The psalmist relates the sins of Israel from their sojourn in Egypt until their settlement of the land. The people confess their guilt and ask God to gather them from the nations.
The people sinned horrifically: “They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; so the land was polluted with bloodguilt.” (v. 38)
III. Select Verses
6: We have sinned like our forefathers; we have gone astray, done evil.
16-18: There was envy of Moses in the camp, and of Aaron, the holy one of the LORD. The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan, closed over the party of Abiram. A fire blazed among their party, a flame that consumed the wicked.
19-23: They made a calf at Horeb and bowed down to a molten image. They exchanged their glory for the image of a bull that feeds on grass. They forgot God who saved them, who performed great deeds in Egypt, wondrous deeds in the land of Ham, awesome deeds at the Sea of Reeds. He would have destroyed them had not Moses His chosen one confronted Him in the breach to avert His destructive wrath.
36-38: They worshiped their idols, which became a snare for them. Their own sons and daughters they sacrificed to demons. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; so the land was polluted with bloodguilt.
40-46: The LORD was angry with His people and He abhorred His inheritance. He handed them over to the nations; their foes ruled them. Their enemies oppressed them and they were subject to their power. He saved them time and again, but they were deliberately rebellious, and so they were brought low by their iniquity. When He saw that they were in distress, when He heard their cry, He was mindful of His covenant and in His great faithfulness relented. He made all their captors kindly disposed toward them.
1b. Summons to praise
4-5. Initial prayer
6-39. A history of the sins of Israel
No comment today. Stay tuned.
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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