An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 116 – Be Thankful Through Saving The Poor (Psalms 106-109)

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1. While we are to praise God and be thankful to Him, will we be able to speak of everything He has done?
No: “(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 (Psalms 106:1-2)?

* “(8) I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: (9) Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number” (Job 5:8-9).

* “Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered” (Psalms 40:5).

*
“(17) How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! (18) If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee” (Psalms 139:17-18).

*
“(33) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (34) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? (35) Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? (36) For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Romans 11:33-36).

2. Is it possible to do righteousness at all times?
Yes: “Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times” (Psalms 106:3).

* See also:
Deuteronomy 11:1, Psalms 119:20; 112, Matthew 5:48, II Corinthians 7:1, II Corinthians 13:11, I Timothy 6:13-14, Hebrews 6:1-3, James 1:3-4; 26-27, I Peter 1:13-16, and II Peter 3:10-14.

3. Did the Psalmist remember that God saved Israel in Egypt though they were unfaithful to Him?
Yes: “(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 (Psalms 106:4-12).

4. Did the Psalmist fail to record that Israel forgot God’s good works and went on to do evil?
No: “(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” (Psalms 106:13-42).

* The fact that Israel did not drive out the heathen is well documented (
Judges 1:19-35). God had told Israel that this would be their downfall (Numbers 33:52-56).

5. Does the Psalmist record anything that shows the pattern of salvation and subsequent apostasy was repetitive?
Yes: “Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity” (Psalms 106:43).

6. What caused God to regard their afflictions and save Israel?
“(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” (Psalms 106:44-45).

7. God made Israel to be pitied in the eyes of whom?
“He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives (Psalms 106:46).

8. From where did the children of Israel need gathered?
“(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” (Psalms 106:47-48).

9. What are some things the redeemed in the Old Testament were saved from?
“(1) O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (2) Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; (3) And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. (4) They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. (5) Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. (6) Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. (7) And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. (8) Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (9) For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness” (Psalms 107:1-9).

10. Why did the children of Israel find themselves in darkness having their hearts brought down with labor?
“(10) Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; (11) Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: (12) Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help” (Psalms 107:10-12).

11. How did the children of Israel get out of the darkness they found themselves in?
“(13) Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. (14) He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder” (Psalms 107:13-14)!

* This process is over and over again, as we’ve already discussed:
“(7) I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. (8) For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. (9) In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. (10) But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. (11) Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him” (Isaiah 63:7-11)?

12. As you read Psalms 107:15-43, list three things that stood out to you.
1. The phrase “oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness…” (vs.15; 21). This should have been an obvious fact for God’s people.

2. That God’s works are seen in the fields (vs.
34-38), seas (vs. 23-27), rivers (vs. 33), etc.

3. That God sets the poor on high while setting contempt upon the princes (vs.
40-41).

4. Here is the kicker:
“Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD” (Psalms 107:43).
* See: “(17) That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

13. As the 108
th Psalm begins, where is the heart of the Psalmist?
Fixed upon God: “O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory” (Psalms 108:1; cf. Psalms 57:7 and Psalms 112:7).

* Consider:
“And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 32:46).

14. Was this Psalmist willing to praise God for His mercy and truth?
Yes: “(2) Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. (3) I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. (4) For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds” (Psalms 108:2-4).

15. Did the Psalmist perceive that God would be exalted if He delivered His beloved [Israel] and did not cast them off?
Yes: “(5) Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth; (6) That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me. (7) God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. (8) Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver; (9) Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph. (10) Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? (11) Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts” (Psalms 108:5-11)?
16. Did the Psalmist understand that God was the only true hope for Israel’s deliverance?
Yes: “(12) Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. (13) Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies” (Psalms 108:12-13).

* Trusting in man is certainly vain:
“(3) Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. (4) His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. (5) Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God” (Psalms 146:3-5).

“Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together” (Isaiah 31:3).

“(5) Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. (6) For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. (7) Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. (8) For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” (Jeremiah 17:5-8).

17. Why did the Psalmist ask God not to hold his peace?
“(1) Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; (2) For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. (3) They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause (Psalms 109:1-3).

18. Were the adversaries of the Psalmist against him because he did something evil to them?
They rewarded his love for them by hating him in return: “(3) They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. (4) For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. (5) And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love (Psalms 109:3-5).

* Instead of imploding, the Psalmist prayed (Psalms 69:12-13 and Luke 6:11-12).

19. Did the Psalmist request light punishment for his adversaries?
No, he wanted some serious punishment handed out by God: “(6) Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. (7) When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin. (8) Let his days be few; and let another take his office. (9) Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. (10) Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places. (11) Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour. (12) Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children. (13) Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out. (14) Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. (15) Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth. (16) Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart. (17) As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. (18) As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones. (19) Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually. (20) Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul” (Psalms 109:6-20).

* “The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked” (Psalms 58:10).

*
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

*
“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 7).

20. What mental and physical condition is the Psalmist in during his time of affliction?
Weak: “(21) But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me. (22) For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. (23) I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust. (24) My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness. (25) I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads” (Psalms 109:21-25).

21. What did the Psalmist think would occur if God saved him?
His enemies would be ashamed: “(26) Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy: (27) That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it. (28) Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice. (29) Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle” (Psalms 109:26-29).

22. What reason does the 109
th Psalm conclude with, for greatly praising the Lord?
“(30) I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude. (31) For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul” (Psalms 109:30-31).