Meditations on the Psalms – Week 6: Psalm 105 – Remembrance

Stewart Fenters Meditations on the Psalms

One of my favorite things to do is get together with family or close friends for a meal. Sharing a meal is far more than caloric intake and the consumption of home cooked goodness, though that certainly is enjoyable. The main course of the meal is truly the stories that are shared and memories that are remembered. The act of remembering is an integral component in the spiritual life. We are reminded who we are, who God is, and what has been done by God.

Psalm 105 is the longest of the psalms we are looking at for this series. But the story presented in this psalm is the story of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and God’s mighty work on their behalf. For the Hebrews and for us as believers, to tell the good story is to remember the truth. In order to be reminded, we must relive the story of salvation and further reflect on the meaning of what it means to be liberated from the hand of our enemy. Retelling the story not only reminds us of what has happened in the past, it reorients us to be attuned to God’s work in the present, and points us towards his final work that is yet to be done.

The story we continually recall is this: “But now in Christ Jesus you who were once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13). God intervened. He involved himself. He entered our world and got his hands dirty. The more that we rehearse the story of deliverance, the more we see that we were powerless! The Lord did all the work. Take a look throughout Psalm 105 and notice all the times that God acted. In a beautiful way, verses 26-42 point out all the ways that God worked on the behalf of his people. Our primary work is to “remember the wondrous works he has done” (v5) and to respond in a way that glorifies him.

God has worked in your life and he is working now. The more that we recall his displays of faithfulness and power in the past, the greater capacity we have to trust in him in the present moment. As you go throughout the week and as we conclude this blog series on the psalms, prayerfully consider this: How has God shown his love for you?

Psalm 105 (ESV)

Tell of All His Wondrous Works

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
    make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
    tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
    seek his presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of Abraham, his servant,
    children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

He is the Lord our God;
    his judgments are in all the earth.
He remembers his covenant forever,
    the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
the covenant that he made with Abraham,
    his sworn promise to Isaac,
10 which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
    to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
11 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
    as your portion for an inheritance.”

12 When they were few in number,
    of little account, and sojourners in it,
13 wandering from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another people,
14 he allowed no one to oppress them;
    he rebuked kings on their account,
15 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,
    do my prophets no harm!”

16 When he summoned a famine on the land
    and broke all supply[a] of bread,
17 he had sent a man ahead of them,
    Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 His feet were hurt with fetters;
    his neck was put in a collar of iron;
19 until what he had said came to pass,
    the word of the Lord tested him.
20 The king sent and released him;
    the ruler of the peoples set him free;
21 he made him lord of his house
    and ruler of all his possessions,
22 to bind[b] his princes at his pleasure
    and to teach his elders wisdom.

23 Then Israel came to Egypt;
    Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
24 And the Lord made his people very fruitful
    and made them stronger than their foes.
25 He turned their hearts to hate his people,
    to deal craftily with his servants.

26 He sent Moses, his servant,
    and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27 They performed his signs among them
    and miracles in the land of Ham.
28 He sent darkness, and made the land dark;
    they did not rebel[c] against his words.
29 He turned their waters into blood
    and caused their fish to die.
30 Their land swarmed with frogs,
    even in the chambers of their kings.
31 He spoke, and there came swarms of flies,
    and gnats throughout their country.
32 He gave them hail for rain,
    and fiery lightning bolts through their land.
33 He struck down their vines and fig trees,
    and shattered the trees of their country.
34 He spoke, and the locusts came,
    young locusts without number,
35 which devoured all the vegetation in their land
    and ate up the fruit of their ground.
36 He struck down all the firstborn in their land,
    the firstfruits of all their strength.

37 Then he brought out Israel with silver and gold,
    and there was none among his tribes who stumbled.
38 Egypt was glad when they departed,
    for dread of them had fallen upon it.

39 He spread a cloud for a covering,
    and fire to give light by night.
40 They asked, and he brought quail,
    and gave them bread from heaven in abundance.
41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
    it flowed through the desert like a river.
42 For he remembered his holy promise,
    and Abraham, his servant.

43 So he brought his people out with joy,
    his chosen ones with singing.
44 And he gave them the lands of the nations,
    and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples’ toil,
45 that they might keep his statutes
    and observe his laws.
Praise the Lord!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 105:16 Hebrew staff
  2. Psalm 105:22 Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome instruct
  3. Psalm 105:28 Septuagint, Syriac omit not
English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Read the rest of the Meditations on the Psalms series.