Praise the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures for ever.
Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord
or fully declare his praise?
Blessed are those who act justly,
who always do what is right.
Remember me, Lord, when you show favour to your people,
come to my aid when you save them,
that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones,
that I may share in the joy of your nation
and join your inheritance in giving praise.
We have sinned, even as our ancestors did;(Ps. 106:1-12 NIV)
we have done wrong and acted wickedly.
When our ancestors were in Egypt,
they gave no thought to your miracles;
they did not remember your many kindnesses,
and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea.
Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
to make his mighty power known.
He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up;
he led them through the depths as through a desert.
He saved them from the hand of the foe;
from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them.
The waters covered their adversaries;
not one of them survived.
Then they believed his promises
and sang his praise.
This Psalm begins with the call to worship. The Lord is both good in Himself, and good to His people. The covenant love (hesed) of the Lord endures for ever. Nothing we can do or fail to do, or anyone else can do, can prevent the covenant love of the Lord towards us to change. Because of the Lord’s great covenant love we receive grace and mercy from the Lord. We did not deserve to become Christians, we do not deserve to be Christians, and we will never deserve what God will shower upon us in eternity.
We can see our limitations in worship. Even when our minds and hearts are fully focussed and we are free from all other distractions, we can never proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord. We can never fully sound the praise of the Lord as we ought.
We as worshippers change all the time. Our devotion to the Lord ebbs and flows, but the Lord remains faithful, He never changes. His love towards us is everlasting and unchanging.
The people of God should respond to the goodness of God by maintaining justice and continuing to do what is right before the eyes of the Lord.
V6 indicates that the people of God have not been faithful, they have sinned. The Psalmist also has sinned. He calls upon the Lord to remember him when He shows favour to the people of God. The Psalmist makes no argument about any right on his part to be remembered by the Lord. He pleads to be remembered and to find favour with the Lord. The Psalmist wants the Lord to visit with blessing. The only basis on which a plea can be made for blessing is the character of God and the enduring covenant love. There has been a loss of spiritual prosperity and a, a loss of joy, and the praise of the Lord has not sounded forth. It is possible that they went through the motions of worship, but it was lacking in joy and praise. They came with their lips, sounding out the Psalms of praise but their hearts were far from the Lord.
The Psalmist looks back on the history of the Lord’s people and acknowledges that his generation has sinned as well. It seems as if some of the detail that was missed out in the previous Psalm has been touched upon here. The people did not show proper regard for the miracles that were performed in Egypt. Even as they stood on the shore of the Red Sea, hemmed in by mountains and pursued by the enemy, they rebelled against God. After having so recently witnessed the miracles of the Lord, they simply forgot all the kindnesses of the Lord. Nevertheless God saved them for the sake of His own name. The Lord displayed His mighty power by causing the waves to stand up and making the seabed became as dry as the surface of the desert. Of course a few Psalms earlier we saw how the Lord rebuked the waters during the days of creation so that they receded to their place.
The Lord saved His people out of the hand of the enemy. They faced certain death because all avenues of escape had been cut off. What was salvation to the people of God, became judgement to the Egyptians. They pursued the people of God through the Red Sea and they were lost. Not one soldier survived. Then the people of God believed the promises and they praised the Lord.
Almighty God, God of salvation, we have experienced Your love in our hearts, yet we have sinned. We opened our mouths to pray and sing, but it lacked joy. Lord we confess that we have sinned against You in word, thought and deed. Forgive all our sins, cleanse us from our iniquities. Help us to have faith in You and believe the promises that You have made to us and help us to offer the sacrifice of praise – the fruit of our lips because we pray in Jesus name. Amen.