Psalm 105

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, O descendants of Abraham his servant, O sons of Jacob, his chosen ones.

He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit.”

When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it, they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”

He called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food; and he sent a man before them— Joseph, sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the LORD proved him true. The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples set him free. He made him master of his household, ruler over all he possessed, to instruct his princes as he pleased and teach his elders wisdom.

Then Israel entered Egypt; Jacob lived as an alien in the land of Ham. The LORD made his people very fruitful; he made them too numerous for their foes, whose hearts he turned to hate his people, to conspire against his servants. He sent Moses his servant, and Aaron, whom he had chosen.

They performed his miraculous signs among them, his wonders in the land of Ham. He sent darkness and made the land dark— for had they not rebelled against his words? He turned their waters into blood, causing their fish to die. Their land teemed with frogs, which went up into the bedrooms of their rulers. He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, and gnats throughout their country. He turned their rain into hail, with lightning throughout their land; he struck down their vines and fig trees and shattered the trees of their country. He spoke, and the locusts came, grasshoppers without number; they ate up every green thing in their land, ate up the produce of their soil. Then he struck down all the firstborn in their land, the firstfruits of all their manhood.

He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold, and from among their tribes no one faltered. Egypt was glad when they left, because dread of Israel had fallen on them. He spread out a cloud as a covering, and a fire to give light at night. They asked, and he brought them quail and satisfied them with the bread of heaven. He opened the rock, and water gushed out; like a river it flowed in the desert. For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham. He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy; he gave them the lands of the nations, and they fell heir to what others had toiled for- that they might keep his precepts and observe his laws. Praise the LORD.

Psalm 105 recounts the way of our God, first promising and then performing with 100% precision. Choosing a people who did nothing to deserve it, He called them His own. He defended them against their enemies, delivered them from slavery in Egypt, sheltered, fed and clothed them while they wandered in the wilderness, and with mighty acts of judgment brought them to the Promised Land, a place of peace and plenty. He elevated them to be the premier people on Earth and dwelt among them as their God.

Why is the ancient history of another people important to us? Because He’s done the same thing in building His Church. Put into an earthly context, God chose Israel to be His wife and together they bore a Son, the Messiah. And then His Son selected a wife for Himself just as His Father had done.

He chose us, a people who have done nothing to deserve it, and called us His own. He defends us against our enemies, delivers us from our slavery to sin, shelters, feeds and clothes us while we wander on the Earth. (Just as Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, the church has wandered on Earth for 40 jubilees, which are 50 year periods of time). Soon, with mighty acts of judgment, He’ll bring us into His Kingdom, an eternity of peace and plenty. He’ll elevate us to be the premier people in the Universe and dwell among us as our God.

Most likely, we still have a little time before that happens so the following example should help us keep things in perspective.   A few years ago we took our then 7 year old son Ben on his first visit to Disneyland. While there we went next door to California Adventures and rode their roller coaster, the California Screamer. It was an incredible ride, shooting us out of a catapult into a twisting, turning course that included 2 consecutive loops and a corkscrew.

When the ride was over, Ben came running toward me with his arms out and the biggest smile I’d ever seen on his face. I thought he was smiling because he had really enjoyed it, but his first words as he hugged me convinced me otherwise. “It’s over!” he exclaimed.

For the church, this next little while might very well be quite similar to Ben’s experience on the California Screamer, lots of scary ups and downs, loop-de-loops and corkscrews. But because the history of the Jewish people serves as our example of God’s love, we can rest assured that soon we’ll be safely back on solid ground in His Eternal Kingdom, and with huge smiles on our faces we’ll run into the loving arms of our Father exclaiming, “It’s over!”