Chapter 105

Some of the psalms of praise are very short, others very long, to teach us that, in our devotions, we should be more observant how our hearts work than how the time passes and neither overstretch ourselves by coveting to be long nor over-stint ourselves by coveting to be short, but either the one or the other as we find in our hearts to pray. This is a long psalm; the general scope is the same with most of the psalms, to set forth the glory of God, but the subject-matter is particular. Every time we come to the throne of grace we may, if we please, furnish ourselves out of the word of God (out of the history of the New Testament, as this out of the history of the Old) with new songs, with fresh thoughts—so copious, so various, so inexhaustible is the subject. In the foregoing psalm we are taught to praise God for his wondrous works of common providence with reference to the world in general. In this we are directed to praise him for his special favours to his church. We find the Ps. 105:1-11; 1 Chron. 16:8-18 of this psalm in the beginning of that psalm which David delivered to Asaph to be used (as it should seem) in the daily service of the sanctuary when the ark was fixed in the place he had prepared for it, by which it appears both who penned it and when and upon what occasion it was penned, 1 Chron. 16:7-36 David by it designed to instruct his people in the obligations they lay under to adhere faithfully to their holy religion. Here is the preface (Ps. 105:1-7) and the history itself in several articles. I. God’s covenant with the patriarchs, Ps. 105:8-11. II. His care of them while they were strangers, Ps. 105:12-15. III. His raising up Joseph to be the shepherd and stone of Israel, Ps. 105:16-22. IV. The increase of Israel in Egypt and their deliverance out of Egypt, Ps. 105:23-38. V. The care he took of them in the wilderness and their settlement in Canaan, Ps. 105:39-45. In singing this we must give to God the glory of his wisdom and power, his goodness and faithfulness, must look upon ourselves as concerned in the affairs of the Old-Testament church, both because to it were committed the oracles of God, which are our treasure, and because out of it Christ arose, and these things happened to it for ensamples.