Psalm 105 is titled Tell of All His Wondrous Works in the ESV. The NKJV titles it The Eternal Faithfulness of the LORD. The LORD’s Wonderful Works in Behalf of Israel in the NASB. And also, the ICB titles it simply God’s Love for Israel.
While there is no author attributed to Psalm 105, the first fifteen verses are also found in 1 Chronicles 16:8-22. These verses are David’s song of worship to the Lord when the Ark of the Covenant finally came to rest in the tabernacle in Jerusalem.
Verse 7 says: That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the LORD in this manner . . .
And then what follows is a song of which the first fifteen verses are again found in Psalm 105. Therefore, Bible scholars believe David- or someone on his behalf- is the author of Psalm 105, and it was written during the time of the Ark coming to rest in Zion.
Give thanks to the Lord and pray to him. Tell the nations what he has done. Sing to him. Sing praises to him. Tell about all the wonderful things he has done. Be glad that you are his. Let those who ask the Lord for help be happy. Depend on the Lord and his strength. Always go to him for help. Remember the wonderful things he has done. Remember his miracles and his decisions. You are descendants of his servant Abraham, the children of Jacob, his chosen people. He is the Lord our God. His laws are for all the world. Psalm 105:1-7 ICB
Psalm 105 begins with song and praise and joy. The author reminds the people of Israel to remember God’s faithfulness and to celebrate it. God is in control; He rules. Be glad about that. Tell others the Good News of God’s provision and love. Remember. Remember. Remember.
Verse 6 says: Remember who are. Remember whose you are.
Sing unto him. Bring your best thoughts and express them in the best language to the sweetest sounds. Take care that your singing is “unto him,” and not merely for the sake of the music or to delight the ears of others.Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892
As the Ark of the Covenant finally comes to rest in Jerusalem, David reminds his people to sing to the Lord and to remember all that He has done. How easy it is for us to forget God’s faithfulness. Why is that? God was faithful; we would all claim that in our lives. Why then do we worry and fear about the future? If God was faithful, He will be faithful.
The Israelites needed reminders too. God had been faithful to them. He brought them out of slavery and into the Promised Land. As the Ark made its way into the Tabernacle, David would remind his people of God’s faithfulness.
We must actively remember. We must speak regularly of God and His mighty works and saving grace.
Sing. Tell. Remember.
He will keep his agreement forever. He will keep his promises always. He will keep his agreement he made with Abraham. He will keep the promise he made to Isaac. He made it a law for the people of Jacob. He made it an agreement with Israel to last forever. The Lord said, "I will give you the land of Canaan. The promised land will belong to you." Then God's people were few in number. They were strangers in the land. They went from one nation to another. They went from one kingdom to another. But the Lord did not let anyone hurt them. He warned kings not to harm them. He said, "Don't hurt my chosen people. Don't harm my prophets." God ordered a time of hunger in the land. And he destroyed all the food. Then he sent a man ahead of them. It was Joseph, who was sold as a slave. They put chains around his feet and an iron ring around his neck. Then the time he had spoken of came. The Lord's words proved that Joseph was right. The king of Egypt sent for Joseph and freed him. The ruler of the people set him free. He made him the master of his house. Joseph was in charge of his riches. He could order the princes as he wished. He taught the older men to be wise. Then his father Israel came to Egypt. Jacob, also called Israel, lived in Egypt. Psalm 105:8-23 ICB
Psalm 105 reminds the people of a few of the “marvelous deeds” they should remember. Remember God’s promises. Remember the agreement He made with Isaac. Remember how He provided for Jacob. He gave the Israelites the Promised Land. He protected and watched over them until they arrived there. His Spirit went ahead of His people to bring them safely home.
Remember Joseph. Joseph suffered, but God’s Words were fulfilled. And because of Joseph’s suffering, Jacob (his father, also called “Israel”) brought his family (what we know of as the Israelites) to Egypt where there was food. They were saved from the famine ravaging the Middle East during that time. Joseph suffered, but he persevered, and God’s reward was great.
Let us remember the Redeemer’s marvelous works, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth. Though true Christians are few in number, strangers and pilgrims upon earth, yet a far better inheritance than Canaan is made sure to them by the covenant of God; and if we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit, none can do us any harm. Afflictions are among our mercies. They prove our faith and love, they humble our pride, they wean us from the world, and quicken our prayers.Matthew Henry, English minister, 1662-1714
Psalm 105 calls upon God’s children to remember His marvelous deeds, we must also remember the sacrifice, the life, and the words of our Redeemer. Remember Jesus.
Jesus left us with a beautiful way for us remember Him.
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes. 1 Corinthians 11:24-26 NKJV
The story of Joseph in Egypt is a beautiful reminder of God’s promise. He lifted Joseph up to a position of power but not before he suffered. The story is found from Genesis 37 to the end. Joseph was born to Jacob’s loved wife, Rachel, but he had many brothers older than him who were jealous for their father’s attention. Joseph was sold into slavery. He suffered for a long time in Egypt before he was found by Pharaoh’s men to have an ability to understand dreams, a gift from God. Joseph understood Pharoah’s dream was a vision from God, and he interpreted it. The result was status, wealth, and Pharoah’s trust. And because of God’s faithfulness through Joseph, the region was saved from famine, including Joseph’s family who went to Egypt seeking help. The story comes full circle for Joseph. God was faithful.
