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Psalms 105:1-45 - Homiletics

The testimony of history.

God reveals himself in many ways; of these one is found in human history. All history may be studied, that we may understand his Divine thought and purpose; but more especially sacred history, his dealings with his ancient people. The psalmist is continually returning to this as a source of striking and convincing illustration. Among other lessons brought out by this psalm are the following:—

I. HIS FAITHFULNESS . ( Psalms 105:8-11 , Psalms 105:42-44 .) Though, in the midst of oppression and misery in Egypt, it may have seemed that he had forgotten his covenant, it was not so. He remembered it (see Exodus 2:24 ). So it often seems to us, when we wait long for deliverance. We are inclined to ask, "Why hast thou forgotten me?" ( Psalms 42:9 ). But when "the end of the Lord" is seen, then we reprove our trustlessness and adore his faithfulness.

II. HIS GOODNESS IN ADVERSITY . ( Psalms 105:12-15 .) As God sheltered his people, though "few in number, yea, very few," and held back the threatening hand of the strong so that in their days of pilgrimage they were preserved, so has he guarded his people in all ages, not suffering the great world powers to crush them; thus does he now manifest his presence and his power to individual men as they walk the checkered path of life.

III. HIS REDEEMING LOVE . ( Psalms 105:20-22 , Psalms 105:26 , Psalms 105:27 .) God's redeeming kindness shown to Joseph in his bondage and humiliation, and then to the whole nation in its captivity and suffering is an anticipation and a type

IV. THE MYSTERY OF HIS WAYS . ( Psalms 105:16-19 .) The famines which afflicted Canaan (see Genesis 12:10 ; Genesis 26:1 ), which ultimately brought Israel into Egypt, and the disgrace and hard durance of Joseph, were "trying" to the faith of those who passed through them. God does try us now, and "the trial of our faith," in dark and mysterious times, is intended to draw us nearer to himself, and to deepen the roots of our confidence in him. A faith exercised when the way was always plain and pleasant would be a poor and feeble thing; the piety that did not trust when it could not see would be of little worth.

V. THE MASTERY OF APPARENT IMPOSSIBILITIES . ( Psalms 105:40 , Psalms 105:41 .) He who gave "bread from heaven" and "water from the rock" can interpose and save in the darkest hour, in the direst necessity. Nothing is too hard for the Lord; certainly not our own particular embarrassment.

VI. HIS LEADERSHIP . ( Psalms 105:39 .) God led Israel in a way as well as by a way which they knew not—a way his people could not possibly have imagined. So he leads his children now. We cannot predict either the means by which our God will guide us, or the path by which he will conduct us to our home.

VII. HIS PURPOSE IN OUR PROSPERITY . ( Psalms 105:43-45 .) Jehovah brought his people into the land of promise in order "that they might observe his statutes," i.e. in order that they might become a holy nation; for the end of all providential bounty and of all redeeming kindness is character, moral and spiritual worth. God enriches us, he redeems and reinstates us, in order that we may attain unto his own likeness , may be "partakers of his own holiness." Not comfort or enjoyment, but ennoblement, abiding worth, is the true end to which all blessings lead.

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