Psalm 105 – “Historical Sermon about Early Israel”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist tells the story of the Israelites from Abraham to the settlement of the land. The moral is that the people should keep God’s laws.

II. Photo
God punished the Egyptians: “Their land teemed with frogs, even the rooms of their king!” (v. 30)

III. Select Verses    
7-11: He is the LORD our God; His judgments are throughout the earth.  He is ever mindful of His covenant, the promise He gave for a thousand generations,  that He made with Abraham, swore to Isaac,  and confirmed in a decree for Jacob, for Israel, as an eternal covenant,  saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as your allotted heritage.”
12-15: They were then few in number, a mere handful, sojourning there,   wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. He allowed no one to oppress them; He reproved kings on their account, “Do not touch My anointed ones; do not harm My prophets.”
26-38: He sent His servant Moses, and Aaron, whom He had chosen.  They performed His signs among them, His wonders, against the land of Ham.  He sent darkness; it was very dark; did they not defy His word?  He turned their waters into blood and killed their fish.  Their land teemed with frogs, even the rooms of their king.  Swarms of insects came at His command, lice, throughout their country.  He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land.  He struck their vines and fig trees, broke down the trees of their country.  Locusts came at His command, grasshoppers without number.  They devoured every green thing in the land; they consumed the produce of the soil. He struck down every first-born in the land, the first fruit of their vigor.  He led Israel out with silver and gold; none among their tribes faltered.  Egypt rejoiced when they left, for dread of Israel had fallen upon them.
44-45: He gave them the lands of nations; they inherited the wealth of peoples,  that they might keep His laws and observe His teachings. Hallelujah.

IV. Outline
1-3. Call to praise
4-5. Exhortation
6-7. Rationale
8-44. A history of early Israel
45a. Lesson
45b. Postscript

V. Comment
Psalm 105, which is a history lesson about the beginnings of the Israelite people, contains a didactic message at its end (44-45): “[God] gave [Israel] the lands of nations; they inherited the wealth of peoples, that they might keep His laws and observe His teachings. Hallelujah.” It should be noted that verses 1-12 appear, with minor differences, in 1 Chronicles 16:8-19. This is one of the paradigmatic examples of how the psalms were viewed as being composed of “interchangeable parts,” i.e., parts of one psalm could be “copied and pasted” into another composition.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Gerstenberger, Erhard. Psalms Part 2 and Lamentations (Forms of Old Testament Literature; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001).
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