May 4. Supreme God Cares for His People; Is Long-suffering

Ps. 96:1-13; 105:1-45; 106:1-48

The psalmist admonished his readers to sing praises to the Lord and to declare His glory to all nations. He is to be glorified and feared above all gods. In Him are honor, majesty, strength and beauty. As the creator of all things, God reigns over all nations as the righteous judge.

In introducing this psalm, the poet expressed that the people should give thanks and sing psalms to the One who had performed wondrous works before them. The psalmist recited the events beginning with God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through Joseph’s trials and triumphs in Egypt. He continued with the famine that brought their fathers into Egypt, the land of Ham. The writer mentioned plagues against the Egyptians that resulted in their being released from their bondage. God’s care eventually led to the settling of His chosen people, the Israelites into the Promised Land, Canaan. We must remember that all of those events were in God’s plan to eventually bring His Son to earth to save all of mankind.

“Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” That opening statement of praise and thanks soon faded into a series of laments over the rebellion of the Israelite fathers in the wilderness. God had freed them from Egypt, destroyed their enemies, fed and watered them. Many of the sins of Israel were recalled, including murmuring and turning to idols. Refusing to enter Canaan at the returning of the spies resulted in forty years of aimless wandering.

Even after entering Canaan, the Israelites continued to displease God. They neglected to destroy all of the people that He had commanded of them. Furthermore, they continued to worship foreign gods, even to the extent of sacrificing their children to those gods. God allowed Israel to be given over and oppressed by their enemies. However, when he would hear their cry for mercy, the Lord would remember His covenant and in His mercy deliver his people.