Godís Providence in Psalm 105

 

One thing I love to do when I study Godís Word is to observe how God works in the background to bring about his will and protection for his people. The ISEB defines God providence this way.

 

The doctrine of divine providence, therefore, has reference to that preservation care and government which God exercises over all things that He has created in order they may accomplish the ends for which they were created. (ISEB)

 

Simply put God has always been and always will be involved in our lives as he is in control over his creation. The reason why he can do this is because he is all powerful Gen. 17:1 all knowing, Heb. 4:13 and always present Jer. 23:24. These divine characteristics of God show us that he has the ability to direct the destiny of his creation.

 

However, I want to make it clear Godís never violates our free will because he always given us the choice to choose our destiny. Lets, begin our study by reading the first 7 verses of Psalm 105.

 

Psalm 105:1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!2 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works!3 Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!4 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!5 Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,6 O seed of Abraham His servant, You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!7 He is the LORD our God; His judgments are in all the earth.

 

Here we see that children of Israel have been called together to remember the great works God has done in their lives. As they reflect upon the providence of God, they are to share with one another what God has done for them in their life. They are to thank God for all that he has done and they are to sing and rejoice for all that hand of the Lord has done for them. Then finally in verse 7 they proclaim that God is their Lord.

 

This is a great introduction to this Psalm and I hope that you and I can learn just how important it is for us to stand back and reflect in our own lives what God had done for us. We have all been touched by the hand of God and have seen him working in our lives. We can certainly count our blessing because we can go to our Bibles at anytime and we can read and see how God providence brought about our salvation through his son. Its very important that we share with one another the blessing we have received that way we can rejoice for one another and be lifted up by one another.

 

Anytime we can recognize that God is working in our lives through his providence it should be a time of great rejoicing and singing and giving thanks to God almighty. It should thrill us to death that we have God that loves us and cares for us and is always there for us. Just as verse 7 said he is the Lord our God.

 

Now after the children of Israel have been called together to remember God and his providential care notice what the Psalmist says next,

 

Psalm 105:8 He remembers His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,9 The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac,10 And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant,11 Saying, "To you I will give the land of Canaan As the allotment of your inheritance,"

 

If there is one thing that you and I can count on, its the fact that God remembers his covenant and he never fails to keep his promises. The covenant he made with Abraham included more than just the land promise. Notice what God tells Abraham in,

 

Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you.2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

 

All these promises that God made to Abraham he reaffirmed them to Isaac and to Jacob and today we have the privilege and honor of being able to read and see all that God did to bring about all these promises. In fact, we have benefited from these promises because these promise caused all nations to be blessed because they led to Jesus coming to the earth to die for our sins so that both Jew and Gentile can enjoy the wonderful blessing of salvation.

 

When we look at these OT events and see the promises of God come about it, should give us great hope and confidence in our God. This is why its so important that we study the OT and learn as much as we can about the nature of God as Paul says in, Ď

 

Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

 

Now lets get back to our text starting in,

 

Psalm 105:12 When they were few in number, Indeed very few, and strangers in it.13 When they went from one nation to another, From one kingdom to another people,14 He permitted no one to do them wrong; Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes,15 Saying, "Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm."

 

We need to remember when God made his covenant with Abraham he was very small in number, but not even kingdoms made up of thousands of men were allowed to do harm to Abrahams seed. God was always there in background watching and jumping into action making sure that his chosen people would survive and thrive. When we read about how God protected Israel over and over again it should bring comfort to us today knowing that this same God is watching out for you and I because we are the new spiritual Israel. In fact the N.T. teaches many times just how much God is working in our lives with his providence. Consider what Jesus says in,

 

John 10:28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.30 "I and My Father are one."

 

No one on this earth has the power to take us out of God hands because He is all powerful and He is in full control. Since he is full control we have no reason to fear those around us as Jesus says,

 

Matthew 10:28 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

 

Its important that we always realize how powerful our God really is and that there nothing on this earth that has the power separate us from His love. We are the only ones that have the ability not to choose to accept His love and protection. I also like what Paul says in,

 

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

 

Friends Paul is letting us know that God is working in our lives every single day because that is the only way this statement could be true. Every day you and I face temptation but God working through his providence makes sure that we are not tempted beyond what we can handle. He knows our hearts and he knows that some temptations are very challenging to us but we should use these moments to grow stronger by learning to turn away from sin no matter how tempting it may be.

 

Once again lets get back to our text,

 

Psalm 105:16 Moreover He called for a famine in the land; He destroyed all the provision of bread.17 He sent a man before them -- Joseph -- who was sold as a slave.18 They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons.19 Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him.20 The king sent and released him, The ruler of the people let him go free.21 He made him lord of his house, And ruler of all his possessions,22 To bind his princes at his pleasure, And teach his elders wisdom.23 Israel also came into Egypt, And Jacob dwelt in the land of Ham.

 

The is a brief summary of what happened to Joseph and how God used him to save the children of Israel from dieing out. If you will recall Jacob, his father, was showing favoritism for him and this made his brother mad and so one day, they decided to put an end to their brotherís life. But just at the right time some slave traders just happened by and they sold him into slavery for 20 pieces of silver instead Gen. 37:28. No matter where Joseph went God blessed Him in what he did. When he was working at Potiphars house everything prospered that he touched and even after he was falsely accused by Potiphers wife he did not lose his life instead he was sent to another prison and even there he was blessed by God as he was put in charge of the prison. Then the Pharaoh had a dream that scared him and he did not understand and no one could interpret but Joseph was able to and he predicted there would be 7 years of plenty then 7 years of famine just as we read in our Psalm. Next Joseph is made 2nd in command of all Egypt and is put in charge of the food supply. Sure enough after 7 years the famine begins which causes his brothers to come to Egypt to seek food which leads to the children of Israel moving to Egypt and surviving the famine. All this took place so that God could take care of his chosen people and Joseph himself realized this in the end. Notice what he says to his brothers in regards to what they had done to him,

