I love the way that often in Scripture we find contrasting thoughts and ideas in proximity with one another. It’s one of the marks of the divine authorship of the Holy Spirit. Psalms 106 and 107 are two examples of two contrasting streams of thought.
In Psalm 106, the psalmist pours out his heart in repentance for the nation of Israel’s sin. In verse 6, he writes: “Like our ancestors, we have sinned. We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly!” (Psalm 106:6, NLT) In this prayer of confession, the psalmist catalogues time after time in the history of the people of Israel when they disobeyed and turned away from God: incidents like forgetting God’s miraculous deliverance from Egypt; the rebellion of Dathan and Abiram and others against the divine authority of Aaron; worshiping the golden calf; the doubt that led them to refuse to go into the Promised Land after the mission of the twelve spies; and several more times of disobedience and doubting God.
The key thought here is that the psalmist was being very specific in cataloguing the sin and disobedience of the people. Their history from beginning to end was one of drifting and disobeying. Because of this pattern of sin, the psalmist cried out for God to restore the nation. “Save us, O Lord our God.” (v. 47)
This psalm of confession and plea for restoration, though, is followed closely with another psalm that traces the history of God’s involvement in the life of the nation of Israel. Psalm 107, verse 2, asks the question: “Has the Lord redeemed you?” Then comes the statement: “Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.” What follows is this psalm is another catalog, this time listing all the wonderful ways God has cared for Israel. Take time to read this psalm and notice the verbs that are used to describe God’s caring action on behalf of His people.
Verse 3 – “He gathered the exiles.”
Verse 6 – “He rescued them.”
Verse 7, 14 – “He led them.”
Verse 9 – “He satisfies the thirsty.”
Verse 13, 19 – “He saved them.”
Verse 14 – “He snapped their chains.”
Verse 16 – “He broke down their prison gates.”
Verse 20 – “He sent out his word and healed them.”
The list goes on – “He spoke,” v. 25; “He calmed,” v. 29; “He changes” circumstances, v. 33; “He turns,” v. 34; “He brings,” v. 36; “He blesses,” v. 38; “He rescues,” v. 41.
The conclusion is this:
“Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord (Psalm 107:43).”
So, what about you? How’s your history with God? Would you profit from taking time to write down a catalog of times when you have been disobedient to God? Instances of rebellion that need to be confessed and brought under the forgiving blood of Jesus Christ? It is critically important to stay “’fessed” up with God!
Secondly, look at your history of God’s blessings and deliverance in your life. In what ways has God led you, rescued you, calmed you, changed your circumstances, snapped your chains, set you free, satisfied you? These are things to speak out about! We must tell others how He has redeemed us. Tell others of your history with the faithful love of the Lord!
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