Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,
his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
He is the LORD our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
He remembers his covenant for ever,
the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
‘To you I will give the land of Canaan
as the portion you will inherit.’
When they were but few in number,
few indeed, and strangers in it,
they wandered from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.
He allowed no one to oppress them;
for their sake he rebuked kings:
‘Do not touch my anointed ones;
do my prophets no harm.’
For he remembered his holy promise
given to his servant Abraham.
Psalm 105:1 -15, 42
The psalmist urges us to praise God as he (and we) recall the faithfulness of God throughout the history of God’s people. Our hearts are to rejoice as he affirms God’s rule as over all the earth.
God’s promise is binding – a covenant – and even though the people are strangers in many lands, powerless and few in number, God’s steadfastness remains across the generations. During Lent we recall that faithfulness, and see the fulfilment of God’s promises not in the Land, but in Jesus and His death and resurrection. As Abraham was promised descendants as many as the stars in the sky of grains of sand on the seashore (Genesis 22:17) – so we rejoice that there are Christians
across the whole inhabited earth. The prophets of the psalm are “anointed” not with oil (that was later in the history of Israel) but by their relationship with God, forth-telling his presence in their lives and under His protection; we are God’s people anointed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and like those prophets our lives do not merit salvation, but God, who keeps His promises, provides it anyway. As we observe Lent. Let us Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. (Ps 105:4)
Lord, Help us to rejoice in the knowledge that you keep your promises. Help us to daily give thanks for Jesus, fulfilment of all the Law and promises for your people. Bring us into covenant relationship with you, so that we can look to you when we feel powerless and alone. Lord of all the earth, let us glory in your Holy name. Amen
Marion Tugwood is the minister of Macclesfield and Bollington URC
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