Psalm 106: Lessons For Finding Hope in God After You Sin

Introduction: C. S. Lewis once stated: “I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.”1 But Satan is “the father of lies” (Jo. 8:44). When you sin, he will whisper in your ears that you are a hypocrite. He will tell you that your sins are too big to be forgiven. If you have felt these feelings, you are not alone. When the Babylonians sent the Jews into captivity, many Jews also believed that their sins were too big to be forgiven. Many also believed that God abandoned them. But God had not abandoned them. The psalmist wrote this psalm to encourage the Jews not to give up hope because of their sins. Paul also tells us that “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Cor. 10:11). When you sin, God does not want you to give up hope. When you feel defeated because of your sins, God wants you to find hope in His: (1) mercy, (2) salvation, (3) faithfulness, (4) His long-suffering character, (5) His loving correction, (6) His compassion, and (4) His deliverance.

First, the psalmist began with praise for God’s everlasting mercy. When you sin, God also wants you to find hope in His everlasting mercy. Second, even though the psalmist wrote at a time when the Jews were still in captivity, he sang praises for the Jews’ promised inheritance and their salvation. With faith in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, you will never lose your salvation because of your past sins. Thus, when you sin, find hope in His promises of eternal salvation. Third, the psalmist recounted how God remained faithful to keep His promises. He was faithful even when the Jews were unfaithful to Him at the edge of the Red Sea. When you sin and fail to remain faithful to God, He wants you to find hope in His unconditional faithfulness. Fourth, the psalmist recounted the Jews’ long and sad history of ongoing rebellions against God. Like the Jews did in captivity, some will look back with regret for a lifetime of rebellions against God. When you have engaged in long-term sin, God also wants you to have hope because He is patient and longsuffering in waiting for you to return to Him. Fifth, the psalmist explained how God had to discipline His wayward people. When you sin, God also wants you to find hope in His discipline. He only disciplines out of love to restore what you have lost because of sin. Sixth, the psalmist encouraged the Jews that God is filled with compassion for His wayward people. When you sin, God also wants you to find hope in His loving compassion. He will never leave you nor forsake a believer. Finally, the psalmist cried out for God to deliver His people. He then praised God with the faith to know that God would again keep His promises and restore His people. When you sin, God also wants you to find hope in Him for your deliverance. Like the psalmist, you can show your faith by thanking God in advance for your future deliverance.

1. Mercy: When You Sin, Find Hope in God’s Everlasting Mercy. Ps. 106:1-2.

  • Praise God for His everlasting mercy. While the Jews suffered under the yoke of Babylonian captivity for their sins, the psalmist praise God for His unending mercy: “1 Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy is everlasting. Who can speak of the mighty deeds of the Lord, or can proclaim all His praise?” (Ps. 106:1-2). The Jews’ sins were no worse than ours. Everyone is in need of God’s mercy, and everyone owes Him praise: “Since man ceases not to be sinful, it is a great blessing that Jehovah ceases not to be merciful.” (Charles Spurgeon on Ps. 106:1).2

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Praise God for His everlasting mercy and forgiveness3

  • God is merciful. God is filled with mercy each time you repent: “The Lords acts of mercy indeed do not end, for His compassions do not fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22-23). “Then you will say on that day, “I will give thanks to You, LORD; for although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.” (Is. 12:1). “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will gather you.” (Is. 54:7). He is merciful in the face of our sins because he is filled with compassion and love: “For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not abandon you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.” (Dt. 4:31). “But He, being compassionate, forgave their wrongdoing and did not destroy them; and often He restrained His anger and did not stir up all His wrath.” (Ps. 78:38). “LORD our God, You answered them; You were a forgiving God to them, and yet an avenger of their evil deeds.” (Ps. 99:8). God loves you and does not want you to suffer from your sins. Thus, He deserves your praise and your obedience.

  • You can trust God’s promises of mercy. David stated that God’s faithfulness reaches to the skies.” (Ps. 36:5). A Maskil. How blessed is he whose wrongdoing is forgiven, whose sin is covered!” (Ps. 32:1). “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him.” (Ps. 103:11). “For His mercy toward us is great, and the truth of the LORD is everlasting. Praise the LORD!” (Ps. 117:2). “For Your goodness is great to the heavens and Your truth to the clouds.” (Ps. 57:10). You can give thanks that His mercy knows no bounds. “Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” (Ro. 1:33). The enemy will put thoughts in your head that your sins are too big to be forgiven. But God is faithful to keep His promises of mercy and forgiveness.

