Psalm 106 … Consider Him, the Forgotten One

They forgot God their Savior, (106:21).

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the USA. I was so hoping for a psalm all about giving thanks. And at initial glance, it seemed like today’s psalm just might fit the bill.

Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
(106:1).

But while Psalm 106 begins with thanksgiving, there is another repeated theme that takes center stage. Today’s psalm is not attributed to any particular author but does include an interesting subtitle; and while subtitles are not inspired, they can be very telling:

  • Israel’s Rebelliousness and the Lord’s Deliverances (NASB 1995)
  • Israel’s Rebelliousness and the Lord’s Help (NASB)
  • Israel’s Unfaithfulness to God (CSB)
  • Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is Good (ESV)

Psalm 106 calls the people to praise and give thanks for the Lord’s goodness, faithfulness and everlasting lovingkindness. And in spite of their history of rebellion brought on by their constant propensity toward Forgetfulness, the psalmist calls the nation to a place of thanksgiving, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!”

How very appropriate and timely that we land here today, on this Thanksgiving Day. The truth is, 2020 has provided one enticement after another towards grumbling and murmuring; and the temptation to turn our focus toward the issues of our day lure us away to Forget God’s blessings and provisions, moving us away from gratitude until we become just like the Israelites, and the Lord becomes to us, as He did to the Israelites, the Forgotten One.

Thanksgiving is the perfect antidote for Forgetfulness. Surely that was the impetus behind the Pilgrims’ setting aside a day of giving thanks to God. After a tremendously difficult year, filled with harsh conditions, sickness and death, the Pilgrims dedicated a day to giving thanks, a day set aside to honor and celebrate God’s blessings and provision through their bountiful harvest.

Thanksgiving is like going through a mental scrapbook; as we revisit His goodness and mercies, He is faithful to remind us of the dangers of tucking Him away as the Forgotten One.

Consider Him, the Forgotten One

  • They Forgot His Abundant Kindness
    • Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders;
      They did not remember Your abundant kindnesses,
      (106:7).
  • They Forgot His Works and His Counsel
    • They quickly forgot His works;
      They did not wait for His counsel,
      (106:13).
  • They Forgot the Greatness of their God and Savior
    • They forgot God their Savior,
      Who had done great things in Egypt,
      (106:21).
  • And even though they treated Him as the Forgotten One… Nevertheless He remembered
    • Nevertheless He looked upon their distress
      When He heard their cry;
      45 And He remembered His covenant for their sake,
      And relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness.
      46 He also made them objects of compassion
      In the presence of all their captors,
      (106:44-46).

How do we respond to Him, the Forgotten One?

This psalm is painfully brimming with the consequences of our Forgetfulness:

  • sin and wicked rebellion (106:6-7)
  • an intense craving for our own desires (106:14-15)
  • envy (106:16)
  • idolatry (106:19-20)
  • unbelief (106:24)
  • ingratitude and grumbling (106:25)
  • attachment to ways of the world (106:28)
  • knee jerk reactions (106:32-33)
  • mingling with, and learning the ways of the ungodly (106:)
  • sinking deep in ignorant counsel and iniquity (106:43)

And this psalm also graphically portrays the discipline God brings against the actions birthed out of our Forgetfulness:

  • Giving us what we ask for (106:15)
  • Sending the wrath of His consuming anger (106:17-18)
  • Being cast down and scattered in the lands (106:26)
  • The sending of a plague (106:29)
  • Harsh discipline on their leader (106:32)
  • His kindled anger that abhorred His inheritance (106:40)
  • Given into the hands of their enemies (106:41)
  • Subdued and oppressed (106:42)

And though He was the Forgotten One, nevertheless

  • Nevertheless He looked upon their distress
    When He heard their cry;
    45 And He remembered His covenant for their sake,
    And relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness.
    46 He also made them objects of compassion
    In the presence of all their captors,
    (106:44-46).

He looked.

He heard.

He remembered.

He relented.

He made them objects of compassion in the presence of their captors.

Oh, may we never Forget. May our salvation in Jesus be remembered each and every day.  For while we didn’t deserve it… nevertheless

And even though you were dead in your transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions, (Colossians 2:13 NET emphasis added).

Let us make today, and every day, a day of Thanksgiving, a day of revisiting His goodness and mercies. Oh, may we never tuck Him away as the Forgotten One, but that every day we would be reminded to intentionally sing His praises in celebration and Thanksgiving to His Holy Name.

Save us, O Lord our God,
And gather us from among the nations,
To give thanks to Your holy name
And glory in Your praise.
48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
From everlasting even to everlasting.
And let all the people say, “Amen.”
Praise the Lord!
(106:47-48).

Happy Thanksgiving… and Let’s Grow Together!

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