Blasphemy in The Place of Blessing

Mark Twain married a Christian lady. She at first didn’t want to marry, but later did. He at first went through the motions of religion with her, but later said he couldn’t keep up with being a hypocrite. In time, she came to the place where she no longer believed in a personal G … More


Moses, provoked to anger by the continuous rebellion of Israel, spoke rashly, sinning against God. When Israel failed to remove the Canaanites from the land as God directed, they became like them (v. 34). Soon the Israelites were as bad as the people they had been told to exterminate (v. 35). The psalmist shows us three downward steps into religious apostasy:

Step 1: Graven images (v. 36). The Law forbid idol worship.

Step 2: Giving of human sacrifices (vv. 37-38). Millions of children were sacrificed to Moloch.

Step 3: Gross immorality (v. 39). Idolatry and immorality often go hand in hand. 

God’s faithfulness to Israel her history was filled with faithlessness and ingratitude. “Therefore, was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people” (v. 40) and “He gave them into the hand of the heathen” (v. 41). The psalmist recites the sad story of the time of the Judges and many of the kings. Israel was detested (abhorred) by the Lord (v. 40), discarded by the Lord (vv. 41-42) and delivered repeatedly (vv. 43-46). God used the hand of His enemies to discipline Israel for their sin. “Their enemies hated them” (v. 41) and ruled over them (v. 42). If God had not been gracious to them this would be the end of their story. Despite their rebellions and murmurings, God still heard their prayers and pitied them (v. 46). God’s covenant with Abraham was unconditional.

In conclusion, the writer asks God to end their exile. He recognizes that the return from Babylon was only a partial one and that sometime in the future God will end Israel’s exile (v. 47a). Even though the tribes of Judah and Benjamin returned to Israel in Ezra and Nehemiah, this text looks ahead to the regathering of Israel at the time when the Lord Jesus returns to rule over the millennial kingdom. Israel will be gathered back in the land, not partially but completely. When Christ returns Israel will recognize Him and “triumph in His praise” (v. 47). 


God allowed trouble to come to Israel to help them. The same is true for us. Our troubles can be helpful because they (1) humble us, (2) drive us closer to God, (3) vitalize our prayers, (4) allow us to experience God’s faithfulness, (5) make us more dependent upon God, (6) encourage us to submit to God’s will, and (7) make us more compassionate toward others.

Psalms 106:32-48 (English Standard Version)

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