  • God’s mercy is unearned. The Jews did nothing to deserve God’s mercy. The same is true with believers in Jesus today. His mercy is also unearned (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Thus, you should never approach God with pride or a feeling of self-entitlement.

  • Give thanks for God’s goodness and His everlasting mercy. The psalmist praised God because “He is good’ and; for His mercy.” God also deserves your praise as well: “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His faithfulness is everlasting.” (1 Chr. 16:34).

2. Salvation: When You Sin, Find Hope in God’s Salvation. Ps. 106:3-5.

  • Praise God for the righteousness and salvation made possible through faith in Jesus. The Jews had not been righteous. But the psalmist prophetically praised God for making them righteous and for their future salvation, made possible through Jesus’ sacrifice: “How blessed are those who maintain justice, who practice righteousness at all times! Remember me, Lord, in Your favor toward Your people. Visit me with Your salvation, So that I may see the prosperity of Your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the joy of Your nation, that I may boast with Your inheritance.” (Ps. 106:3-5). “The gladness of God’s nation, and the glory of his inheritance, are enough to satisfy any man; for they have everlasting joy and glory at the end of them.” (Matthew Henry on Ps. 106:5).4

  • Through faith in Jesus, you are made righteous. The psalmist stated that “blessed are those who maintain justice, who practice righteousness at all times!” (Ps. 106:3). For a nation in captivity because of their sins, this might have appeared as an unobtainable blessing. Based upon their own merit, none could avail themselves of this blessing. But the coming Messiah would make this blessing available to all who believed: “but it is the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction,” (Ro. 3:22). “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,” (Ro. 4:5).

  • Jesus’ promises of eternal salvation cannot be taken away. The psalmist praised God for the Jews’ “salvation” and their “inheritance” (Ps. 106:4-5). You can also praise Jesus that your eternal salvation and inheritance in Him, both of which cannot be taken away: “Everything that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I certainly will not cast out . . . And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of everything that He has given Me I will lose nothing, but will raise it up on the last day.” (Jo. 6:37, 39). “and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (Jo. 10:28). All you need is faith in His atonement for you (Jo. 3:16).

  • Put your hope in Jesus for your restoration and salvation. God repeatedly showed that the Jews could place their hope in Him for their restoration and salvation. During the first exodus, God not only blessed the Jews financially, but He also restored them by making the Egyptians both fear and respect them (Ex. 11:3). This was the fulfillment of God’s promises to Moses (Ex. 3:21(a)). Jesus also promises to restore what you have lost to serve Him. He will make you a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17; Ro. 6:4). It is also in Him that we “have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.”  (Heb. 6:18).  When you are tossed about in the storms of life, He is the anchor of hope for your soul: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable and one which enters within the veil,” (Heb. 6:19). “And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” (Ps. 39:7). “For You are my hope; Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth.” (Ps. 71:5). “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God,” (Ps. 146:5). Jesus wants you to place your hope in Him alone for your salvation.

3. Faithfulness: When You Sin, Find Hope in God’s Faithfulness. Ps. 106:6-12.

  • Praise God that He remains faithful, even when your faith fails you. The psalmist reminded the Jews how God’s ongoing faithfulness to them was completely unearned: “We have sinned like our fathers, we have gone astray, we have behaved wickedly. Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; they did not remember Your abundant kindnesses, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name, so that He might make His power known. So He rebuked the Red Sea and it dried up, and He led them through the mighty waters, as through the wilderness. 10 So He saved them from the hand of one who hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. 11 The waters covered their adversaries; not one of them was left. 12 Then they believed His words; they sang His praise.” (Ps. 106:6-12). The psalmist understood that mercy required repentance: “We have done wickedly. The confession is as broad and general as possible, including all under sin—the ‘fathers’ from Moses downwards, the whole nation from the time of its settlement in Canaan, and even the afflicted exiles in Babylon. Their guilt is emphasized by the use of three verbs, each more forcible than the last.” (Pulpit Commentary on Ps. 106:6) (emphasis in original).

