Thursday, September 8, 2016

God’s Blessings On Israel

Psalm 105:1-45

“O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.  Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.  Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.  Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.  Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.” (Psalm 105:1-6)

In the previous Psalms, the Psalmist had focused on personally praising god and and recounting his blessings.  Here he is advising others, specifically the nation of Israel to remember what God had done for them, because they were his chosen people and knew more of his blessings than others. 

“He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth.  He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.  Which covenant 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: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.” (Psalm 105:7-12)
A thousand years before, God had made a covenant with Abraham, promising to give the land of Canaan to his descendants.  He confirmed his promise to Isaac and to Jacob, even though there were only a few of them at the time. 
“When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” (Psalm 105:13-15)

For over  two hundred years, God protected Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their families from the people around them, settling conflicts with Pharaoh, over Sarah, with the Philistines and Amorites over the land, with the Sumerians when they captured Lot, and with Syrians when Jacob left Haran, warning them not to attack his people.   

“Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.  He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.  The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.  He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.

Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.  And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies.  He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtly with his servants. ” (Psalm 105:16-25)

Two hundred twenty five years after God directed Abraham to Canaan, he caused a famine, that resulted in Israel going to Egypt.  Before they went, he sent Joseph as a slave.  In Egypt, Joseph was cast into prison for several years before being released by Pharaoh and appointed to manage the food supply.  As a result the Egyptian people became slaves to Pharaoh and his rulers learned to control their people.    Israel began to grow and the Egyptians turned against them, making them slaves. 

“He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen.  They showed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.  He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against his word.  He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish.  Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings.  He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts.  He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land.  He smote their vines also and their fig trees; and brake the trees of their coasts.  He spake, and the locusts came, and caterpillars, and that without number, And did eat up all the herbs in their land, and devoured the fruit of their ground.  He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength.
He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.  Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them.” (Psalm 105:26-36)

After four hundred thirty years in Egypt, god sent Moses to lead Israel back to Canaan.  He sent many plagues on the Egyptians to convince them he was God and that they should let Israel go free.  The Egyptians were so glad to escape from the plagues they gave the Israelites silver and gold to leave.  Though some were very old there was not a sickly person among them. 

“He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night.  The people 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.  For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.  And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness: And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people; That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 105:39-45)

God lead Israel with a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, supplying them with manna and quail to eat and causing water to flow out of the rock for them to drink, simply because of his promise to Abraham.   After forty years, he brought into the land of Canaanand gave them the land, about seven hundred fifty years after making the promise to Abraham.  The homes were already built, the fields cleared and the crops planted when they moved in.  God had done this to give them freedom to follow his laws and guidelines.  They should praise God for the privilege, and for how he had made it possible.  Their entire history was a record of his provision for them.  

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