Scott Walker | NHO MANOA
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Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 2 Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? Who can declare all His praise? Psalm 106:1-2
To me Psalm 106 is one of the most interesting chapters in the Bible. Perhaps because it is a brief history of Israel and I love history; but I think more so because it reveals so much about God’s mercy, faithfulness and long-suffering patience with His people.
The history it contains is basically the history of Israel’s unfaithfulness to God and their sin. It opens with a call to praise and thank God for His eternal mercy (vv 1-3); a short petition for God’s favor (vv 4-5); and closes with a petition for salvation and a renewed call to praise God (vv 47-48) which surround sections highlighting Israel’s continued sin.
These sections are confessions of Israel’s sins: their lack of faith and complaining at the Red Sea (vv 7-12); their lust for luxurious food (vv 13-15); the rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron (vv 16-18); the making and worshiping the golden calf (vv 19-23); the refusal to enter the Promised Land (vv 24-27); their involvement in Moabite worship (vv 28-31); their and Moses’ sin at the “waters of strife” or Meribah (vv 32-33); and their ongoing disobedience after they entered the Promised Land, from the time of Joshua through the Babylonian captivity (vv 34-46).
The fact that Israel was not completely eradicated by God throughout their history of sin demonstrated that God was merciful, faithful, long-suffering and patient with them. They should have had ample reasons to thank God, enough evidence of His eternal mercy, enough of His mighty acts to talk about and already be praising God for all things without sinning so much…..
If Psalm 106 was only four versus long, versus 1-2 and 47-48, I would have way more than enough reasons to praise and thank God. For starters God is good; God is completely good in the ultimate sense of the word and He is never bad. Just looking at the pages of Scripture from Genesis through Revelation and my own life I know God’s mercy endures forever. If every human that is alive now, has ever lived and is going to be born were to do nothing but name God’s mighty acts they still could not all be named.
There is no one that can declare all the things God should be praised for because we are not and never will even be aware of all the things God should be praised for. Like all of God’s people I should praise and thank the Lord for being merciful with me and making me good, I should tell of the mighty acts He has done in my life and declare all His praise. But sadly like the Israelites I have more reasons than I should have to praise and thank God.
I understand what Paul was speaking about in Romans 6:1-2 when he wrote, should we sin more so we have more grace? By no means! If I were to write a history of my life it would be much like Israel’s; after God saved me at an early age my lifestyle actually got worse as I got older. God remained merciful with me and faithful to me; it sounds strange but because of my disobedience and sin I gave myself too many reasons to praise and thank God…..
Merciful Heavenly Father I worship You because Your mercy endures forever, Your mighty acts and all You give me to praise and thank You for. I thank and praise You for your continued mercy, faithfulness and forgiveness when I continued to disobey You, was unfaithful to You and sinned against You. I pray these things in the name of Jesus Amen…..