  • Because God was faithful throughout history, you can also trust Him. God’s faithfulness is part of His holy character. Thus, the psalmist pointed out that God kept His Word because that is who He is, not because the Jews deserved it: “Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name, so that He might make His power known.” (Ps. 106:8). “For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.” (1 Sam. 12:22).

  • God’s deliverance at the Red Sea was also proof of His love. God also delivered His people with a miracle at the Red Sea because He loved His people (Ex. 14:21; Josh. 2:10; Ps. 77:16-20; 106:9-11; Is. 51:10). But the Jews failed to believe that God would save them before He did so. Despite witnessing God’s ten plagues in Egypt, the Jews scolded Moses as Pharaoh’s army approached: “Then they said to Moses, ‘Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!’” (Ex. 14:11-12). The psalmist stressed that it was only after God’s miracle that the Jews believed in Him: “12 Then they believed His words; they sang His praise.” (Ps. 106:12).

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The Jews only believed in God’s promises after He destroyed Pharaoh’s army5

  • God’s blessings are thankfully not conditioned upon your righteousness.  Every person is a sinner (Ecc. 7:20).  Thus, Moses warned the Jews not to assume that God had exalted them because of their righteousness.  “Do not say in your heart when the Lord your God has driven them out before you, ‘Because of my righteousness the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’ but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you.  It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people.”  (Dt. 9:4-6). Thankfully, God does not expect you to be without sin. Even though you have your faults, He desires to bless you and use you. Your knowledge of your sins will only help to keep you humble.

  • Praise God because He is faithful even when you are not.  The Jews did not deserve to receive an eternal covenant.  But God remained faithful, even when the Jews were not.  He will also remain faithful to you when your faith fails you:  “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”  (2 Tim. 2:13).  Are you singing God’s praises for remaining faithful to you when you are not?

  • Through Jesus, God blessed you with forgiveness.  The psalmist confessed the Jews’ sins: “We have sinned like our fathers” (Ps. 106:6). If you have faith in Jesus and repent of your sins, He will also bless you by forgiving you (1 Jo. 1:9). If a nation will turn back to God and repent, He will also heal it: “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  (2 Chron. 7:14). If you have repented of your sins, don’t let the enemy tell you that you remain unworthy.

4. Longsuffering: When You Sin, Have Hope Because God is Patient and Longsuffering in Waiting For You to Return to Him. Ps. 106:13-39.

  • Praise God that He is patient and long-suffering in the face of even long-term rebellions. Also to encourage the Jews, the psalmist reminded them how God never abandoned them despite generations on ongoing rebellions, unfaithfulness, and their lack of gratitude: “13 They quickly forgot His works; they did not wait for His plan, 14 but became lustfully greedy in the wilderness, and put God to the test in the desert. 15 So He gave them their request, but sent a wasting disease among them. 16 When they became envious of Moses in the camp, and of Aaron, the holy one of the Lord, 17 the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and engulfed the company of Abiram. 18 And a fire blazed up in their company; the flame consumed the wicked. 19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshiped a cast metal image. 20 So they exchanged their glory for the image of an ox that eats grass. 21 They forgot God their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt, 22 wonders in the land of Ham, and awesome things by the Red Sea. 23 Therefore He said that He would destroy them, if Moses, His chosen one, had not stood in the gap before Him, to turn away His wrath from destroying them. 24 Then they rejected the pleasant land; they did not believe His word, 25 but grumbled in their tents; they did not listen to the voice of the Lord. 26 Therefore He swore to them that He would have them fall in the wilderness, 27 and that He would bring down their descendants among the nations, and scatter them in the lands. 28 They also followed Baal-peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead. 29 So they provoked Him to anger with their deeds, and a plague broke out among them. 30 Then Phinehas stood up and intervened, and so the plague was brought to a halt. 31 And it was credited to him as righteousness, to all generations forever. 32 They also provoked Him to wrath at the waters of Meribah, so that it went badly for Moses on their account. 33 Because they were rebellious against His Spirit, He spoke rashly with his lips. 34 They did not destroy the peoples, as the Lord had commanded them, 35 but they got involved with the nations and learned their practices, 36 and served their idols, which became a snare to them. 37 They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, 38 and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was defiled with the blood. 39 So they became unclean in their practices, and were unfaithful in their deeds.” (Ps. 106:13-39). The list of the Jews’ sins was not comprehensive. These were mere examples of the Jews’ long history of unfaithfulness, rebellion, and ungratefulness.

