Summary of Psalms 105-106:
These two Psalms corporately take the children of Israel through their spiritual heritage from Abraham through Moses. It is hard for us to grasp the relevance and significance of this in our individualistic culture. We do not tend to think of the history of our nation, denomination, church, or sometimes even family impacting our life. However, the Psalmist is giving meaning and trajectory to the children of Israel by having them trace the faithfulness of God through the success and failures of their forefathers.
The Command to Remember
The imperative tense (command) verb “remember” shows up over 100 times in the Bible (as in Psalm 105:5). Part of our fallen nature is that we are forgetful people. When we forget there are many negative things that happen. In Psalms 105 and 106 we find an example of healthy remembering. As you read these Psalms identify how this type of remembering would protect you from the dangers listed below.
- Life loses meaning, because each day is plucked out of any context. Every day is simply another morning-noon-night, breakfast-lunch-dinner, and work-home-sleep. Without ministry legacy, ministry, and motivation are lost.
- Faith becomes harder, because we (try to) force God to re-prove Himself in every moment. We do not recall God’s past works on our behalf, so we more easily doubt whether He will be faithful on this occasion.
- Temptation grows larger, because we are not intentionally learning from Satan’s previous victories over us. Each temptation becomes an island to itself. The surrounding water is shame, pride, or denial. Regardless without memory we will not learn (scout) our enemy.
- Life’s joys are swallowed up by the moment, because without memory only the urgent rules. In many ways, priorities are simply remembering the things that are most important in the midst of life’s distractions.
- Praise is muted, because each blessing stands alone. God’s blessings are meant to be celebrated like ones listening to an orchestra. Each blessing (like each instrument) is beautiful in itself, but when considered (heard) in the fullness of the other blessings the beauty is magnified to breath-taking status.
Writing Your Own Redemptive History
One of our goals as we read the Bible is to begin to see our story as a part of God’s story. Too often we do the opposite and try to figure out how God can become useful in the story we are writing for our life. In Psalms 105 and 106 the events that are written occur before the lifetime of the reader. The goal is to give the original readers an appreciation for what has led up to their lives.
The same exercise is very useful for us today. Begin to answer the following questions. Take the process slowly; being satisfied with the completeness of one answer before using it to continue to the next. When you finish use the reflection to deepen your appreciation for God’s faithfulness, power, love, and redemption in your life.
- Who are the people who have shaped you (for better and worse)?
- Who are the people who shaped the people that shaped you?
- What key historical events impacted your life or occurred during your life time?
- What opportunities were presented to you that were “unexpected” or “unplanned”?
- What “blessing” at the time has proven hurtful?
- What “disappointment” or “hurt” at the time has proven to be a blessing?
- What “big thing” at the time seems insignificant now?
- What “small thing” at the time has been a huge difference in your life now?
- Where can you see God at work in the midst of your answers?
- What aspects of God’s character are revealed in your answers?
- How does this reflection change your view of the present and near future?
Hopefully your praise of God is richer now that you have traced His hand in your history. Consider putting your notes into a short story, narrative, or poem. Consider sharing your reflections with a close friend and inviting them to do the same with you.