Vs. 1-6 remind God’s people to keep their focus on God;
Vs. 7-15 remind them of His provision for their fathers;
Vs. 16-23 remind them of how He got them into Egypt;
Vs. 24-38 remind them of how He got them out of Egypt;
Vs. 39-45 remind them of His original plan to get them into the Promised Land.
Psalm 105:1-15 is quoted in 1 Chronicles 16:7-22 where it is attributed to David who gave it to “Asaph and his brethren to thank the LORD.” It recounts the history of Israel recorded in the inspired Bible Books of Genesis-Joshua. The lesson is that this history is part of remembering “His marvelous works which He has done,” in other words, preaching the Bible to strengthen our faith.
Verses 1-6: The Bible is all about God and His dealings with mankind, Psalm 104 starts at “the beginning,” and Psalm 105 takes it from there to the Israelites settled in their Promised Land. “His name” (verse 1) is behind “His deeds; His “wondrous works” cause singing and rejoicing (verses 2-3); security is found in “His strength” (verse 4); faith is based upon “His marvelous works,” “His wonders,” and His “judgments” (verse 5); surely Israelites should have learned to obey Him (verse 6).
Verses 7-15: God made “judgments” “in all the earth” (verse 7); so certainly He “remembered His covenant forever,” which is “a thousand generations” (verse 8); “He made with Abraham” (Genesis 12:1-3; 22:15-18), “oath to Isaac” (Genesis 26:3-5), “Jacob for a statute” (Genesis 28:13-15; 35:9-15) for “an everlasting covenant” (verses 9-10). This promised them “the land of Canaan” (verse 11) when they were few in number and not native to it (verse 12; Genesis 34:30). Verse 13 covers the time in Genesis 12-36, while verses 14-15 include incidents showing God’s protection as written in: Genesis 12:10-20; 20:1-18; 21:22-34.
Verses 16-23: The story of Joseph (verses 16-23) is detailed from Genesis 37:1-36; 38:1-50:26.
Verses 24-38: Verses 24-25 condenses the narrative in Exodus 1:1-22; verses 26-36 covers the plagues that released the Israelites in Exodus 2:1-12:30; verses 37-38 recaps Exodus 12:31-36 and the desire of Egyptians to let them go with some of their silver and gold.
Verses 39-45: Verse 39 is in Exodus 13:21; verse 40 is in Exodus 16:1-36; verse 41 is in Exodus 17:1-7. God led Israel, though they murmured and complained about their situation, He kept “His holy promise” (verse 42), and delivered them “with joy” and “gladness” (verse 43). They conquered the Land of Canaan (verse 44; Book of Joshua), to give them opportunity to “keep His laws” (verse 45).
Thought: This narrative in Psalm 105 leaves out the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 13:17-15:21), their lack of faith by sending 12 spies into the land first and their consequent 40-year wilderness wandering (Numbers 13:1-14:38), or their failed attempt to attack anyway (Numbers 14:39-45). Psalm 105 emphasizes God’s plan, provision, and protection for Israel in keeping His part of the covenant, rather than dwelling upon Israel’s disregard for their part of the covenant. After all, faith in God is worthy of praise and strengthening to a believer’s faith, instead of hovering over the example of failure of the Israelites.
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.