To answer your good question, let’s begin by reading Psalm 105:12-15, “When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it. When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”

The Lord, in this portion, is rehearsing the “covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac.” (Verse 9).  The words in verse 12 are a reminder of what Isaac said in Genesis 34:30, “And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I BEING FEW IN NUMBER, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.”  Jacob naturally feared for his own survival because of the small number of people.  God’s chosen earthly people, at this point were so small in number that they could be easily numbered, and they were so few that they could not survive under their own power. It is obvious that without God’s faithfulness and mercy these people could not have endured as a nation.  Yet, God is faithful, and He is merciful, and He will keep the promises He has made.  It is said of Abraham in Romans 4:21, “And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”  Simple faith in the Lord and the guarantee of His promises strengthens the weakest believer and allows him to do remarkable things. 

God’s people, as they traveled from ‘one nation to another’ were but strangers or sojourners in those countries.  Hebrews 11:9 says of Abraham, “By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise.”  They did not join themselves to other people or nations, they were a separated people, separate from the rest of the world.

Yet, in spite of their size and relative weakness, the Lord “suffered no man to do them wrong.”  He protected them according the covenant he had made with Abraham.  The Israelites “were few.” Indeed, they were “very few.” They were “strangers” and they were unsettled. What hindered their enemies from destroying them? It was the Lord’s words of warning. “He reproved kings for their sakes; saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” (Verse 15).

We see an instance of this as Jacob’s family was journeying.  “And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.” (Genesis 35:5).  When the Israelites were finally in their promised land, the Lord even gave them this reassuring promise, “For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year.” (Exodus 34:24).  To protect His people, the Lord changed the desire of wicked men.  Not only can God stop hands from destroying, but He can stop hearts from desiring.

May we be reminded of the Lord’s reassuring promises to us…and there are many!  God is faithful to do what He says He will do.  We can rest upon His promises in this unsettled and evil world.  God has indeed promised us in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  (409.2)