Psalm 105 – The Power of God’s Promise

Reading Time: 8 Minutes

One of the terms that often describes God’s character is “faithful.” By experience God’s people know him to be steadfast and true to his word. He is completely reliable.

God’s ways are not always understood by his people, but in the end we know that we can fully rely on his promises.

Psalm 105 remembers one of God’s many promises to his people. It outlines how God fulfilled his promise to give the land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendants.

As we pray this Psalm, let’s consider the promises that God has given to us. Please think about three questions today in reference to God’s promises to you.

(1) What sort of promises has God given to you?

(2) What sort of obstacles must be overcome to experience the fullness of God’s promise?

(3) How well are you cooperating with God in the face of his gracious promise?

Our Response to God

The Psalm begins with several action words that are a fitting response to God’s goodness in our lives.

O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples.
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wonderful 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 wonderful works he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he has uttered.
(Psalm 105.1-5)

These verses comprise a very complete response to God. Prayer is highlighted as we “call on” him and “seek the Lord.”

When we “sing to the Lord” and “glory in his holy name,” we add worship to the prayer component. Remember, God’s NAME refers to his character and reputation. Worship exults in God’s character and advances his reputation.

We witness to our family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors when we “tell of all his wonderful works” and “make known his deeds.”

Finally, we “remember the wonderful works he has done.”

Remembering God’s Character

The remainder of this Psalm recounts God’s activity, as he fulfilled his promise to Abraham. It begins with a short statement about his character.

He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
He is mindful of his covenant forever,
of the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations.
(Psalm 105.7-8)

The phrase, “He is the Lord,” looks recalls a prayer that is central to the Jewish faith to this day. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone” (Deuteronomy 6.4).

God is just and he is active in executing justice in the earth. Abraham asked God, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Genesis 18.25). The answer is that God is absolutely just.

God formed a covenant, a personal agreement with Israel. Part of that agreement was God’s promise of the land to his people.

God said, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
as your portion for an inheritance.”
(Psalm 105.11)

This Psalm is a good outline of Israel’s history. However, the best way to fully appreciate it is to consider our own history with God. Let’s ask ourselves these questions:

(1) What has God promised me?

(2) How do the events of my life display God’s work with me?

Israel Remembers

If you have looked in your Bible at the length of this Psalm, you may think, “Wow! This is a long one.” In some ways, it is actually short. It tells a very complete story in a few verses of poetry and praise.

Verses 12-15 – The story begins with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They raised sheep and often moved to find pasture and water for their animals. They encountered foreign leaders and experienced God’s protection in a number of instances. Their experiences can be read in Genesis 12-36.

How has God provided for you and protected your life?

Verses 16-22 remembers the role that Joseph played as God’s instrument on behalf of his people. Genesis 37-45 gives the amazing details of what God did through Joseph.

Joseph was sold into slavery, spent time in an Egyptian dungeon, but God promoted him to a place of influence.

Joseph reminds us that a relationship with God does not keep us from suffering and setbacks. Even though God may seem absent, he is at work to accomplish what he has promised.

Verses 23-25 briefly speak of 400 years of slavery that occurred in Egypt. If you do the math, the children of God were in slavery far longer than our nation has been in existence.

Slavery to sin is a reality of every person. Jesus told a group of his opponents that sin enslaves all of us. He said, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin” (John 8.34).

However, slavery to sin is not the last word. Jesus also said, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8.36).

Verses 26-45 remember the amazing story of the Exodus. God delivered his people through his mighty hand. The exciting events of how God delivered his people from slavery can be read in Exodus 1-17.

Remembering – Our Story

One phrase in verse 45 summarizes the proper response to God’s great promise that he made to his people.

That they might keep his statutes
and observe his laws.
(Psalm 105.45)

Jesus continued the theme of this Psalm for all people.

Instead of a promise, he announced God’s love. Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love” (John 15.9).

As in verse 45, faithful obedience is important to Jesus. He said, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15.10).

I hope you will give consideration to the questions that began this article.

(1) Do I know what God has promised to me?

(2) What sort of obstacles must be overcome to experience his promise?

(3) How am I cooperating with God in the face of his gracious promise?

May We Pray for You?

Please email me at bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook with your prayer request. I will pray for you and ask the prayer team at Maywood Baptist to pray, too.

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