Address on Psalm 106: Part 2

Psalm 106
This 106th Psalm begins with Hallelujah and ends with Hallelujah—"Praise ye the LORD," for that is what Hallelujah means. Your pathway begins with "Praise ye the LORD" and ends with "Praise ye the LORD." It would be nice if all that comes in between would be filled with Hallelujahs. We find that all the history of those traced in this psalm was not all Hallelujahs.
We will read twelve verses; those verses give the salvation of the children of Israel founded upon one great national event in their history—their deliverance out of Egypt. God founds our salvation upon one great event, and ever and again He is directing our hearts back to that foundation event. With the children of Israel it was that deliverance out of Egypt. That is what we find here in verses 8-11. The result of all that—the sense of it in their souls—is expressed in this: "Then believed they His words; they sang His praise." v. 12.
That is what the Lord Jesus has done for you. Every one of your enemies is a vanquished foe; you are delivered; you are free. There is no more bondage for you. There is no excuse for any one of us to ever spend one day of our life in bondage to Satan. We are a free and redeemed people.
That is the first time they sang. We have no right to sing until we are delivered. With ten thousand sins behind your back, the judgment of God hanging over your head, and a lost eternity staring you in the face, how dare you sing? It is only a redeemed people who have a right to sing.
"They sang His praise." They were redeemed and delivered and they sang His praise. That is happy. We who have been redeemed love to sing about the Lord.
Verses 13-24 are the second portion of the Psalm, filled with tragedy, with pathos. What is the secret of it all? In the 13th verse we get it: "They soon forgat His works; they waited not for His counsel." If you fail in your Christian life, it will be for the same reason—forgetfulness of that marvelous deliverance wrought for you at Calvary's cross, and not waiting for God's counsel in your life.
The Lord knowing the forgetfulness of our hearts, instituted a memorial feast, eating the bread and drinking the cup and showing His death. We will not need those memorials in heaven; it is only "till He come."
Sometimes people say, Well, I think that is too often—once a week—in our church we do it once a month. With some, it is once in six months (I remember that is the way I used to do where I went). With some it is once a year. Some have given it up altogether because there are so many unconverted ones in the church; the converted ones refuse to do it along with the unconverted who are leading ungodly lives.
The Lord knew better than we, the forgetfulness of our hearts. We do come together each Lord's Day to remember Him in His death. As we sit in His presence and feel the coldness that has swept into our hearts since last we remembered Him, that in itself should be a testimony to us that once a week is none too often. The Lord can give nothing more calculated to bring us back to the sense of His love than sitting down in the presence of those emblems of His death; nothing could be more calculated to make us feel the preciousness of His love and our own undeserving condition as we sit in His presence and are reminded that the Son of God loved us and gave Himself for us—that He died for us! Dear young folks, keep that before you—He died for you. The blessed Lord Jesus gave Himself for you—died for you that He might deliver you from this present evil world. Keeping that before your soul will help to keep you from the snares.
"They soon forgat His works; they waited not for His counsel." How often we see that among dear young Christians—they wait not for His counsel. Perhaps they go to see some brother they pick out. They generally pick out someone favorably disposed, and go and lay before him some projected course of action, and ask, What do you think of that? He does not want to dampen their ardor or throw cold water on their plans, and they launch out on a course that perhaps is going to take them away from the Lord.
Anticipating a little, look at the 43rd verse: "Many times did He deliver them; but they provoked Him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity." At the present time we hear of some of our young men who seem to feel that it is the expedient thing to more or less take things in their own hands and help the Lord out in their plans. Such and such is going to happen, so I had better do this; and in place of waiting for the Lord, His counsel, they act on the ground of expediency—human wisdom—and plunge ahead, as it were, to help the Lord out—a sort of steadying the ark. One has known of some cases where that sort of thing has wrought havoc. They not only did not save themselves from the thing they feared, but got into something much worse. "They waited not for His counsel."
This thing is progressive: they forgat His works; they waited not for His counsel; then the next thing is, "But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert." There is plenty around us to tempt young or old. What a world it is! How attractively Satan has dressed the thing up, and there is something to tempt the lust of your heart and mine. That word "lust" is not synonymous with gross, debasing sin. It simply means the desires of the human heart; it may be the desires of the flesh or the mind, but it is the heart lusting after something apart from the will of God. It is like a garment cut to our measure, to fit exactly. It does not make any difference whether you are sixteen or sixty—just something in this world to appeal to your heart. The "lust of the flesh"—how we are warned against that!—"the lust of the eye and the pride of life." How susceptible we are to these things! They lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. In other words, they said, Is God able? They did not understand Him, and actually began to doubt His ability!
A very solemn thing happens. "He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul." Are you not thankful, dear young Christian, that you have not had all your prayers answered? I am thankful that He did not answer all mine.
For example, here is a little tot; he sees his father shaving with that glittering blade, and he wants to get it. You know what would happen if he got it. Or perhaps it is the boiling coffee pot on the stove that the child wants to get hold of. How many times we are like little children; we are insisting that God give us something that if He did would be our ruination. But sometimes God in His government permits us to have a taste of things for our good and blessing in the end. "He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul." You say, I am going to have so-and-so; I am going to get this position, this degree, this honor; I am going to advance; I am going to have different ambitions realized. He may let you have it. What will you get along with it? "He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul."
I was sitting in the office of a brother, a younger man, and he showed me a tract entitled, "My Leanness, My Leanness." I remarked, all unguardedly without thought of personality, Brother, did you ever feel that way? He colored, and I saw he resented the remark. I made it in all innocence, for I felt it keenly myself. He resented it. What was the secret? I cannot describe it too much in detail, lest I betray who it was. It was not long till this brother began to drift, and now he does not come near a meeting. "Gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth it not" (Hos. 7:99Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not. (Hosea 7:9)). That is one of the saddest conditions that can happen to a Christian—unconscious of his state of soul.
24th verse: "Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not His word." They just decided it was not worth thinking about; there was not enough there to offer any attraction. They were thinking about that other land they had left. "They despised the pleasant land."
That reminds one of some young people who sat in these very seats and heard these same precious truths ministered, and where are they today? Out serving divers lusts and pleasures in the world, and reaping the fruit of their own ways.
Dear young people, if you feel the beginning of a state like that in your soul, I hope you will get alone with God and weep it out before these meetings are over. Ask the gracious Lord to come in and give restoration to your soul. Do not despise the precious truth; it will do you good all the days of your life; you will have Christ for your companion until the journey is over. Do not despise the pleasant land.
"Many times did He deliver them; but they provoked Him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity. Nevertheless He regarded their affliction, when He heard their cry: and He remembered for them His covenant, and repented according to the multitude of His mercies. He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives." vv. 43-46. There is the gracious heart of God—your God and Father. That is the heart of your precious Savior. Though they rebelled again and again, when they repented and turned to Him He forgave them; the heart of our God is tender when there is the cry of repentance. If something has come into your life that is leading you away, go to God about it; He will be very tender.
This Psalm began with Hallelujah and closed with Hallelujah; and though I may have said some things that sounded rather somber and not very encouraging, yet I do want to leave with you that word, "Praise ye the LORD." He will carry you through and make you a victory. Put your hand in His; learn to trust Him; He will carry you through. Hallelujah!
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