Crossing
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Embracing God's Promise of Abundance When Hardship Endures
Psalm 105 - Remember What He Has Done
by Jenny on July 9th, 2020

"Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done . . . tell of all His wonderful acts . . . remember the wonders He has done." (Psalm 105:1, 2, 5)

The Bible is composed of 66 individual books. One of those books is the book of Psalms, located right in the middle of a traditional Bible, in between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The book of Psalms is a collection of songs and prayers written by prophets, priests and kings who lived during the time of the Old Testament. Though every word in every book of the Bible was inspired (breathed) by God, the book of Psalms is unique in that it captures words God's people used to express their thoughts and feelings to God. God does not directly address His people in the book of Psalms. Instead, God's people speak to God about their pain and heartache, their joys and celebrations, their anger and frustration, fear and guilt . . . the same emotions you and I face today. If you find yourself at a loss for words to express your feelings, the book of Psalms will provide you with a script.

If you're following the NIV Chronological Bible reading plan, Psalm 105 is included in today's reading. Psalm 105 is considered a "historical" psalm. The author's intent is to remind God's people of all God has done.

Psalm 105 begins by reminding God's people of the promise He made to Abraham (father), Isaac (son) and Jacob (grandson)--3 major characters, a.k.a. patriarchs, of the Old Testament--a promise of land their descendants would one day inherit (vv8-11). Elsewhere in the Bible (mainly the book of Deuteronomy), this land is described as a place of peace, provision and protection; a place where God would live among His people.

Verses 16-19 explain that God Himself caused a famine to occur in the land in which His people originally dwelt. The famine is first mentioned in Genesis 41-50 during the life of a man named Joseph. Genesis 41:54 reads, "Then the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had predicted. The famine also struck all the surrounding countries, but throughout Egypt there was plenty of food." Why would God send famine on His own people? Psalm 105 doesn't offer an explanation of God's ways but it does tell us that God "sent a man before them--Joseph, sold as a slave" (v17).

Does the name Joseph sound familiar? Joseph was one of the twelve sons of Jacob (Jacob is also named Israel . . . this is why things get a bit confusing in the Old Testament). Joseph is favored by his father and despised by his older brothers. The older brothers sell Joseph into slavery (Genesis 37), Joseph is later unjustly thrown into prison (Genesis 39), but is eventually released into Pharaoh's palace and placed second in command of Egypt (Genesis 41). During the aforementioned famine placed by God on God's people, Joseph has wisely stored up grain in Egypt for seven years (an idea given to Joseph by God through Pharaoh's dreams).

What do modern-day believers "remember" about God at this point in Psalm 105? That though trouble may come--indeed, sometimes God Himself sends or at least allows the trouble--God will also provide a way through for His people. Any "trouble" God sends or allows He will ultimately use for the fulfillment of His greater purpose in this world (see also Romans 8:28).

But there's more . . .

The latter half of Psalm 105 reminds God's people that when God caused His people to journey to Egypt (originally for grain but they would remain as foreigners in Egypt for 400 years), He (yes, God) caused the hearts of the Egyptians to hate His People. Again we question, why, oh WHY would God turn the hearts of people against that of His own people? Exodus 14:4 explains, "And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you. I have planned this in order to display My glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD!” If Pharaoh had been kind to God's people, or if Pharaoh had allowed God's people to leave Egypt when they asked, God's people (and the Egyptians for that matter) would have missed seeing God at work. Instead, BECAUSE of Pharaoh's hard heart (he hardened his own heart a few times too, see Exodus 8:15, 32), God was able to perform signs and wonders; signs and wonders that the psalmist reminds us of in verses 27-41.

The end result?

Psalm 105 ends with the reminder that though God's people suffered greatly, God kept His promise. God delivered His people, not necessarily OUT of suffering but THROUGH suffering, to the land He had promised. God gave His people a place they could live "that they might keep His precepts and observe His laws" (v45).

From beginning to end, the Bible tells the same story. If you are reading this, God has chosen you to know Him, just as He chose men named Abraham and Isaac and Jacob (and women too). God allows suffering in the lives of His people, but He always provides a way through. God has promised us--New Testament believers--not a physical place but a place where our hearts can live peacefully in His presence by believing what God has said about our sin condition (it's bad) and by accepting Jesus' death on the cross in place of our own. Once we are reconciled to God by faith, we too will want to keep His precepts and observe His laws because we know they are good.

Why study God's Word? Because we all, now more than ever, need to remember all He has done and all He promises to still do.


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1 Comments

Melissa R. - July 10th, 2020 at 12:24 PM
Loved this! Not out but through!
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Crossing Your Jordan

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling, Bible-teaching mom of six, and wife to my college sweetheart. I believe everyone can live a life of abundance through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and radical obedience to His Word.

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Visit the following link to read or search through Jenny's posts dating prior to August 2014. www.jennyhander.blogspot.com