  • The Jews were quick to forget and complain. Each time God performed a miracle, the Jews were quick to forget and complain: “13 They quickly forgot His works; they did not wait for His plan,” (Ps. 106:13). “They had gone but three days journey from the Red Sea, when they murmured for water (Exodus 15:22 ff.); only six weeks later they were murmuring for food (Exodus 16:2 ff.); and in Rephidim again they murmured for water (Exodus 17:2 ff.). In their faithless impatience they refused to wait for God’s plan of providing for their wants.” (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges) (Ps. 106:13).6 If you fail to remember God’s faithfulness to you, you may also take Him for granted.

  • The Jews complained about God’s provision. Among other sins, the Jews tested God: “14 but became lustfully greedy in the wilderness, and put God to the test in the desert.” (Ps. 106:14). “And Moses said, ‘This will happen when the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening, and bread to the full in the morning; for the LORD hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the LORD.” (Ex. 16:8). “So the people quarreled with Moses and said, ‘Give us water so that we may drink!’ And Moses said to them, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?”’ (Ex. 17:2). “There was no water for the congregation, and they assembled against Moses and Aaron.” (Nu. 20:2). Unlike the Jews, God wants you to be content with His provision. “Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they indeed craved them.” (1 Cor. 10:6).

  • The Jews also questioned God’s leaders and coved their authority. The Jews also coveted the authority that God gave to His appointed leaders, including Moses: “16 When they became envious of Moses in the camp, and of Aaron, the holy one of the Lord,” (Ps. 106:16). At one point, Korah led a rebellion against Moses (Nu. 16:1-3). As a result of their rebellion, God opened up the Earth, and the rebels all died (Ps. 106:17-18l Nu. 16:32). Unlike the Jews, God does not want you to covet what He has given to someone else. Nor does He want you to rebel against or question His appointed leaders.

  • The Jews also repeatedly engaged in idolatry. Despite witnessing God’s many miracles, the Jews failed to trust God and instead turned to idolatry: “19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshiped a cast metal image. 20 So they exchanged their glory for the image of an ox that eats grass. 21 They forgot God their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt, 22 wonders in the land of Ham, and awesome things by the Red Sea.” (Ps. 106:19-21). “Then he took the gold from their hands, and fashioned it with an engraving tool and made it into a cast metal calf; and they said, ‘This is your god, Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”’ (Ex. 32:4). Despite God’s punishment, King Jeroboam later made new golden caves for the Jews to worship: “So the king consulted, and he made two golden calves; and he said to the people, ‘It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt.”’ (1 Kgs. 12:28). Unless you take steps to remember God’s miracles, you also risk forgetting them: “They forgot His deeds and His miracles that He had shown them.” (Ps. 78:11).

  • God spared the Jews because of Moses’ intercessory prayer. If it were not for Moses’ intercessory prayer, the Jews who worshiped the gold cave would have been destroyed: “23 Therefore He said that He would destroy them, if Moses, His chosen one, had not stood in the gap before Him, to turn away His wrath from destroying them.” (Ps. 106:23). “So I fell down before the LORD for the forty days and nights, which I did because the LORD said He would destroy you.” (Dt. 9:25). God also wants you to be an intercessory prayer warrior for those who have rejected Him (1 Tim. 2:1-4; Eph. 6:18).

  • The Jews also failed to believe in God’s promises. When the Jews got to the Promised Land, they also refused to believe in God’s promises to deliver it to them: “24 Then they rejected the pleasant land; they did not believe His word, 25 but grumbled in their tents; they did not listen to the voice of the Lord.” (Ps. 106:24-25). “And when the LORD sent you from Kadesh-barnea, saying, ‘Go up and take possession of the land which I have given you,’ you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God; you neither trusted Him nor listened to His voice.” (Dt. 9:23). They instead wanted to return to Egypt: ‘“So why is the LORD bringing us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder! Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?’ So they said to one another, ‘Let’s appoint a leader and return to Egypt!”’ (Nu. 14:3-4). Thus, God barred that generation from entering the Promised Land: “And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.” (Heb. 3:19; Nu. 14:30-35).

