November 15 2023
Today, Wednesday November 15
“Save Us, O LORD Our God”
41 And He gave them into the hand of the Gentiles, And those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies also oppressed them, And they were brought into subjection under their hand.
43 Many times He delivered them; But they rebelled in their counsel, And were brought low for their iniquity.
44 Nevertheless He regarded their affliction, When He heard their cry;
45 And for their sake He remembered His covenant, And relented according to the multitude of His mercies.
46 He also made them to be pitied By all those who carried them away captive.
47 Save us, O LORD our God, And gather us from among the Gentiles, To give thanks to Your holy name, To triumph in Your praise.
48 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, "Amen!" Praise the LORD!
Today we will finish our chats on Psalm 106. We need to remember that this psalm is a summary of the history of Israel written by an anonymous writer after their captivity in Babylon. It was to encourage the current generation of Jews to trust the LORD and live for Him by reminding them that when their forefathers obeyed God and lived by His commandments and His Word they were blessed and enjoyed His protection, prosperity, peace, and security. But when they forgot God and disobeyed His Word, they were chastened, afflicted, and became slaves and servants to surrounding enemy nations.
What is true of Israel and its history is also true of any nation. “The wicked shall be cast into hell and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17). According to 1 Corinthians 10, this history lesson for the Jewish nation can also be applied to our own individual lives and families, and even to our churches. If we love and obey the Lord, we will be blessed with His presence and His peace, despite what might be going on around us! But if we disobey Him and His Word, we will face His discipline and be chastened and afflicted so that we might repent and return back to Him.
I believe that verses 41-44 refer to the events of the book of Judges when the Israelites would disobey God, and begin to practice evil like the nations around them, and God would allow the surrounding enemy nations to afflict them and make them servants in their own land. This was repeated over and over again, but each time when they cried out to God for help, He would send a judge who would deliver them.
But in verses 45-47, the psalmist also reminded them that in His covenant, the Lord warned that if Israel continued to resist and disobey, even after experiencing His chastening, He would take them out of their land and scatter them. Leviticus 26:27-39 spells this out specifically: “And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins….I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it. I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies' land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths.” This warning is repeated in Deuteronomy 28:48-68.
This happened first, when the kingdom was divided between the ten tribes of Israel (the northern kingdom) and the two tribes of Benjamin and Judah (the southern kingdom). Then In 722 BC., the Assyrians captured Israel and absorbed the ten tribes into their own empire. But in 606-586 B.C., the Babylonians invaded Judah, destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, and took the best of the people captive to Babylon. The Jewish people were rooted out of their own "beautiful land" and scattered among the nations. This fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah that they would be in captivity in Babylon for 70 years.
The Medes and Persians conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. and the next year Cyrus decreed that the Jews could return to their land. However, the Davidic dynasty was not restored in their kingdom. The psalmist closed with a prayer that the scattered children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would one day be gathered together so that they might worship Jehovah and give glory to His name. This will be ultimately fulfilled at the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of the Seven-Year Tribulation and Jesus sits on the throne of David in Jerusalem and reigns with Israel and the Church over all the earth for a thousand years!
The psalmist closes this psalm with a prayer. “Save us, O LORD our God”. But not just so that we will feel better, but that “we might give thanks to His holy name and to triumph in His praise.” Also note, verse 48 closes the fourth book of Psalms, and does so with the characteristic doxology which marks the close of the other four books.
May the Lord help us all to learn and take heed to this great history lesson in Psalm 106!