Vs. 1-5 praise God for preserving His nation;
Vs. 6-46 trace Israelite sins from Exodus-Judges;
Vs. 47-48 praise God for preserving His nation.
If Psalm 105 follows God’s promise and plan from Abraham-through the Exodus of Israelites from Egypt under Moses; then Psalm 106 traces the sins of those people from their formation as a people in the Book of Exodus-to their settling in the Promised Land in the Book of Judges. The history of the Israelites is not a witness to their righteousness but a testimony of God’s plan, providence, and patience in using them until Jesus Christ was born. They were never God’s “permanent chosen people,” but a means to the end of the promised “seed,” “who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16-17).
Verses 1-5: God is best to be praised, thanked, and remembered by “he who does righteousness at all times” (verse 3). To be remembered by God, one must remember God!
Verses 6-12: Exodus 6-15. This illustrates how hard-hearted Israelites have been – immediately after the miracles in Egypt to release them, they desired to return when Pharaoh pursued them to the Red Sea! God completely destroyed the Egyptian army in the same Sea the Israelites had crossed: no shallow end of the pool, this!
Verses 13-15: Numbers 11. Emphasis here is upon the phrase “soon forgot His works” (verse 13).
Verses 16-18: Numbers 16. The challenge to the leadership of Moses and Aaron was met with the earth swallowing up the challengers, and fire from heaven consuming 250 men illegally offering incense to God.
Verses 19-23: Exodus 32. Israel exchanged the living God “Who had done great things in Egypt” (verse 21) for “an image of an ox that eats grass” (verse 20). Go figure!
Verses 24-27: Numbers 13-14. Because “they did not believe His word” they sent 12 spies into the Promised Land to see if they could conquer it, and even after 2 spies showed faith to then enter, the 10 spies prevailed. God made them wander in the wilderness 1 year for every day the spies had taken, and only the 2 spies with a good report were allowed to enter that Land along with all numbered under 20 years old who had come out of Egypt.
Verses 28-31: Numbers 25. Adultery with the women of Moab prompted Jehovah to caused a plague of death come to 24,000 Israelites.
Verses 32-33: Numbers 20:1-13. The Israelites’ constant murmuring provoked even Moses to disobey God in providing them water from a rock. This was his only sin that kept him from entering the Promised Land.
Verses 34-39: Joshua. In conquering the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, the Israelites were to completely eradicate the Canaanites. This was not done, and the Israelites were easily influenced into idolatry by those Canaanites.
Verses 40-46: Judges. Because of their partial obedience in the Book of Joshua, a pattern was established that when they sinned, they would be overcome by a non-Israelite people, cry out to God, who would provide them a “judge” to lead them to overcome their oppressors.
Verses 47-48: Acknowledge God who can gather the Israelites “from among the Gentiles.” The “Praise the LORD” at the beginning and end of this Psalm shows that, in spite of their sins, God is willing to forgive those who repent and turn back to Him.
Thought: This list of horrible sins done by God’s own people under Moses’ Law proves they were not chosen because of their inherent righteousness; God could have used “rocks” instead of people as John the Baptist said (Matthew 3:1-9); and that there is no such thing as “once-saved-always-saved” and never has been! The bad example of the Israelites is a lesson never to be forgotten by Christians (1 Corinthians 10:1-12; Hebrews 3-4).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.