Psalm 105 - God and the History of Israel




[New International Version] Psalm 105 belongs to Book IV of the Book of Psalms. This Psalm affirms that it is in God’s faithfulness that the greatness of Israel’s people and history is based.

The PS 105 belong to Book IV Book of Ps , which is composed of a collection of texts 150 arranged by 5 poetry books. The Book of Psalms, for its wisdom and basic principles of human action , is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book IV encompasses Psalms 90 to 106 . Psalm 105 is divided into 45 Verses.

The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience . They portray the common man , with his faults, insecurities, fears and hopes and, even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray and plead with God when we feel lost and anguished or to express our gratitude for some blessing received.

“There are enemies or friends, there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel”; “The Psalms are a bit like mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord.” - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan

Psalm 105 - God and the History of Israel

1  Praise the LORD, shout his name,
make known his wonders among the peoples.

2  Sing, sing hymns in his honor,
proclaim all his wonders.

3  Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

4  Turn to the Lord and to his power,
seek his face continually.

5  Remember the wonders He has done,
His wonders and the judgments of His mouth,

6  you who are descendants of Abraham his servant,
and sons of Jacob his chosen.

7  He is the Lord our God,
throughout all the earth his sentences are in force.

8  He remembers forever his covenant,
the word he established for a thousand generations,

9  of the covenant he made with Abraham
and the oath he made to Isaac.

10  He confirmed it as a law for Jacob,
an everlasting covenant for Israel.

11  For he said, “To thee I will give the land of Canaan,
as a portion that is your inheritance.”

12  They were then a small number,
few and strangers in that land;

13 They  wandered from people to people
and from one kingdom to another nation.

14  He allowed no one to oppress them
and punished kings for their sakes:

15  “Do not touch my anointed,
do not mistreat my prophets.”

16  Then he called the famine upon that land,
destroying all the crops of bread.

17  He sent ahead of them a man
who had been sold into slavery, Joseph.

18  They bound his feet with shackles
and his neck in an iron ring,

19  until the time when his word was fulfilled
and the declaration of the Lord proved him right.

20  Then he sent a king to release him,
and a ruler of peoples to open the door for him.

21 He appointed him lord of his house
and governor of all his possessions,

22  to instruct his princes himself
and make his elders wise.

23  It was then that Israel went into Egypt,
Jacob went as an immigrant to the country of Ham.

24  God made his people highly fruitful
and made them stronger than their adversaries.

25  He changed the hearts of others,
and they began to hate God’s people,
deceiving his servants with trickery.

26  Then he sent his servant Moses
and Aaron, who was his chosen one.

27  These performed wonders among the Egyptians
and wonders in the country of Ham.

28  He sent darkness and everything was darkened,
but they ignored his words.

29 He  turned its waters to blood
and killed all its fish.

30 He  filled all his country with frogs,
even in his king’s chambers.

31  God ordained and clouds of insects
and mosquitoes arrived all over his territory.

32  Instead of rain, he gave them hail
and tongues of fire throughout the country.

33 He  destroyed their vines and fig trees
and destroyed the trees in their territory.

34  He gave orders and the locusts
and larvae arrived, in an incalculable number;

35 They  devoured all the vegetables of the fields
and ate the fruits of their land.

36 He  smote all the firstborn in the land to death,
the first fruits of all their might.

37  He sent them out carrying silver and gold,
and none of their tribes faltered.

38  Egypt rejoiced at their departure,
for the fear of the Israelites had fallen upon them.

39 He  spread out a cloud of protection
and a fire to light them at night.

40  They asked him, and the quails arrived,
and he filled them with bread from heaven.

41  He opened the rock, and water
flowed, flowing through the desert like a river.

42  For He remembered His holy word
to Abraham His servant,

43  And he brought out his people with joy,
and his chosen ones with shouts of joy.

44 He  gave them the lands of other peoples
and they gathered the riches of the nations,

45  For the purpose of keeping its precepts
and observing its laws.
Hallelujah!

Meaning and interpretation

The Psalm 105 is a didactic Psalm which presents itself as a theological and wise meditation on the historical experience of the Israelites. Its spirit is that of a hymn, as with Psalm 78 . The Psalm is almost entirely focused on the events that mark the memory of the Hebrews and stem from their history. The main themes are: the patriarchs (8-15), Joseph (16-23), Moses (24-27), the plagues of Egypt (28-36) and the arrival in Canaan (44-45).

The aim is to inculcate the conviction that it is in God’s fidelity that the greatness of this whole history is based, and only through fidelity can the people prove themselves worthy of these and other divine favors . References to episodes from remembered history are found in the parallel places indicated for this same Psalm.

The Sapiential Psalms are books of Sacred Scripture ( Libri Sapientiales ) that contain, above all, moral sentences from ancient Israel - Proverbs, Job, Qohelet (Ecclesiastes), Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Song of Songs, Wisdom. These prayers are filled with ancient inspiration and wisdom, life experiences and the history of peoples. They analyze human behavior , ethical choices and their consequences, and the search for the meaning of life and death for each one of us and as a society.

Various themes are addressed in these Psalms such as justice / injustice; sinful / righteous; wisdom/foolishness; bad / good; fidelity / infidelity; the honor or lack of it, the virtue that exists in prudence in speaking, in being fair, in knowing how to be rich. The existence of God is never questioned. He is Creator, Lord, Judge, Wise.

The Wisdom Psalms are also understood as a guide for everyone to meditate on the issues of their daily lives and the mysteries of life. The Psalmist uses his own and others’ experiences to discern the path to take based on correct moral principles. They are based on the assumption that what we do in this world, we pay in this life. The wisdom style appears in Psalm 1; 14; 34; 36; 37; 39; 49; 53; 73; 74.

The Book of Psalms

The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God

The Psalms are prayer-poems addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. Depicting the common man , with his failures, insecurities, fears and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received.

The Psalms, despite being written in Antiquity, still move , sensitize , awaken feelings , inspire and enchant . In them, we can identify anguish and joy , deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom and prophetic words.

Written for different situations , some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author’s personal relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages.

The Book of Psalms is composed of a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm Books or Booklets. Each Book closes with short hymns of praise to God . The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentation , supplication , praise and gratitude .

The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine

The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine and prayer is the power of the word . Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word or image addressed to God is called prayer . It is through it that we come into contact with our God within and, therefore, it is so powerful in transforming life . Prayer can produce miracles , turn dreams into reality, give us hope for change , harmony and peace with ourselves and the world.

Each Psalm has an intention that helps us meditate and walk with our God . For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence.

The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for the purpose of spiritual self-protection, family protection and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves. From this peace , well-being, hope and goodness in front of everyone and everything result.

The faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination . The Psalms will guide you on a path of peace and communion with the higher energy.