Psalm 105 – Remembering Our Victories
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 forever, 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.”
He called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food;
and He sent a man before them – Joseph, sold as a slave.
They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons,
till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved him true.
The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples set him free.
He made him master of his household, ruler over all he possessed,
to instruct his princes as he pleased and teach his elders wisdom.
Then Israel entered Egypt; Jacob resided as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
The Lord made His people very fruitful; He made them too numerous for their foes,
whose hearts He turned to hate His people, to conspire against His servants.
He sent Moses His servant, and Aaron, whom He had chosen.
They performed His signs among them, His wonders in the land of Ham.
He sent darkness and made the land dark – for had they not rebelled against His words?
He turned their waters into blood, causing their fish to die.
Their land teemed with frogs, which went up into the bedrooms of their rulers.
He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, and gnats throughout their country.
He turned their rain into hail, with lightning throughout their land;
He struck down their vines and fig trees and shattered the trees of their country.
He spoke, and the locusts came, grasshoppers without number;
they ate up every green thing in their land, ate up the produce of their soil.
Then He struck down all the firstborn in their land, the firstfruits of all their manhood.
He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold, and from among their tribes no one faltered.
Egypt was glad when they left, because dread of Israel had fallen on them.
He spread out a cloud as a covering, and a fire to give light at night.
They asked, and He brought them quail; He fed them well with the bread of heaven.
He opened the rock, and water gushed out; it flowed like a river in the desert.
For He remembered His holy promise given to His servant Abraham.
He brought out His people with rejoicing, His chosen ones with shouts of joy;
He gave them the lands of the nations, and they fell heir to what others had toiled for –
that they might keep His precepts and observe His laws. Praise the Lord.
This psalm celebrates the Israelites’ history.
Psalm 105 and Psalm 106 were intentionally placed one after another. Psalm 105 remembers the Israelites’ past victories while Psalm 106 recounts their past failures.
The first 15 verses of this psalm are also found in 1 Chronicles 16:8-22. David appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the LORD in this manner while the Ark of the Covenant was brought into Jerusalem.
The Psalmist praised God and called the people to “make known among the nations” what God had done for them. The wonderful things He has done for us needs to be told to others.
What has God done for you? God has been amazing to me. In the eyes of the world, I may not have reached the top, but I know I have been blessed and protected all my life. My family, my friends and my salvation are my trophies.
How do we “tell of all His wonderful acts”? Proclaiming God’s acts isn’t natural if we don’t spend time pondering upon His wonders.
David, who wrote this psalm, lived in times of war since young. How could he have such depth in admiring God’s works? We can see how eagerly David prayed to God through the psalms he wrote. We live in much better times than David, but we face daily challenges too. Sing praises to God, and practice proclaiming His wonderful works.
David called on those “who seek the Lord” to rejoice. We too should encourage others to rejoice. There are times for celebration, especially when we have victories through God. Whenever we feel like there is nothing to rejoice about, we should think about our salvation! Shouldn’t that be a reason to celebrate?
God is the greatest of all kings. When we understand how great is the strength of our God, the Creator of all things, won’t we “look to the Lord and His strength”? It is our natural inclination to ally with those with great power. God is the greatest.
The Psalmist urged “His servants... His chosen ones...” (that includes us) to remember three important things – “the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced”.
God has done many wonders for us and His miracles are amazing, and we must remember them. But we cannot forget there will be judgment too, because God is righteous. But we need not worry if we remain in Christ, as Jesus has redeemed us.
We need to remember these three important elements constantly in our prayers. Share with our fellowship of believers and also with non-believers about God’s wonders. Talk about the miracles in the Bible and also the miracles that God has made in our lives. And as much as God’s judgment is not the most popular topic, we need to talk about it too. He will come to call all things to an end. We must remain faithful to God and walk with our Lord. “His judgments are in all the earth” – everyone will be judged.
God “remembers His covenant forever”. Through the generations, He remembered the covenant He made to the Israelites. God remembers the covenant He made with us too!
The Psalmist recalled how God was with the Israelites every step of the way. From the time Israel was a small group travelling in foreign lands, to their entry into Egypt, to their growth in numbers, to their oppression under the Egyptians, to their delivery from slavery, to their time in the desert, and finally into their promised land, God protected them and provided for them. It was a long and difficult journey through many generations, but God fulfilled every word of His covenant with the Israelites!
God will fulfil His covenant with us too. It will be a long journey and there will be difficulties, but God will protect and provide for us. He will bring us to our Promised Land – Heaven.
In summary, God “remembered His holy promise” to Abraham. He “brought out His people with rejoicing”; they were filled with joy. He will fill us with joy too.
Why did God inspire the Psalmist to call His people to remember the past victories that eventually led them to their promised land? It was so that “that they might keep His precepts and observe His laws.”
What keeps us faithful today? When we remember the victory that God won for us by putting Christ on the cross, we see His faithfulness. That should inspire us to keep our faith in God.
The main purpose of this psalm was to remind the Israelites of the victories they had because God fulfilled His promises. They had failures too (as recounted in Psalm 106), but the focus here (in Psalm 105) was on the positives.
Both of these psalms ended with the same proclamation, “Praise the Lord.” Why is that so? Whether we remember our victories or failures, we can praise God. I tend to think about my failures more than my victories due to my lack of gratitude for the victories that God has given me. This psalm helps us to remember that our life has not been that bad.
Most important of all, the ultimate victory was won when Christ died on the cross. Praise the Lord, for we have inherited Heaven.
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit. Andy joined the Central Christian Church in 1990.