Daily Family Worship

Psalm 107: A Psalm of Redemption

by | Jun 15, 2024

psalm 107

The main theme of this Psalm, as far as it has a practical bearing, is indicated in the language of verses 8, 15, 21, and 31: “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” The purpose of this Psalm is to set forth these “works” – these “doings” of God – in such a way as to lead men, women, and children everywhere to praise and adoration.

The Psalm is very regular in its structure. The first three verses are introductory, and they are intended to designate the people who are particularly called upon to praise God – namely, those who have been redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered from all the corners of the globe to be a part of the Lord’s family. The remainder of the Psalm is divided into portions marked by the above words: “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” These portions are of unequal length; and this call to praise is placed at the conclusion of each part, as being that which was suggested by the previous thoughts. However, in the concluding verses (32-43), this language is not employed; here, the “call to action” in the other portions is changed into an affirmation that all who are truly wise will “observe these things,” and “understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.”

Let us now take a few moments to examine the particular parts of this Psalm. The first portion (verses 4-9) refers to the redeemed people of the Lord as those who are wandering aimlessly in the wilderness. They are hungry and thirsty, and they have no home nor city to dwell in. But then they call upon the Lord, and He hears them and leads them along in a right and safe way. For this, the Psalmist expresses the wish that “men would praise the Lord for his goodness.”

Then there is a reference to Jehovah’s amazing display of goodness toward those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death (verses 10-16). They are represented under the imagery of prisoners who are bound tightly in afflictions and iron chains. Alas! How often do the people of God seem to find themselves in such times of bondage when they are cast down and afflicted for their sins. But this part of the Psalm shows them calling upon the Lord in their trouble; and He graciously brings them out of that darkness and shadow of death, and breaks their chains. For this, the Psalmist expresses the wish that “men would praise the Lord for his goodness.”

Next we find a reference to another kind of deliverance that the Lord performs for His people. They have sinned; they have publicly shown their sin and folly; they have drawn near to the gates of death. But then they cry unto the Lord, and He sends His Word and heals them. For this, the psalmist again expresses the desire that “men would praise the Lord for his goodness.”

Verses 23-32 show the goodness of the Lord being manifested toward those who go down to the sea in ships, and do business on the great waters. They see the wonders of the Lord in the deep. They encounter storms and tempests. They are raised up to the heavens on the waves, and then sink to a corresponding depth. They reel back and forth, and they stagger like drunkards. But then they cry to the Lord, and He hears them, and makes the sea calm, and brings them safely to their desired haven! For this, again, the Psalmist expresses the wish that “men would praise the Lord for his goodness.”

Finally, we have a reference (verses 33-43) to the goodness of the Lord in preparing a place for people to dwell in. He turns rivers into a wilderness, and the water-springs into dry ground; and then again, He transforms the wilderness into pools of standing water, and the dry ground into water-springs – thereby making arrangements for people to dwell upon the earth, so that they may sow the fields and plant vineyards. He sets the poor on high from affliction, and makes them a family like a flock. In reference to this, and to all the other merciful and gracious acts that God does, the Psalmist concludes by saying that all who are “wise, and will observe these things, shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord!”

Lord, we confess that all the pictures of misery that are here depicted in this Psalm are fitting descriptions of how we are in our natural state. We thank You that Jesus ransomed us and brought us into the right way to the heavenly city above! Amen.

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