PSALM 106 - Tsunami 16 Feb 2020
Psalm 106 appears like a continuation of psalm 105. The focus however is more personal. I may bear guilt in troubles.
A tsunami caused by an earthquake may cause waves of 10 meter high, approaching with an astonishing speed of 900 km/hour. Who can escape? Who can escape the waves of God? In the old testament times, the actions of God where huge and visible. What happened with those "historic waves of God?" After 400 b.c. you no more see the godly disasters described, except in the apocalyptic literature.
Yes, we live in a time with an increasing number of disasters and war. There are however much smaller "waves" that attack my peace if I live a sinful life. I hurt myself and people around. I become fearful and wounded. My pleasure in life vanishes. Only when my sins are accounted for and forgiven, I can restore my feelings of trust and peace. My joy returns. Or, am I the only one in need for reconciliation with God and my world around?
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh,
for he is good, his faithful love is everlasting!
2 Who can recount all Yahweh's triumphs,
who can fully voice his praise?
3 How blessed are those who keep to what is just,
whose conduct is always upright!
4 Remember me, Yahweh, in your love for your people.
Come near to me with your saving power,
5 let me share the happiness of your chosen ones,
let me share the joy of your people,
the pride of your heritage.
6 Like our ancestors, we have sinned,
we have acted wickedly, guiltily;
7 our ancestors in Egypt never grasped the meaning of your wonders.
They did not bear in mind your countless acts of love,
at the Sea of Reeds they defied the Most High;
8 but for the sake of his name he saved them,
to make known his mighty power.
9 At his rebuke the Sea of Reeds dried up,
he let them pass through the deep as though it were desert,
10 so he saved them from their opponents' clutches,
rescued them from the clutches of their enemies.
11 The waters enveloped their enemies,
not one of whom was left.
12 Then they believed what he had said,
and sang his praises.
13 But they soon forgot his achievements,
they did not even wait for his plans;
14 they were overwhelmed with greed in the wastelands,
in the solitary wastes they challenged God.
15 He gave them all they asked for,
but struck them with a deep wasting sickness;
16 in the camp they grew jealous of Moses,
and of Aaron, Yahweh's holy one.
17 The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
closed in on Abiram's faction;
18 fire flamed out against their faction,
the renegades were engulfed in flames.
19 At Horeb they made a calf,
bowed low before cast metal;
20 they exchanged their glory for the image of a grass-eating bull.
21 They forgot the God who was saving them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
22 such wonders in the land of Ham,
such awesome deeds at the Sea of Reeds.
23 He thought of putting an end to them,
had not Moses, his chosen one,
taken a stand in the breach and confronted him,
to turn his anger away from destroying them.
24 They counted a desirable land for nothing,
they put no trust in his promise;
25 they stayed in their tents and grumbled,
they would not listen to Yahweh's voice.
26 So he lifted his hand against them,
to strike them down in the desert,
27 to strike down their descendants among the nations,
to scatter them all over the world.
28 They committed themselves to serve Baal-Peor,
and ate sacrifices made to lifeless gods.
29 They so provoked him by their actions
that a plague broke out among them.
30 Then up stood Phinehas to intervene,
and the plague was checked;
31 for this he is the example of uprightness,
from age to age for ever.
32 At the waters of Meribah they so angered Yahweh,
that Moses suffered on their account,
33 for they had embittered his spirit,
and he spoke without due thought.
34 They did not destroy the nations,
as Yahweh had told them to do,
35 but intermarried with them,
and adopted their ways.
36 They worshipped those nations' false gods,
till they found themselves entrapped,
37 and sacrificed their own sons and their daughters to demons.
38 Innocent blood they shed,
the blood of their sons and daughters;
offering them to the idols of Canaan,
they polluted the country with blood.
39 They defiled themselves by such actions,
their behaviour was that of a harlot.
40 Yahweh's anger blazed out at his people,
his own heritage filled him with disgust.
41 He handed them over to the nations,
and their opponents became their masters;
42 their enemies lorded it over them,
crushing them under their rule.
43 Time and again he rescued them,
but they still defied him deliberately,
and sank ever deeper in their guilt;
44 even so he took pity on their distress,
as soon as he heard them cry out.
45 Bearing his covenant with them in mind,
he relented in his boundless and faithful love;
46 he ensured that they received compassion,
in their treatment by all their captors.
47 Save us, Yahweh our God,
gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name,
and may glory in praising you.
48 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel,
from all eternity and for ever!
Let all the people say, 'Amen'.
Excerpt from THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1985 by
Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division
of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.