  • The Jews also engaged in open Baal worship. The Jews also worshiped Baal and slept with pagan temple prostitutes. This resulted in God’s people being judged: “28 They also followed Baal-peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead. 29 So they provoked Him to anger with their deeds, and a plague broke out among them. 30 Then Phinehas stood up and intervened, and so the plague was brought to a halt.” (Ps. 106:28-30; Nu. 25:2-3; Dt. 4:3). “They made Him jealous with strange gods; with abominations they provoked Him to anger.” (Dt. 32:16). Queen Jezebel and King Ahab later sponsored Baal worship in Northern Israel and even sought to exterminate Yahweh’s prophets (1 Kgs. 16:18–19). These and other acts of rebellion resulted in Northern Israel being sent into captivity.

  • The Jews adopted foreign idols because they refused to purify the Promised Land. God warned the Jews that they would become ensnared with pagan idols if they failed to purify the Promised Land of its idolatry (Ex. 23:33; Nu. 33:52; Dt. 7:2, 16). But the Jews refused to listen to God’s warnings. Thus, they intermarried with idol worshippers and became ensnared in evil practices (Jdgs. 3:3-6). This included horrific sacrifices to pagan idols (Ps. 106:34-39). “Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and they practiced divination and interpreting omens, and gave themselves over to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him.” (2 Kgs. 17:17). Their actions defiled the Promised Land (Ps. 106:38) and forced the Jews into exile.

  • Give thanks that God is long suffering. Believers can give thanks that God is slow to anger and quick to forgive: “Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in faithfulness and truth;” (Ex. 34:6). “The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in mercy, forgiving wrongdoing and violation of His Law; . . .” (Nu. 14:18). Thankfully, God’s mercy is not a one-time-event. He is patient for you to repent and return to Him.

  • God does not want any to perish. God could have written off the Jews after they failed to fully turn back to Him. But He is filled with mercy. He also won’t condemn you because of the many times that you will backslide during your lifetime. He does not want any to perish: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9). Peter denied Jesus three times during a crisis in his faith (Matt. 26:57-75; 27:1; Mk. 14:53-72; 15:1; Lk. 22:54-71; Jo. 18:13-27). God saw Peter not as the sinner that he was but as the hero of the faith that he would become. God is also patient with you and sees you as the person of faith that you will become through your trials. This is one of the many reasons to praise God. He is patient and long-suffering with mankind’s sins.

5. Correction: When You Sin, Find Hope in God’s Correction. Ps. 106:40-42.

  • Praise God that He disciplines out of love to restore what you have lost to sin. The psalmist reminded the Jews that God had to correct them in order to purge their sins: “40 Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against His people, and He loathed His inheritance. 41 So He handed them over to the nations, and those who hated them ruled over them. 42 Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were subdued under their power. 43 Many times He would rescue them; they, however, were rebellious in their plan, and they sank down into their guilt.” (Ps. 106:40-42). God corrected the Jews to bring them to repentance: “Having made review of the sinful past, the poet briefly but impressively describes the punishment which once and again had fallen on the nation. But as his purpose is to make his generation look on the Captivity as a supreme instance of this punishment, and to seek for deliverance by repentance, he mentions only the judgments inflicted by foreign foes.” (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers).7

  • God warned the Jews centuries earlier. God’s discipline in sending the Jews into captivity for their sins should not have been a surprise. Before the Jews ever entered the Promised Land, God warned that He would send the Jews into foreign captivity if they rejected His law: “Furthermore, the LORD will scatter you among all the peoples, from one end of the earth to the other; and there you will serve other gods, made of wood and stone, which you and your fathers have not known.” (Dt. 28:64). But He also promised to free the Jews: “then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.” (Dt. 30:3). He later used the prophet Jeremiah to repeat His promise to free His people (Jer. 25:8-13). “Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores the fortunes of His people, Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be glad.” (Ps. 14:7). “A Song of Ascents. When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion, we were like those who dream.” (Ps. 126:1). Thus, even when God fulfilled His Word, He did not want the Jews to give up hope.

