The Word Made Fresh
1Call on the name of the LORD and give thanks!
Proclaim to all the nations the works of the LORD!
2Sing praises for all the wonderful things the LORD has done.
3Take pride in being God’s people.
You who seek the LORD, let your hearts rejoice.
4Search for the LORD’s strength.
Constantly seek the LORD’s presence.
5Never forget the LORD’s wonderful works.
Remember the LORD’s miracles and judgments,
6for you are the children of God’s servant, Abraham.
You are the children of Jacob, who was chosen by the LORD.
7The LORD, who judges the whole world, is our God,
8who will remember forever the covenant
which will remain for a thousand generations.
9It is the agreement God made with Abraham,
and swore to Isaac,
10then passed on to Jacob as a standing rule,
and given to Israel as a permanent agreement.
11The LORD said to Israel, ‘I will give you the land of Canaan.
It will be your inheritance.’
12Even when there were very few of them
and no notice was taken of them
because they were strangers in the land
13wandering from place to place,
from one kingdom to another,
14the LORD would not allow any of their kings to abuse them,
15saying, “Don’t touch my chosen people!
Don’t lay a hand on my prophets!”
16God sent a famine across the land
and broke down the sheaves of grain,
17but had already sent a man ahead of the people –
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18His feet were shackled and bruised,
and an iron collar was around his neck,
19until what he told them was going to happen, happened,
because it was the LORD’s word that came to him.
20Then the king released him from prison and set him free,
21and made him the head of his household,
and placed him over all that he owned.
22He even admonished the king’s officials
and taught them the ways of wisdom.
23Then Israel came to Egypt also.
Jacob lived as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
24The LORD made his people fruitful
until they were stronger than their enemies.
25Their hearts were turned to hate God’s people
and they treated God’s servants poorly.
26Then God sent Moses and Aaron,
chosen by God
27and performing God’s signs among their oppressors,
God’s wonders were displayed in the land of Ham.
28God sent darkness over the whole land
and the land submitted to God.
29God turned their water into blood
and all their fish perished.
30Frogs swarmed over their land,
and even invaded the royal household.
31God spoke, and great swarms of insects came –
flies and gnats spread through the land.
32And God sent hail and lightning throughout their country.
33Their vines and fig trees were struck,
and all the forests were shattered.
34God spoke, and swarms of locusts appeared,
vigorous insects, so many they couldn’t be counted.
35They ate all the vegetation in the land,
and all the fruit that grew from the ground.
36God struck down all the firstborn children in their land,
all born to them when they were young and strong.
37Then God brought all of the Israelites out, with gold and silver,
and none of them stumbled as they fled.
38The Egyptians were glad to see them go
because they were overcome with fear of them.
39God covered their escape with a cloud,
and at night a fire guided them.
40They asked, and God brought quails to them
so that they had food from above, all they could eat.
41God opened a rock and brought out water,
gushing through the desert like a river.
42God remembered the sacred promise made to Abraham,
the servant of God.
43And so, God brought his people out, singing with joy.
44God gave them the lands of other nations
and they took possession of the wealth of their enemies,
45and promised they would keep God’s statutes and laws.
Praise the LORD!
Verses 1-15 are from 1 Chronicles 16:8-22, a portion of a song of thanks composed by king David.
1-6: This psalm is addressed to the “children of Jacob,” the people of Israel, and is a call to give God thanks and praise and to remember “all the wonderful things the LORD has done.”
7-11: The history of God’s relationship with God’s people is now recounted. The gift of the land of Canaan was given as a “permanent agreement.”
12-15: Jacob and his sons and their families were sojourners in the land, which was ruled by various kings (Abimelech, for example) with whom they made treaties.
16-22: The story of Joseph is captured in these 7 verses.
23-25: The sojourn of Jacob’s descendants in Egypt and how they came to be slaves is recounted.
26-36: The first 12 chapters of Exodus are condensed in these 11 verses; eight of the 10 plagues of Egypt are mentioned.
37-42: These 6 verses cover the 40 years of Israel’s wilderness sojourn. A positive picture is presented, with no mention of the negative experiences – the rebellion of the people, the golden calf, their apostasy in Moab, and so forth.
43-45: All is good and joyful. God gave them the land and the “wealth of the peoples;” but notice that the psalm ends with the briefest reference to the idea that the reason for all these blessings is so that they “might keep God’s statutes and observe God’s laws.”
Remember where you came from. All of us are on this earth as a result of God blessing our parents and their parents and their parents, etc. with children. We are here because God put us here. All of our family history has resulted in giving us life. We honor our ancestors by honoring God. Take a bit of time today to remember parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and others who have gone before, and thank God for them.