 

Genesis 50:20 "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

 

Now lets get back to our Psalm,

 

Psalm 105:24 He increased His people greatly, And made them stronger than their enemies.25 He turned their heart to hate His people, To deal craftily with His servants.26 He sent Moses His servant, And Aaron whom He had chosen.27 They performed His signs among them, And wonders in the land of Ham.28 He sent darkness, and made it dark; And they did not rebel against His word.29 He turned their waters into blood, And killed their fish.30 Their land abounded with frogs, Even in the chambers of their kings.31 He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, And lice in all their territory.32 He gave them hail for rain, And flaming fire in their land.33 He struck their vines also, and their fig trees, And splintered the trees of their territory.34 He spoke, and locusts came, Young locusts without number,35 And ate up all the vegetation in their land, And devoured the fruit of their ground.36 He also destroyed all the firstborn in their land, The first of all their strength.37 He also brought them out with silver and gold, And there was none feeble among His tribes.38 Egypt was glad when they departed, For the fear of them had fallen upon them.

 

Now the Psalmist continues on to remind the children of Israel of how God had made it possible for their people to grow strong and be freed from slavery. Once the children of Israel moved into Egypt and Joseph died they became the Egyptians slaves and some 400 + years had passed and now they were huge and this became a great concern to the Pharaoh at the time because he knew that if they decided to they could defeat the Egyptians. This is why he ordered their first born males all be killed but by the providence of God he made sure that Moses was spared and we all know that Moses was raised up in the Pharaohs household and was probably on his way to becoming a Pharaoh some day but instead at the age of 40 he kills another Egyptians for beating one his fellow Hebrew brethren. Then 40 years later God calls on him to go speak to the Pharaoh to let his people go.

 

His brother Aaron joins with Moses and goes and speaks to the Pharaoh but the he will not let his people go because his heart was harden. We are told 3 different things about the hardening of Pharaohís heart.

 

First the Bible says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart and did not take heed to God instruction (Exod. 8:15, 32 9:34). Sometimes it simply says that Pharaohís heart was hardened (Exod 8:19, 9:35) and other times it says that God hardened his heart (Exod. 9:12, 10:20, 27; 11:10; 14:8). Please remember that God providence does not take awayfrom a person free will so when it says that God hardened his heart it was against his free will it was by his own choosing. Since the Pharaoh didnít like the message from God to let his people go this is what caused his heart to be harden. So God uses the Pharaoh to show his people and the Egyptians that he is the only true God.

 

Notice we can see this in very clearly in,

 

Exodus 9:13 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, 'Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: "Let My people go, that they may serve Me,14 "for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth.15 "Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth.16 "But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.

 

So we have God working through the Pharaoh and through Moses and Aaron to bring about the deliverance of the children of Israel. In this case God used the 10 plagues to show that he had power over all the false Gods of Egypt and after the 10 plague which was the death of their first born males Pharaoh finally let them go and the people even gave them great quantities of Gold and Silver as they left. Again all this came about because of God working in their lives.

 

Psalm 105:39 He spread a cloud for a covering, And fire to give light in the night.40 The people asked, and He brought quail, And satisfied them with the bread of heaven.41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out; It ran in the dry places like a river.42 For He remembered His holy promise, And Abraham His servant.††

 

Again the Psalmist gives another brief account of how God took care of the children of Israel after they crossed the Red Sea and then wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.

He was always there for them, guiding them in they way they should go. He continually supplied water and food for them and even made it to where there clothes never wore out during this journey. This whole journey was leading up to them coming into the land of Canaan so that they could fulfill the land promise that was made to Abraham many years before hand. Just as God had promised they did receive the land of Canaan just as Psalmist concludes.

 

Psalm 105:43 He brought out His people with joy, His chosen ones with gladness.44 He gave them the lands of the Gentiles, And they inherited the labor of the nations,45 That they might observe His statutes And keep His laws. Praise the LORD!

 

I cant emphasize enough the same God that took care and provided for the children of Israel is the same loving God that is working in our lives today. Just as he kept the promise of giving the land of Canaan to those who put their faith and trust in him and who obeyed his commands he has made a similar promise to us today except the land he has promised us cannot be found on this earth because it can only be found in heaven itself.

 

If you are living your life for God and striving to do your best at obeying his command then you can have all the confidence in the world that God is watching out for you and there is home for you in heaven. But, order for us to truly reap the benefits of Godís providence we must be obedient to his will. Paul makes this statement in,

 

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

 

Notice there are two elements required in reaping the benefits of Godís providential care. First we are to love God and to love God means that we are going to obey his commands.

 

John 14:15 " If you love Me, keep My commandments.

 

Second element is being called by God. Now some use this expression freely and say God called me to do this or that but those statements are based on speculation. The called out that Paul is speaking of are Christian who have be called by the word of God. Notice

 

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.

 

So if a person wants God working in their life making things work out for the Good they must be a Christian who has obeyed the gospel and who love the Lord and shows their love by living faithfully according to Godís commands.

 

We have learned several things from this lesson the morning.

 

1. The will of God will always be accomplished.

2. The providence of God will never violate our free will.

3. God never fails His people and He always keeps His promises

4. God can work through obedient men such a Moses or Aaron and He can work through wicked men such as the Pharaoh.

5. In order to reap the benefits of Godís providence we must be obedient to His commands.

6. Finally, we have learned that God loves us and He is always there for us as He works is our lives daily.

 

So, the next time you start feeling bad about how your life is going remind yourself about the providence of God and how he will make things work out for the good in the end.