Reading: Psalms 106-107
Click on the link for the reading to read the Psalms for this week. As we read, let us not do so in haste. Take time to read each Psalm at least three times: once to understand the content, once as a poem or song to feel the meaning, and once as a prayer to appropriate the Psalm into your life. There will often be a hymn attached at the bottom of the page that helps bring meaning to one of the Psalms for the week.
PSALM 106: We Sinned With Our Ancestors
Psalm 106 focuses on Israel’s failure to trust themselves to the Lord in spite of his saving wonders, which are enumerated in Psalm 105. After a confession in verse six that all generations had sinned against God, the psalmist enumerates Israel’s sins through a telling of their history. What is highlighted is the perseverance of God’s grace: God will again intervene to end the nation’s troubles. But this good news has been evident throughout Israel’s history. Indeed, there would have been no story to rehearse apart from the way God is—steadfastly loving, ceaselessly compassionate, abundantly merciful (vv. 45-46). This good news did not stop with Israel’s story. The apostle Paul saw in verse 20 not only a comment on Israel’s character but also a comment on the character of all humanity (Rom. 1:23). Paul knew that humankind is fundamentally sinful and he proclaimed ultimately that we are justified by God’s grace— “while we still were sinners Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Humankind is saved by grace!
PSALM 107: Consider the Steadfast Love of God
This song praises the loyal love of the Lord shown in his deliverance of those in distress. Four groups of redeemed based on kinds of adversity are listed and a stanza of the song is devoted to each: those who were perishing from hunger and thirst (vv. 4-9}, those who were in prison (vv. 10-16), those who were sick unto death (vv. 17-22), and those who were in a storm at sea (vv. 23-32). Verses 33-41 is a recitation of the ways in which the Lord reverses the conditions of human beings so as to gladden the upright and silence wickedness. This psalm reminds us of a recent sermon: how do we measure maturity. We have a tendency in our culture to equate maturity with self-sufficiency. We are what we earn, what we possess. We must pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. Wisdom is getting ahead in any way that we can. Security is equated to good asset management. In short, we are to be self-made persons. Those who struggle are often looked upon as “less.” God is telling us here that we are wrong!
This is the Psalm in hymn form. Read or sing it through with melody to give the Psalm another dimension.
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