A devotion of Psalm 105:23-45
This wonderful section is the promise from God’s perspective and as he had planned it. We know very well that the reality on the ground was very different as we shall see in the summary at the end and in tomorrow’s reading.
Today, we see God’s hand of power in the grand scheme. He sent Joseph to Egypt. Then he sent a famine and Joseph delivered Egypt and the surrounding area from it. Then he sent Joseph’s father Israel and his family up to Egypt and a grand joyous reunion ensued. This story is one of the most riveting in the Bible and very special part of our spiritual heritage. Remembering is a grand theme. Remind yourself of this story often and tell it to your children and grandchildren!
23 Then Israel entered Egypt; Jacob resided as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
24 The Lord made his people very fruitful; he made them too numerous for their foes,
25 whose hearts he turned to hate his people, to conspire against his servants.
26 He sent Moses his servant, and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27 They performed his signs among them, his wonders in the land of Ham.
Egypt is called the Land of Ham. Ham was the second of Noah’s sons. His name, Cham, prounounced Khawm means hot, burnt, or black. He is thus representative of the land of Africa, whose people are sometimes called Hamites.
28 He sent darkness and made the land dark— for had they not rebelled against his words?
29 He turned their waters into blood, causing their fish to die.
30 Their land teemed with frogs, which went up into the bedrooms of their rulers.
31 He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, and gnats throughout their country.
32 He turned their rain into hail, with lightning throughout their land;
33 he struck down their vines and fig trees and shattered the trees of their country.
34 He spoke, and the locusts came, grasshoppers without number;
35 they ate up every green thing in their land, ate up the produce of their soil.
36 Then he struck down all the firstborn in their land, the firstfruits of all their manhood.
37 He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold, and from among their tribes no one faltered.
38 Egypt was glad when they left, because dread of Israel had fallen on them.
Commentator Guzik quotes theologian Boice: “In order to understand these plagues we need to understand that they were directed against the gods and goddesses of Egypt and were intended to show the superiority of the God of Israel to the Egyptian gods.”
· When God sent darkness, He showed Himself greater than Ra (the sun God) and Nut (the sky goddess).
· When God turned their waters into blood, He showed Himself greater than Osiris (god of the Nile) and Khnum (the guardian of the Nile).
· When God made their land abound with frogs, He showed Himself greater than the goddess Hekt (the frog-goddess of fertility).
· When God sent swarms of flies and lice, He showed Himself greater than the fly-god Uatchit.
· When God sent hail for rain, He showed Himself greater than Geb, the god of the earth; Nepri, the goddess of grain; and Anuibis, the guardian of the fields.
· When God sent locusts without number, He showed Himself greater than Shu, the god of the atmosphere, and Min, the deity of the harvest.”Boice
39 He spread out a cloud as a covering, and a fire to give light at night.
40 They asked, and he brought them quail; he fed them well with the bread of heaven.
41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out; it flowed like a river in the desert.
This brief section outlines God’s faithfulness in protection and provision over his people. He even saw to their comfort, providing warmth and ample nourishment. This is what he does for you and I every day, beloved! Water from the rock reminds me of Jesus giving water from the well and this glorious song:
42 For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham.
43 He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy;
44 he gave them the lands of the nations, and they fell heir to what others had toiled for—
45 that they might keep his precepts and observe his laws.
Praise the Lord.
Yes, the reality on the ground was very different indeed. It was rife with grumbling and disbelief. They threatened mutiny and the bodies of many fell in the wilderness because of sin and disobedience. Will we choose to live out God’s promises from his perspective and in faith and obedience or will we buck him all the way to the Promised Land. The choice is ours, beloved. If we choose to remember, this will be our experience in life as we journey into our Promised Land, eternity in heaven. In the next chapter, we’ll see what things looked like on the ground. His promises will not be thwarted. Every last one will come true. But the reality on the ground may be very different indeed!
Choose to remember. Only then can you keep his precepts and obey his laws. Only then can you properly praise the Lord, remembering who you are and who God is and what he has done for you!