And the LORD made his people very fruitful and made them stronger than their foes. He turned their hearts to hate his people, to deal craftily with his servants. He sent Moses, his servant, and Aaron, whom he had chosen. They performed his signs among them and miracles in the land of Ham. He sent darkness and made the land dark; they did not rebel against his words. He turned their waters into blood and caused their fish to die. Their land swarmed with frogs, even in the chambers of their kings. He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, and gnats throughout their country. He gave them hail for rain, and fiery lightning bolts through their land. He struck down their vines and fig trees and shattered the trees of their country. He spoke, and the locusts came, young locusts without number, which devoured all the vegetation in their land and ate up the fruit of their ground. He struck down all the firstborn in their land, the first fruits of all their strength. Psalm 105:24-36 ESV
The Israelites remained in the region of Egypt after the famine. Jacob died. Joseph died. All the brothers and their families died. The people grew in strength and prosperity in the land of Egypt for more than four hundred years.
But at some point during that time, God moved. He shifted the tides by changing the hearts of the Egyptian people toward the nomadic shepherding people of Israel and they enslaved them. The Egyptians put God’s people to the hard task of building the temples, towers, tombs, and pyramids of the Pharoah at the time. God’s people suffered and cried out to Him.
And God sent Moses and Aaron. The Old Testament book of Exodus tells this story. This is God’s story of redemption. He redeemed His children. Through a series of miraculous plagues upon the land and people of Egypt, God revealed His glory. Eventually, after much suffering, Pharoah released the Israelites, for a time.
It’s interesting how the Jewish people often seemed to forget God’s faithfulness from this time in their history. God was faithful; God will be faithful. He has proven Himself time and time again. But isn’t this true for us as well? Even when God was faithful, it’s easy to doubt that He will come through again.
As the Ark of God’s Covenant to His people arrived in Jerusalem, it was a promise fulfilled. He promised that His children would find a home in Zion, His mountain. They were finally there, and it makes sense that the author would call the people to remember.
What a good reminder to us. When we feel life pulling us away from God, and when the world becomes heavy . . . remember His faithfulness.
The LORD brought his people out of Egypt, loaded with silver and gold; and not one among the tribes of Israel even stumbled. Egypt was glad when they were gone, for they feared them greatly. The LORD spread a cloud above them as a covering and gave them a great fire to light the darkness. They asked for meat, and he sent them quail; he satisfied their hunger with manna- bread from heaven. He split open a rock, and water gushed out to form a river through the dry wasteland. For he remembered his sacred promise to his servant Abraham. So he brought his people out of Egypt with joy, his chosen ones with rejoicing. He gave his people the lands of pagan nations, and they harvested crops that others had planted. All this happened so they would follow his decrees and obey his instructions. Praise the LORD! Psalm 105:37-45 NLT
Not only did God free His people from their enslavement in Egypt, but He caused the Egyptian people to give them gifts of silver and gold upon their departure. The Egyptians wanted to be free of the Israelites and even paid them to leave.
The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. Exodus 12:35-26 ESV
God then led His people on a long journey to the Promised Land. The Bible says that the Lord literally went before them to show them the way and became a pillar of fire for safety and warmth at night.
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. Exodus 13:21-22 ESV
What a beautiful and reassuring sight that must’ve been for the people. To see God go before them and behind them.
God provided manna for food, and when His children cried out for meat, He provided quail. When they were thirsty, He led them to water.
God provided for His children then, just as He provided for His children in David’s time. In his letter to the Philistines, Paul says this,
And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 ESV
During Paul’s time, God promised to provide for His children. If God has promised and fulfilled that promise throughout time to His children, will He not do the same now? God was faithful then; He is faithful now.
Psalm 105 is a song of God’s glory, His faithfulness and provision, and His constant presence and protection. But the psalm closes with a reminder for God’s people.
God does all these things for His glory. He gathers His children to Him; He is faithful to them, so that they will follow His ways and keep His commandments.
That they might observe His statutes and keep His laws. Praise the Lord! NKJV All this happened so they would follow his decrees and obey his instructions. Praise the Lord! NLT This was so they would keep his orders and obey his teachings. Praise the Lord! ICB
God’s ways are good. His ways lead to good things. Sometimes the path of evil seems easier and maybe it is sometimes, but it never leads to good. Therefore, we remember God’s faithfulness and continue to keep our hearts on Him and walk in His ways.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. Colossian 3:16 NLT
Father in heaven, thank you for being faithful to your people throughout time. Thank you for your promises, for your protection and presence. Lead us in the right way. Help us to follow your decrees and your word. Fill us with joy and love today to share with those around us. We love you and we praise you. Amen.