Ten Benevolent Commands for the People of God

In Psalm 105:6, there is a reference to the offspring of Abraham, children of Jacob, his chosen ones.  It is a reference to the people of God in the OT.  I would like to extend this text us, as the people of God in the NT. 

 

There are NT references to Christians that parallel the titles given to Israel in Psalm 105:6:

·         “That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (Romans 4:16).

·         “Even as he chose us in him before of the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).

·         “For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you” (1 Thessalonians 1:4; cf. Colossians 3:12).

 

From this it would be wrong however to infer that we, the Church, are Israel.  The NT simply does not allow it.  The Church is identified as a “new man.”   Paul expresses this in Ephesians 2:15 “that he [Christ] might create in himself one new man in place of the two [contextually a reference to Jews and Gentiles].”  However, it is appropriate to make some application to us since these verse are about God’s people making God great.  These benevolent commands will hopefully serve as springboards to meditate upon throughout the week.  So as we recall these verses, we can make God great to those around us.

 

In Psalm 105:1-6 there is a string of ten benevolent commands for the people of God.  The first fifteen verses of Psalm 105 are cited in 1 Chronicles 16:8-22.  Thus we find that this psalm was intended to joyously give thanks to the Lord according to 1 Chronicles 16:7. Derek Kidner, an excellent commentator on the psalms states “like a jewel turned this way and that, the worship of God displays some of its many facets here” (Kidner, Psalms 73-150, 374).  The theme is grand and overarching as the psalmist recounts God’s greatness and faithful in dealing with the nation of Israel.  Following this section, the psalm recounts various episodes in the nation’s history.  So then, here are the ten benevolent commands for the people of God:

 

1.        Give thanks (v. 1a) (hdy) (praise*).  We receive all from Him, therefore He is worthy of all our thanks.  “He who gives food to all flesh” (Psalm 136:25).

2.       Call (v. 1b) (arq) (call, proclaim).  “Proclaim His titles; thereby fill the world with His renown” (Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, 2:336). 

3.       Make known (v. 1c) (edy) (declare).  Let the nations, all those around us hear of the greatness of our God and how He satisfies above all else.  God’s works transcend race and tongue and are intended to be shared with all.  Testify of the Lord’s work, both small and great in your life.

4.       Sing (v. 2a) (ryv) (sing).  “Bring your best thoughts and express the in the best language to the sweetest sounds” (Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, 2:336).   Do it for an audience of One.

5.       Sing (v. 2b) (rmc) (make music). Our music should exalt an honor God.   Just as our words and deeds should make God great so should the music that we offer up to Him.

6.       Tell (v. 2c) (jyc) (muse, complain).   How quickly we share new and exciting stories that we come across.  I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done” (Psalm 143:5, NIV).  When we consider all the works of God, we have much to share, don’t we?

7.       Glory (v. 3a) (llh) (glory).  This means we make God our boast.  We are not ashamed of Him and we find our greatest pleasure and satisfaction in Him. 

8.       Seek (v. 4a) (crd) (resort to, seek).   “Put yourselves under His protection” (Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, 2:337).  Run to Him at all times. 

9.       Seek (v. 4b) (vqb) (seek).  This is a different word in the Hebrew but a very similar idea.  Our desire for God causes us to pursue Him, to seek Him.  The greater the affection, the more the object of one’s affection is sought after.   

10.    Remember (v. 5a) (rkz) (remember). “If we would keep these in remembrance our faith would be stronger, our gratitude warmer, our devotion more fervent, and our love more intense” (Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, 2:337).  Let us recall God’s grace and mercy.

 

In short, when God is great in our hearts, He will be great in our thoughts, words, and deeds.  Let us make God great this week.

 

*All words in parantheses are common English meanings of the Hebrew words as found in Todd S. Beall, William A. Banks, Colin Smith, Old Testament Parsing Guide (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2000).

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