1 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
2 Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!
3 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
4 Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!
5 Remember the wondrous work that he has done, his miracles, and the judgements he uttered
6 O offspring of Abraham, his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones!
7 He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.
8 He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations
We tend to be forgetful people. Many a time, the powerful “mountaintop” experiences we have when we taste of God’s goodness and love fade away and get mired in reality when we re-enter the flat plains or descend into valleys. As Robert Robertson penned in his hymn “Come Thou Fount’ – “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.”
And so the writer of Psalm 105 calls us to “remember the wondrous work that he has done” (Ps 105:5) and uses no less than NINE active statements in the preceding four verses to lead us to remember:
i. Give Thanks to the Lord (Ps 105:1)
ii. Call Upon His Name (Ps 105:1)
iii. Make known his deeds (Ps 105:1)
iv. Sing to him (Ps 105:2)
v. Tell of his wondrous work (Ps 105:2)
vi. Glory in his holy name (Ps 105:3)
vii. Rejoice (Ps 105:3)
viii. Seek the Lord (Ps 105:4)
ix. Seek his presence (Ps 105:4)
The Psalmist understood that we can get really good at forgetting. And he contrasts our forgetfulness with God’s faithfulness when twice it is said of God that He remembers: “He remembers his covenant forever” (Ps 105:8) and “He remembered his holy promise” (Ps 105:42). He remembered His covenant with Abram and gave him a son, Isaac (Gen 21:2-3; Ps 105:9). He remembered Joseph while he was unjustly prisoned in Egypt and gave him favour among his captors. (Gen 39:21; Ps 105:17-22). He remembered the Israelites as they were slaves in Egypt and sent them Moses to set them free (Genesis 2:24-25; Ps 105:26). The God who remembered His covenant with Israel, His chosen people, is the same God who remembers and sustains us by His grace; even though we often forget and live self-sufficient lives.
That’s why God told Joshua to take twelve stones from the Jordan river and use them to construct a memorial for Israel. For “when your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’… so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” (Jos 4:21-24)
The Bible encourages us to remember our life stories where God rescued us, delivered us, and reminded us that He is mighty and we are loved. Hence, let us heed the exhortation of the Psalmist during this Lent season to constantly give thanks, make known his deeds, sing praises to Him, glory in his name, rejoice and seek his presence continually.
By Asst. Ps Adrian Ow