the fear of them fell upon them.” The Lord had so pleaded their cause that they were regarded by the Egyptians as under the special protection of God. The Egyptians were afraid of them, and realised a great feeling of relief when they had gone out from amongst them.
(4) Joy. “He brought forth His people with joy, His chosen with gladness” (Psalms 105:43). God exchanged their cry by reason of their burdens, for glad songs by reason of their deliverance.
CONCLUSION. Our subject speaks—
1. Encouragement to the oppressed.
2. Warning to the oppressor.
3. Hope for the future of the race. “The Lord reigneth.”
DIVINE BLESSINGS IN HUMAN PILGRIMAGE
In these verses the Psalmist briefly refers to the goodness of God to the Israelites in the wilderness, and their inheritance of Canaan, and states the reason why He had so dealt with them, and His purpose in His dealings with them. This portion of the poem may be used as illustrating the blessings of God in the pilgrimage of human life. These blessings are—
I. Adapted to human needs. The needs of Israel in the wilderness represent the needs of human life. The Divine blessings were adapted to those needs.
1. Direction. “He spread a cloud for a covering, and fire to give light in the night.” “In the daytime He led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.” See Exodus 8:21. “The way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” He does so—
(1) by the teachings of His Word;
(2) by the influences of His Spirit;
(3) by the indications of circumstances.
2. Protection. In the burning wilderness the cloud was a protection to the people against the heat of the sun by day; and by night the fire shielded them from the attacks of wild beasts. God is the sure defence of His people. “Who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?”
3. Provision. “They asked, and He brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven. He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.” (On Psalms 105:40, see Homiletic Commentary on Psalms 78:24-29; and on Psalms 105:41, see Homiletic Commentary on Psalms 78:15-16.) God provides for His people all needful things for the body. Of the righteous the Lord says, “Bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure.” “No good will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Matthew 6:30-32). Spiritually His provisions are adapted to all our needs. “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” “My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
4. Possession. “He gave them the lands of the heathen, and they inherited the labour of the people.” (See Homiletic Commentary on Psalms 78:55.) During the wanderings in the wilderness the Israelites looked forward to the possession of Canaan as the end of their wanderings, their rest and home. A glorious inheritance awaits the good at the end of their pilgrimage,—“an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, is reserved in heaven” for them. This is an inspiration during the pilgrimage, &c.
II. Adequate to human needs. “He satisfied them.” “The waters ran in the dry places like a river.” The Divine provision for the Israelites in the wilderness was abundant. No one lacked anything. Having the Lord with them, they had all-sufficiency. So in the pilgrimage of human life the Divine provisions are adequate to every need. “God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always having all-sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” “He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” His wisdom is adequate to our direction; His wisdom and power to our protection; His resources for our provision, &c.
III. Guaranteed by Divine faithfulness. “For He remembered His holy promise, and Abraham His servant.” It is said of Israel in Egypt: “And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham,” &c. (Exodus 2:24-25). “Because the Lord loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand,” &c. They were unworthy and unfaithful, but God did these great things for them because of His word to their fathers. The faithful promises of God guarantee to us the blessings we need during our pilgrimage. Harvest may be blighted; fountains may be dried up; all finite resources may fail.
“If this fail,
The pillar’d firmament is rottenness,
And earth’s base built on stubble.”
IV. Bestowed for the most worthy purpose. The end of all God’s dealings with the Israelites was “that they might observe His statutes, and keep His laws.” His design was that Israel should be a holy nation, representing Him in the world, and claiming the world for Him as His own. The final cause of all the blessings He confers upon His people now is their conformity to His will. We are redeemed, called, guided, guarded, sustained, and animated with hopes of heaven, all with a view to our holiness.
The blessings of God in the pilgrimage of life—
V. Call for devout praise. “Praise ye the Lord.” He has done, and is ever doing, great things for us; and to Him let us ascribe the praise. Hallelujah!
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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Psalms 105". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany