(37) Then he brought them out with silver and gold, and there was not one among the tribes who stumbled. (38) Egypt rejoiced when they departed, for fear of them (Israel) had fallen on them. (39) He spread out a cloud for a covering and fire to give light at night. (40) They asked, and he brought quail and satisfied them with the bread of heaven. (41) He opened the rock, and water gushed out and flowed through the desert like a river, (42) for he remembered his sacred promise (given) to Abraham, his servant. (43) Thus he brought his people out with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy. (44) And he gave to them the lands of the nations, and they took possession of the labor of others (what others had toiled for) (45) so that they might keep his statutes and observe his laws. Praise Yahweh!
In this final stanza of the psalm, we find the same verb used three times. First it is translated “brought out” (vs. 37), then “departed” (vs. 38), and finally “brought out” again (vs. 43). In view is God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt and his provision for her passage through the wilderness. He gave the nation a pillar of cloud to guide them by day which turned into a pillar of fire by night. He fed them with quail and manna and supplied water gushing from the rock to quench their thirst.
No mention is made in this psalm of Yahweh’s giving Moses the Law at Sinai, of Israel’s rebellion in worshiping the golden calf, nor of their forty years of wilderness wandering. The psalmist’s message is limited to the nation’s mighty deliverance from Egypt, Yahweh’s provision for their needs along their journey, and his successfully bringing them into the land which he had promised to Abraham and his descendants.
I. God’s provision when Israel departed from Egypt (37 & 38)
II. God’s provision while Israel trekked through he wilderness (39-41)
III. Summary overview: God took care of Israel’s every need just as he had promised. (42-45)
Yahweh provided for Israel’s every need as he led them from Egypt to the land he had promised to give them.
One of the most vivid memories I have of my father is his constantly reminding me, “Be a man of your word.” This could also be phrased, “Keep your promises.” His commitment to do what he said he would do, no matter what the cost, marked his life and gave him the reputation of being a person of integrity. When applied to God, we call this attribute “faithfulness.” This character trait is seen again and again in Yahweh’s dealing with the nation of Israel. God always kept his word, that is, “He remembered his sacred promise” (vs. 42).
This is something on which we can always rely, that Yahweh will never fail to do what he has promised. According to Everett E. Storms, the Bible contains a total of 7959 promises given by God. Whether or not this number is accurate, the truth is that Scripture is saturated with the promises of God. Here are three to which I return repeatedly:
- God has promised us his PRESENCE. He will never abandon us. Yahweh told Joshua, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Josh. 1:5). This is reinforced by Jesus’ statement, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt. 28:20).
- God has promised us his good PURPOSES. He will never fail to do what is best for his beloved ones. Paul wrote, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28).
- God has promised us his abundant PROVISION. He will never fail to meet our needs. Paul closed Philippians with this reminder, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).