If you combine Psalms 105 and 106, you have a poetic recounting of Israel’s history – but it is nothing to sing about. What there is to sing about is God’s great love for His people. There was absolutely no reason to love these people. But God loved them anyway, and loved them so much that he made a covenant with them.
This covenant making is really important. Theologians are practiced at discounting the covenant. After all, a covenant is a two-way street. If Israel did not live up to her part, God was not obligated to live up to His part.
And that would be true.
But it is for that very reason that the covenant, mentioned in Psalm 106, is so important. Despite the fact that God didn’t have to keep His side of the bargain, He did! This is what the Psalmist says: “Many times He delivered them [Israel], but they were bent on rebellion . . . but he took note of their distress when He heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of His great love, he relented.”
Though Israel entered into a covenant with God, it is not their covenant. It is God’s covenant. Israel may be a party to it, but the agreement is the Lord’s. I think this is important for us to remember. To be a part of God’s covenant is a privilege, not a right. Entering it, we are called to be true to its requirements. If we are not, God is under no obligation to be true to his. But the story of History is that He always is, and that’s something to sing about!