  • God disciplines those whom He loves. God repeatedly warns that He will discipline sin. But He does so out of love the way a parent disciplines a child (Heb. 12:7). His goal is to change the behavior of the sinner and restore true fellowship: “So you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.” (Dt. 8:5). “With rebukes You punish a person for wrongdoing; You consume like a moth what is precious to him; certainly all mankind is mere breath! Selah” (Ps. 39:11). “For whom the LORD loves He disciplines, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.” (Prov. 3:12). “For whom the Lord Loves He disciplines, and He punishes every son whom He accepts.” (Heb. 12:6). “But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” (1 Cor. 11:32). “Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” (Rev. 3:19). If you have been disciplined, take solace that God does so out of love for you.

6. Compassion: When You Sin, Find Hope in God’s Compassion. Ps. 106:44-46.

  • Praise God that He is filled with loving compassion when you suffer from your sins. Even though the Jews were responsible for their sufferings, the psalmist reminded the Jews that God is filled with compassion and would ease their sufferings: “44 Nevertheless He looked at their distress when He heard their cry; 45 and He remembered His covenant for their sake, and relented according to the greatness of His mercy. 46 He also made them objects of compassion in the presence of all their captors.” (Ps. 106:44-46). “God assists us when we cry to Him. We ask His attention to our troubles; we pray for His help; and when He hears the cry, He comes and saves us. He does not turn away, or treat our case as unworthy of His notice.” (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Ps. 106:44-46).8

  • God offers you His compassion and comfort when you call out to Him.  Before the Jews ever entered the Promised Land, He promised that He would remember His covenant with His people while they were in exile: “then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land.” (Lev. 26:42; Ps. 106:45). God also had compassion on His people while they were in exile: “He also made them objects of compassion in the presence of all their captors.” (Ps. 106:46). God offers you His comfort when you are feeling pain, sadness, or bondage:  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  (2 Cor. 1:3-4; 7:6).  Thus, if you are feeling sad or depressed, cry out to God and seek out His comfort.

  • God loves you so much that He sent His only Son to die for you.  Jesus’ death on the cross is a testament to God the Father’s loving character and His desire to be reconciled to you:  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  (Jo. 3:16).  “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”  (Jo. 10:11).  “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”  (Jo. 15:13).  “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Ro. 5:8).  Jesus does not merely want to save you.  He wants to delight in your fellowship, symbolized by His desire to dine with you:  ‘“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”  (Rev. 3:20).  Are you seeking out His love and fellowship?

  • Jesus can relate to any pain you experience because He suffered for you.  Jesus suffered for mankind without sinning (Heb. 2:18).  Through His suffering, Jesus can sympathize with your suffering:  “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin.”  (Heb. 4:15).  There is no pain or burden that Jesus cannot relate to.  You can show your appreciation by showing love and empathy to those who are in pain.

  • Show others the same compassion and comfort that God offers you.  When God comforts you, He asks you to show the same compassionate toward others:  “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience;”  (Col. 3:12; Eph. 4:32).  When someone around you is hurting, are you offering them the same compassion and comfort that God offers you?

7. Deliverance: When You Sin, Find Hope in God’s Deliverance. Ps. 106:47-48.

  • Praise God that He is faithful to deliver His undeserving people from their bondage. The psalmist concluded with a plea for God to save His people and the faith to praise Him for His future deliverance: “47 Save us, Lord our God, and gather us from 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 to everlasting. And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’ Praise the Lord!” (Ps. 106:47-48). “This psalm seems to have been composed when the mercies of God to the Israelites in their captivity were just beginning to be seen. The author of the psalm rightly took those early, small mercies as the basis to boldly ask for greater mercies – that their captivity would be ended and they could return to the land. . . The psalmist would not wait for the asked-for mercies to be evident before he began to thank and praise God. The praise started immediately, and would be given to God from everlasting to everlasting. This was praise that all the peoples should join in, saying “Hallelujah!” to God.” (David Guzik on Ps. 106:47-48) (emphasis in original).9

  • God used a Persian king to fulfill His promises to free the Jews from foreign captivity. During his first year of rule and shortly after defeating the Babylonians, God stirred up King Cyrus II’s heart to issue a decree to release the Jews from captivity: “1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying:” (Ezra 1:1). In 538 B.C., Cyrus II issued this decree (Ezra 1:1-2; 5:13-17). Even though the Jews had not earned the right to be freed, God did this to fulfill His promises through Jeremiah. Cyrus II’s decree is also recorded in Chronicles (2 Chr. 36:22-23). It is further recorded in ancient Persian records. Thus, even skeptics accept this as historical.

