One of the things my family loves to do at gatherings is telling stories. We recall the quirky personalities of loved ones who have departed. We talk about how couples met and got married. We tell our children some of the funny things older members of our family did when they were young. These stories, told again and again, play an important part of forming family identity and binding us to one another. We have a shared history.
Psalm 105 recounts and celebrates God’s history with Israel. It is closely connected to the psalm before it and the one after it. These three psalms follow the sequence of Israel’s history from Creation and the Fall (Psalm 104) to God’s call of Abraham to the conquest of the land (Psalm 105), ending in Israel’s apostasy and exile (Psalm 106). Today’s reading shares family stories of God’s faithfulness.
The Psalmist calls people to “remember the wonders he has done” (v. 5). He highlights the promise God made to Abraham to give his descendants the land of Canaan (vv. 8–11). This promise is seen as a primary factor in Israel’s history. When there was a famine, God had sent Joseph ahead of his family to Egypt to provide for them (vv. 16–22). When Israel was enslaved, God freed them (v. 27). God led and guided them in the wilderness and brought them into the Promised Land (vv. 42–45). One theme runs through this psalm: God keeps His promises! When Joseph was sold as a slave, God had not abandoned him, but used him to deliver His people. When Israel was enslaved to a major superpower, Egypt, God demonstrated His glory by delivering them.
>> Despite how desperate things may look, God’s people should never give up hope in His promises. He will be faithful just as He has been in the past. Believers today can be confident that Christ will return and we can trust in God’s promises.