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Psalms 106:1-48 - Homilies By S. Conway

The nevertheless of God's mercy.

This is actually expressed in Psalms 106:44 , but it is the theme of the whole psalm. Note concerning it—

I. IT IMPLIES PREVIOUS AND TERRIBLE PROVOCATION . And, indeed, there had been such:

1 . In sins actually committed. What a catalogue of them the psalm contains! Sin at the very beginning ( Psalms 106:7 ). The former psalm reviewed the history of God's people as a subject for adoring praise, because of God's never-failing care. Here, also, a "Hallelujah!" is raised, in view of the same history, because of God's never-failing forgiveness. And the sins that needed this forgiveness are confessed here—the shortlived gratitude ( Psalms 106:13 ); the shameful murmuring ( Psalms 106:15 ); the wicked envy ( Psalms 106:16 ); the disgraceful idolatry ( Psalms 106:19 ); their unbelief ( Psalms 106:24 ); their sacrifices to Baal-peor ( Psalms 106:28 ): their murmuring at Meribah ( Psalms 106:32 ); their disobedience ( Psalms 106:34 ). What a melancholy list it is! And this is not all; for see:

2 . The mercies of God despised. ( Psalms 106:13 .)

3 . Their treatment of Moses. ( Psalms 106:16 , Psalms 106:23 , Psalms 106:32 .)

4 . Their hardened resistance, so that God's punishments had no power to change their evil will (cf. John 1:5 ). Yes, there had been provocation indeed.

II. IT PROCLAIMS THE INFINITE COMPASSION AND FORBEARANCE OF GOD . Sin is the dark foil on which the brightness of God's mercy is all the more seen. That is why the angels of God can never render the praises of the redeemed. What a marvel it is that he should have spared Israel! It is equalled only by the marvel of his sparing us.

III. WHEN THE SOUL BECOMES CONSCIOUS OF ALL THIS , IT IS OVERWHELMED IN GRATITUDE , LOVE , AND PRAISE . See the opening of this psalm and its close. Thus is God's mercy the spring and abiding impulse of the new life unto him. See the well known verse—

"Oh the sweet wonders of that cross

On which my Saviour groaned and died

Her noblest life my spirit draws

From his dear wounds and bleeding side."

S.C.

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