  • God’s fulfillment of His promises through Jeremiah, after 70 years of captivity. God stirred up Cyrus II’s heart “in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah,” (Ezra 1:1). Before the Babylonians had captured Judah and began its waves of deportations, the prophet Jeremiah warned the Jews, both of their future defeat and that they would spend 70 years in captivity (Jer. 25:8-13). As the 70-year period came to a close, the prophet Daniel read God’s promises to Jeremiah and prayed a prayer of repentance. He then prayed for God to fulfill His Word (Dan. 9:1-27). God heard Daniel’s prayers, and He was faithful to fulfill this promise to free His people.

  • God’s fulfillment of His promises to restore the Jews to Israel. In addition to promising to free the Jews, God also promised through Jeremiah to restore those who sought Him out and return them to the Promised Land (Jer. 29:10-14). God also fulfilled this promise. But only a remnant availed themselves of God’s promise.

  • God’s fulfillment of His promises through Isaiah to use Cyrus II as His instrument. In addition to telling the Jews exactly how long they would spend in captivity, God also told the Jews the name of the pagan ruler that He would use to free them. The prophet Isaiah foretold of King Cyrus II of Persia’s future victory over Babylon approximately 150 years before he was even born: “Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His anointed, whom I have taken by the right hand, to subdue nations before him and to loose the loins of kings; to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut” (Is. 45:1; 44:28-45:4).

  • God was faithful not to forsake the Jews. God promised that He will never forget His Covenant with His people: “For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.” (Dt. 4:31). He also would not forsake the Jews when He disciplined them: “Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God. But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am the LORD.” (Lev. 26:44-45). “Be strong and courageous, . . . He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Dt. 31:6). God will also never leave or forsake you (Heb. 13:5). Even when God disciplines you, never lose hope or feel that He has abandoned you.

  • God freed His people out of love for them. When Ezra later came to the Promised Land, he revealed that God freed the Jews out of a deep love for them. “For we are slaves; yet in our bondage our God has not forsaken us, but has extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.” (Ezra 9:9; Ps. 106:46). He promises to restore His people if they repent of their sins (2 Chr. 7:14). He also loves you and is eager to restore you when you turn back to Him.

  • God’s Word is true and is always fulfilled. In their time of darkness, the prophet Jeremiah encouraged the people that God could not break His promises (Jer. 33:20-21; 2 Chr. 21:7). Throughout the Bible, God reveals that His Word is true and always comes to pass: “Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.” (Josh. 21:45). “Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant.” (1 Kgs. 8:56). “I declared the former things long ago and they went forth from My mouth, and I proclaimed them. Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.” (Is. 48:3; 42:9). No other holy book can make similar claims of fulfilled prophecy as the Bible does. God’s Word is true and always comes true.

  • You also can trust in His promises to you. The accuracy of God’s promises in the Old Testament shows how you can also trust His New Testament promises for you as well. “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thess. 5:24). “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;” (Dt. 7:9; 1 Cor. 1:9). He is faithful even when you are not (2 Tim. 2:13). For a nation’s revival to succeed, it begins with faith in God’s many promises.

  • Give God the glory when He delivers you. The psalmist asked for God to deliver His people so that He could be praised “to give thanks to Your holy name and glory in Your praise.” (Ps. 106:47). He also thanked God in advance (Ps. 106:48). When God delivers you, He should always receive the glory: “Then say, ‘Save us, God of our salvation, and gather us and save us from the nations, to give thanks to Your holy name, and glory in Your praise. Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Then all the people said, ‘Amen,’ and praised the LORD.” (1 Chr. 16:35-36).

Psalm 106:47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to ...

Give God the glory when He delivers you or answers your prayers10

  • The conclusion of Book Four of the Psalms. This concludes the fourth of the five collections of the Psalms. Each ends with a similar benediction that blesses Yahweh “forever” and concludes with “Amen”.  These include: Book One (Ps. 41), Book Two (Ps. 72), Book Three (Ps. 89), Book Four (Ps. 106) and Book Five  (Ps. 150).

  1. Letter (19 April 1951); published in Letters of C. S. Lewis (1966), p. 230; C. S. Lewis - Wikiquote↩︎