We pick up the second half of this historical psalm in verse 24, as the psalmist is recounting the history and the sins of the people of Israel. Verses 24-27 continue telling of the failings of the people in the desert as the Lord declares they will wander in the desert forty years, and fall there (Numbers 14:28-35).
Verses 28-31 continue with the great sin of the people in the Baal worship at Peor, and recount how Phinehas intervened and saved them from the plague that ensued (Numbers 25). This led to his family having the priesthood from generation to generation. Verse 32 continues with the story of the waters at Meribah and the sin of Moses there when he struck the rock (Numbers 20).
Verses 34-39 summarize how the people of Israel failed to drive all the Canaanites from their land, and ended up mixing with these nations. This led to their idol worship, just as had been predicted, even sinking to child sacrifice. Verse 39 says that they “became unclean” and “played the whore in their deeds.”
Verses 40-46 then summarize the punishment of captivity that the judgment of the Lord brought to them. Verses 44-46 show God remembering his promise to Solomon when he heard their cry, and causing them to be pitied by their captors. The historical psalm has turned into a lament now, and the concluding verse indicates that their restoration is not yet realized – which is the plea of this psalm:
Save us, O Lord our God,
and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.