Psalm 106:43, 44
Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.…
The exiles, when about to return to their own land, were brought to repentance by their sense of the goodness of God to them. In the spirit of penitence, the psalmist, a devout exile, reviews the national history, and finds that over and over again his people had to be penitent for their sins, and over and over again their God found them space and opportunity for repentance. Now, that exile read the national history aright, and he helps us in the endeavour to read our lives aright, and find in them ever-recurring proofs of the Divine pity and patience with the wilful and the wayward.
I. SOME OF THE SOURCES WHENCE COME OUR SINS.
1. Fear. Illustrate by provocation at Red Sea (ver. 7).
2. Lust. Inordinate desire. Putting God to the test (ver. 14). Envy.
3. Story of Dathan (ver. 17).
4. Unspirituality. Incident of the calf (ver. 19).
5. Impatience. Despising the pleasant land, because it did not come to them at once (ver. 24).
6. Licence. Case of immorality at Beth-peor (ver. 28)
7. Distrust. Waters of strife (ver. 32).
8. Imperfect obedience, a sign of self-will.
They did not destroy the Canaanites, which they were commanded to do (ver. 34).
II. THE SORROWS WHICH OUR SINS HAVE CAUSED GOOD MEN. These help us to realize how bad those sins must be. See what sorrow Moses felt in connection with the sin of the golden calf. See what sorrow Aaron felt in the matter of Dathan's rebellion. See what sorrow Phinehas felt in the matter of Ball-peor.
III. THE PITIFUL PATIENCE WITH WHICH GOD HAS EVER DEALT WITH OUR SINS.
1. Waiting until we came to a better mind. Let evil do its own work; it will be sure to punish and humble. God often does so much for us by doing nothing, leaving us to suffer the natural consequences of our sins.
2. Helping us by chastisements to come to a better mind. There may be occasions on which the infinite wisdom decides that it is better not to wait, because there may be active leaders in the evil, or strong self-will, which needs to be dealt with at once. Judgment for some, as in Dathan's case, may be chastisement for all. The worst thing that could happen to us would be to be finally "let alone." If God is in our life - acting in our life - all is right, however trying the circumstances of life may be. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.