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BOOK V

(Psalms 107–150)

Psalm 107

Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Many Troubles

1

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever.

2

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,

those he redeemed from trouble

3

and gathered in from the lands,

from the east and from the west,

from the north and from the south.

 

4

Some wandered in desert wastes,

finding no way to an inhabited town;

5

hungry and thirsty,

their soul fainted within them.

6

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

and he delivered them from their distress;

7

he led them by a straight way,

until they reached an inhabited town.

8

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,

for his wonderful works to humankind.

9

For he satisfies the thirsty,

and the hungry he fills with good things.

 

10

Some sat in darkness and in gloom,

prisoners in misery and in irons,

11

for they had rebelled against the words of God,

and spurned the counsel of the Most High.

12

Their hearts were bowed down with hard labor;

they fell down, with no one to help.

13

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

and he saved them from their distress;

14

he brought them out of darkness and gloom,

and broke their bonds asunder.

15

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,

for his wonderful works to humankind.

16

For he shatters the doors of bronze,

and cuts in two the bars of iron.

 

17

Some were sick through their sinful ways,

and because of their iniquities endured affliction;

18

they loathed any kind of food,

and they drew near to the gates of death.

19

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

and he saved them from their distress;

20

he sent out his word and healed them,

and delivered them from destruction.

21

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,

for his wonderful works to humankind.

22

And let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices,

and tell of his deeds with songs of joy.

 

23

Some went down to the sea in ships,

doing business on the mighty waters;

24

they saw the deeds of the Lord,

his wondrous works in the deep.

25

For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,

which lifted up the waves of the sea.

26

They mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths;

their courage melted away in their calamity;

27

they reeled and staggered like drunkards,

and were at their wits’ end.

28

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

and he brought them out from their distress;

29

he made the storm be still,

and the waves of the sea were hushed.

30

Then they were glad because they had quiet,

and he brought them to their desired haven.

31

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,

for his wonderful works to humankind.

32

Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,

and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

 

33

He turns rivers into a desert,

springs of water into thirsty ground,

34

a fruitful land into a salty waste,

because of the wickedness of its inhabitants.

35

He turns a desert into pools of water,

a parched land into springs of water.

36

And there he lets the hungry live,

and they establish a town to live in;

37

they sow fields, and plant vineyards,

and get a fruitful yield.

38

By his blessing they multiply greatly,

and he does not let their cattle decrease.

 

39

When they are diminished and brought low

through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,

40

he pours contempt on princes

and makes them wander in trackless wastes;

41

but he raises up the needy out of distress,

and makes their families like flocks.

42

The upright see it and are glad;

and all wickedness stops its mouth.

43

Let those who are wise give heed to these things,

and consider the steadfast love of the Lord.


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Verses 1–9

In these verses there is reference to the deliverance from Egypt, and perhaps that from Babylon: but the circumstances of travellers in those countries are also noted. It is scarcely possible to conceive the horrors suffered by the hapless traveller, when crossing the trackless sands, exposed to the burning rays of the sum. The words describe their case whom the Lord has redeemed from the bondage of Satan; who pass through the world as a dangerous and dreary wilderness, often ready to faint through troubles, fears, and temptations. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, after God, and communion with him, shall be filled with the goodness of his house, both in grace and glory.

Verses 10–16

This description of prisoners and captives intimates that they are desolate and sorrowful. In the eastern prisons the captives were and are treated with much severity. Afflicting providences must be improved as humbling providences; and we lose the benefit, if our hearts are unhumbled and unbroken under them. This is a shadow of the sinner's deliverance from a far worse confinement. The awakened sinner discovers his guilt and misery. Having struggled in vain for deliverance, he finds there is no help for him but in the mercy and grace of God. His sin is forgiven by a merciful God, and his pardon is accompanied by deliverance from the power of sin and Satan, and by the sanctifying and comforting influences of God the Holy Spirit.

Verses 17–22

If we knew no sin, we should know no sickness. Sinners are fools. They hurt their bodily health by intemperance, and endanger their lives by indulging their appetites. This their way is their folly. The weakness of the body is the effect of sickness. It is by the power and mercy of God that we are recovered from sickness, and it is our duty to be thankful. All Christ's miraculous cures were emblems of his healing diseases of the soul. It is also to be applied to the spiritual cures which the Spirit of grace works. He sends his word, and heals souls; convinces, converts them, makes them holy, and all by the word. Even in common cases of recovery from sickness, God in his providence speaks, and it is done; by his word and Spirit the soul is restored to health and holiness.

Verses 23–32

Let those who go to sea, consider and adore the Lord. Mariners have their business upon the tempestuous ocean, and there witness deliverances of which others cannot form an idea. How seasonable it is at such a time to pray! This may remind us of the terrors and distress of conscience many experience, and of those deep scenes of trouble which many pass through, in their Christian course. Yet, in answer to their cries, the Lord turns their storm into a calm, and causes their trials to end in gladness.

Verses 33–43

What surprising changes are often made in the affairs of men! Let the present desolate state of Judea, and of other countries, explain this. If we look abroad in the world, we see many greatly increase, whose beginning was small. We see many who have thus suddenly risen, as suddenly brought to nothing. Worldly wealth is uncertain; often those who are filled with it, ere they are aware, lose it again. God has many ways of making men poor. The righteous shall rejoice. It shall fully convince all those who deny the Divine Providence. When sinners see how justly God takes away the gifts they have abused, they will not have a word to say. It is of great use to us to be fully assured of God's goodness, and duly affected with it. It is our wisdom to mind our duty, and to refer our comfort to him. A truly wise person will treasure in his heart this delightful psalm. From it, he will fully understand the weakness and wretchedness of man, and the power and loving-kindness of God, not for our merit, but for his mercy's sake.




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