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FRAMEWORKS: Psa 106: Historic Summaries of the early Sins of Israel


[Preliminary Comments: This, for Israel, must be an uncomfortable psalm that highlights the failures of Israel who rarely lived up to their calling to be a holy people. Part 1 is Praise & Petition. Part 2 is the majority of the psalm and reminds Israel of their failures. Part 3 is concluding prayer. Their failures seen in Part 2 cover their failures in Egypt [v.7-12], their wilderness travels [v.13-23], their refusal to enter the Promised Land [v.24-33] and their ongoing failures in the Land [v.34-46]. An inglorious reminder all round!]



PART 1: v.1-5: A call to Praise & Thank the Lord & Request for help


v.1-3 Praise to the Lord


v.1  Praise the Lord.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
     his love endures for ever.

v.2  Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord
     or fully declare his praise?
v.3  Blessed are those who act justly,
     who always do what is right.


v.4,5 Request to receive the promised inheritance


v.4  Remember me, Lord , when you show favour to your people,
     come to my aid when you save them,
v.5  that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones,
     that I may share in the joy of your nation
     and join your inheritance in giving praise.



PART 2: v.6-46: The Failures of Israel


v.6 SUMMARY: Israel have frequently been sinful


v.6  We have sinned, even as our ancestors did;
     we have done wrong and acted wickedly.

v.7-12 Their failures to believe in Egypt and in their deliverance


v.7  When our ancestors were in Egypt,
     they gave no thought to your miracles;
they did not remember your many kindnesses,
     and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea.
v.8  Yet he saved them for his name's sake,
     to make his mighty power known.
v.9  He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up;
     he led them through the depths as through a desert.
v.10  He saved them from the hand of the foe;
     from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them.
v.11  The waters covered their adversaries;
     not one of them survived.
v.12  Then they believed his promises
     and sang his praise.


v.13-23 Their recurring follies in the wilderness travels


v.13  But they soon forgot what he had done
     and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
v.14  In the desert they gave in to their craving;
     in the wilderness they put God to the test.
v.15  So he gave them what they asked for,
     but sent a wasting disease among them.

v.16  In the camp they grew envious of Moses
     and of Aaron, who was consecrated to the Lord.
v.17  The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan;
     it buried the company of Abiram.
v.18  Fire blazed among their followers;
     a flame consumed the wicked.
v.19  At Horeb they made a calf
     and worshipped an idol cast from metal.
v.20  They exchanged their glorious God
     for an image of a bull, which eats grass.
v.21  They forgot the God who saved them,
     who had done great things in Egypt,
v.22  miracles in the land of Ham
     and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
v.23  So he said he would destroy them –
     had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him
     to keep his wrath from destroying them.


v.24-33 Their refusal to enter the Land & subsequent failures in the desert


v.24  Then they despised the pleasant land;
     they did not believe his promise.
v.25  They grumbled in their tents
     and did not obey the Lord.
v.26  So he swore to them with uplifted hand
     that he would make them fall in the wilderness,
v.27  make their descendants fall among the nations
     and scatter them throughout the lands.

v.28  They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor
     and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods;
v.29  they aroused the Lord's anger by their wicked deeds,
     and a plague broke out among them.
v.30  But Phinehas stood up and intervened,
     and the plague was checked.
v.31  This was credited to him as righteousness
     for endless generations to come.
v.32  By the waters of Meribah they angered the Lord,
     and trouble came to Moses because of them;
v.33  for they rebelled against the Spirit of God,
     and rash words came from Moses' lips.


v.34-46 Their ongoing sins of unbelief & idolatry


v.34  They did not destroy the peoples
     as the Lord had commanded them,
v.35  but they mingled with the nations
     and adopted their customs.
v.36  They worshipped their idols,
     which became a snare to them.
v.37  They sacrificed their sons
     and their daughters to false gods.
v.38  They shed innocent blood,
     the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
     and the land was desecrated by their blood.
v.39  They defiled themselves by what they did;
     by their deeds they prostituted themselves.

v.40  Therefore the Lord was angry with his people
     and abhorred his inheritance.
v.41  He gave them into the hands of the nations,
     and their foes ruled over them.
v.42  Their enemies oppressed them
     and subjected them to their power.
v.43  Many times he delivered them,
     but they were bent on rebellion
     and they wasted away in their sin.
v.44  Yet he took note of their distress
     when he heard their cry;
v.45  for their sake he remembered his covenant
     and out of his great love he relented.
v.46  He caused all who held them captive
     to show them mercy.


PART 3: v.47-48: Concluding Prayers


v.47 A Plea for mercy, for the Lord to save them


v.47  Save us, Lord our God,
     and gather us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
     and glory in your praise.


v.48 Call to praise the Lord


v.48  Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
     from everlasting to everlasting.

Let all the people say, ‘Amen!'

Praise the Lord .



[Additional Comments: As we have commented elsewhere, the failures of Israel are not unique for every nation in the world has history it would rather forget. One of God's purposes in raising up Israel, knowing they would constantly fail [there is almost not a named person who did not fail in some way], must surely be to reveal to the world the need that we ALL have of a Saviour. ALL have sinned and fallen short of God's wonder [Rom 3:23]. A reminder to Israel but also a reminder to the rest of us.]



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