Man’s perverseness arises continually from his stupidity toward God.
Our understandings are dull; our memories are treacherous, so that we easily lose sight of God’s mercies.
In spite of our treatment, He is a gracious God who pities us and is ever making merciful allowances for us, not giving us our full deserts.
1 Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise?
3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.
4 Remember me, O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation;
5 That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.
6 We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.
7 Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.
8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.
9 He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.
10 And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
11 And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left.
12 Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.
13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:
14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.
15 And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.
16 They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the LORD.
17 The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram.
18 And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked.
19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image.
20 Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.
21 They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;
22 Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea.
23 Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.
24 Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word:
25 But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD.
26 Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness:
27 To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands.
28 They joined themselves also unto Baal-peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.
29 Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them.
30 Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.
31 And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.
32 They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes:
33 Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips.
34 They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them:
35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.
36 And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,
38 And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.
40 Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.
41 And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.
43 Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.
44 Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry:
45 And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.
46 He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives.
47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.
48 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 106:1-15 – Unfailing Loving-Kindness
Who can utter? (Psalm 106:2). That is an unanswered question. Not even the leader of the heavenly choir can answer it. But what blessedness it brings to the heart of one who begins to recite the goodness and loving-kindness of God! When prayer goes heavily, begin to praise.
The theme of this psalm is God’s redeeming grace. It contains a gruesome catalogue of sin. We have sinned… we have committed iniquity… Our fathers understood not… they remembered not… but provoked… They soon forgot… they waited not… But lusted exceedingly… and tempted God. But side by side were the divine love and mercy: “Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake,”Psalm 106:8. God is bound to keep His Covenant, even to the children’s children. He must act worthily of Himself. “Truth” is another spelling of “troth.” When God has pledged His troth, as He did to Abraham, and has also to us, He cannot fail.
Notice the pathetic prayer of Psalm 106:4. Though we are more or less implicated in the sins of those around us, we, as Christians, may claim special favor and help, in order to be placed in a stronger position when we come to intercede for others. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 106:15—He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.
Israel insisted on being fed, not with manna only, but with flesh. The people complained of their heaven-sent food as too light and unsatisfying. Their gross appetite demanded some heavier diet. So the wind brought down quails, flying a few feet from the ground, within easy reach of club or stick. These they ate ravenously, voraciously, greedily. “The people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails” (Numbers 11:32). Their pampered bodies were gorged with food. They had their desire, but their souls were starved. “While the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled… and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague” (Numbers 11:33). They were buried in the graves of lust.
Generally speaking, the soul and body fare inversely. When the body is pampered with every luxury, the soul starves. The soul thrives best when the body cries out. Probably we all have to choose, not once or twice, in life, whether we will have the full satisfaction of our appetites, and lean souls; or be lean as to our circumstances, while the spirit is keen, alert, and full of vigorous life.
It seems as though the shadow of the eternal were perpetually hiding from us the eternal itself. Those that snatch at the shadow miss the eternal; those who refuse to be satisfied with the shadow, reach the satisfying vision of God; and to find God is to find all in and with Him. Oh, do not seek to impose your will on God; do not insist on anything with too great vehemence; let God choose. Whenever you make request for things which are not definitely promised, ask God not to grant them, except it be up for the very best. —Our Daily Homily
Psalm 106:16-33 – Judgment Restrained by Intercession
The strife between the ungodly and the servants of God has characterized all the centuries. These verses record some of its phases. Moses is called God’s chosen, Aaron his saint, while Phinehas is held in honor as one to whom his noble deed was counted for righteousness. But such men are always envied, refused, resisted. Men hate them, but God loves and vindicates them for their loyalty and uncompromising righteousness.
It is beautiful to notice how, so far from human hatred inducing such leaders to turn from their persecutors, it seems to drive them to more intense and ceaseless intercession for them. They stand in the breach, to turn away deserved wrath. From the days of Abraham, who prayed for Sodom, right down the stream of time, the people of God have been his remembrancers, giving Him no rest. Let us cultivate the great art of intercession; and if there is need, let us, like Phinehas, not hesitate to strike strongly in the interests of purity. But while thus standing before men, we must cultivate the grace of humility. We are only servants at the most and must not arrogate more to ourselves. Our authority is only delegated. This is where Moses failed, Numbers 20:2-13. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 106:34-48 – Regarded When They Cried
Israel’s conquest of Canaan did not fulfill the divine mandate. The inhabitants, whose sins had become a menace to mankind, were allowed to exist side by side with the Hebrew immigrants; and, as is often the case, the conquerors were conquered, and the invaders were contaminated by the morals of the invaded. Intermarriage poured a large admixture of alien blood into Israel, and the excesses of idolatry, even to the hideous practice of human sacrifices, became intensified by the ties of kinship and neighborhood.
The whole history of Israel is summed up as alternating cycles of sin and punishment, repentance and deliverance; and we are left wondering, first at the inveterate evil of the human heart, which learns nothing from experience, and next at the inexhaustible long-suffering of God, which, while justice strikes, yet finds some way of alleviating the smart of the stroke, Psalm 106:46. The love of God persists all through humanism and outreaches it.
The prayer of Psalm 106:47 shows that this psalm was written in exile. The psalmist hopes and believes that one result of his people’s restoration will be thankfulness and the expression upon grateful lips of never-ending praise. So ends the fourth book of the Psalter. —Through the Bible Day by Day