Sinners in Egypt (Ps 106:6-106:12)

“Both we with our ancestors have sinned.

We have committed iniquity.

We have done wickedly.

Our ancestors,

When they were in Egypt,

Did not consider

Your wonderful works.

They did not remember

The abundance of your steadfast love.

But they rebelled

Against the Most High

At the Red Sea.

Yet Yahweh saved them for his name’s sake.

Thus he would make known his mighty power.

He rebuked the Red Sea.

Then it became dry.

He led them through the deep

As through a desert.

He saved them from the hand of the foe.

He delivered them from the hand of the enemy.

The waters covered their adversaries.

Not one of them was left.

Then they believed his words.

They sang his praise.”

The psalmist associates himself with his ancestors in Egypt who doubted Yahweh with iniquity and wickedness. His ancestors did not realize the wonderful work that Yahweh was doing. They never understood the steadfast love of Yahweh. Thus they rebelled against the Most High God before crossing the Red Sea. However, Yahweh saved them so that they could go forth and proclaim his name. Yahweh made the Red Sea dry. Then they passed through it like it was a desert instead of a sea. They were saved from the hands of their foes and enemies. In fact, their adversaries were covered in water so that no was left. After this the Israelites believed in his words and sang praising his name.

Yahweh favors the chosen ones (Ps 106:4-106:5)

“Yahweh!

Remember me

When you show favor to your people!

Help me

When you deliver them!

Thus I may see the prosperity

Of your chosen ones.

Thus I may rejoice in the gladness

Of your nation.

Thus I may glory in your heritage.”

The psalmist wants to share in the glory of the chosen ones. He asks Yahweh to remember him personally when he thinks of his chosen people. When they are helped, he wants to see prosperity also. He wanted to rejoice in the gladness of Yahweh’s nations. He wanted to glory in the heritage of the chosen ones.

Praise to Yahweh (Ps 106:1-106:3)

“Praise Yahweh!

O give thanks to Yahweh!

He is good!

His steadfast love endures forever!

Who can utter the mighty deeds of Yahweh?

Who can declare all his praise?

Happy are those

Who observe justice!

Happy are those

Who do righteousness at all times!”

Psalm 106 is a continuation of Psalm 105, but is less joyful since it points out the many problems that the Israelites had. Once again there is no title to this psalm. However, it starts out with a rousing hymn to Yahweh. Praise Yahweh or alleluia, is the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” They are to give thanks to Yahweh because he is good. His steadfast love endures forever, a theme that is repeated over and over again. Who can say what all the mighty deeds of Yahweh are? Who can declare his praise? However, the happy ones are those who observe justice and are righteous all the time.

Introductory hymn to Yahweh (Ps 105:1-105:5)

“O give thanks to Yahweh!

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 Yahweh rejoice!

Seek Yahweh!

Seek his strength!

Seek his presence continually!

Remember the wonderful works he has done!

Remember his miracles!

Remember the judgments he has uttered!”

Psalm 105 is usually combined with Psalm 106 to be recited at some major feast, since it recalls all the great events in the life of the Israelites. However this long psalm has no introductory title. The first section is a hymn to Yahweh. Some of the texts have an Alleluia to start this hymn. We give thanks to Yahweh. We call on his name. We tell everybody about him. We sing praises to him. We glory in his holy name. Those who seek Yahweh can rejoice. We seek his strength and his presence continually. We remember his wonderful works, his miracles, and his judgments.

The call to listen (Ps 78:1-78:4)

A Maskil of Asaph

“O my people!

Give ear to my teaching!

Incline your ears

To the words of my mouth!

I will open my mouth in a parable.

I will utter dark sayings from of old.

These are the things

That we have heard and known.

Our ancestors have told us these things.

We will not hide them from their children.

We will tell them to the coming generation.

These are the glorious deeds of Yahweh,

These show his might.

These are the wonders that he has done.”

Psalm 78 is one of these long didactic psalms that relate the whole history of the Israelite people, like Psalms 105 and 106 as well as Psalms 135 and 136. This psalm is also a maskil of Asaph as the others in this series. We will learn the lessons of Israelite history, with a special emphasis on particular favorite heroes. There is an initial call to listen with care to the teaching of this psalmist, Asaph. He was going to speak in parables like the wisdom writers. These are the stories that were passed on to him by his ancestors. Now he was not going to hide it from the current children and the generations yet to come. All this shows the glorious deeds of Yahweh and his strength in the wonders that he has done for Israel.

The song of the creator (1 Chr 16:28-16:34)

“Ascribe to Yahweh,

O families of the peoples,

Ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength!

Ascribe to Yahweh the glory due his name!

Bring an offering, and come before him!

Worship Yahweh in holy splendor!

Tremble before him, all the earth!

The world is firmly established.

The world shall never be moved.

Let the heavens be glad!

Let the earth rejoice!

Let them say among the nations, ‘Yahweh is king!’

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it!

Let the field exult, and everything in it!

Then shall the trees of the wood sing for joy

Before Yahweh, for he comes to judge the earth.

O give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good!

For his steadfast love endures forever!”

This song or psalm follows Psalm 96, verses 7-13. Yahweh is glorious and strong. We should bring an offering and worship his glory and splendor. We tremble before him. All the earth trembles before him. Yahweh has established the world that will not be moved. We should all rejoice both heaven and earth. We should proclaim to all the nations that Yahweh is king. He rules the sea, the fields, and the trees. He will come to judge the earth. We give thanks to Yahweh, because he is good. His love lasts forever. This last verse is from Psalm 106, about the everlasting love of God.