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Thanking God for His Mercy and Grace in History (Psalm 107)

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Psalm 107 Mar. 3  1Give thanks to Yahweh, for He is good, for His grace endures forever. 2Let the redeemed by Yahweh say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary 3and gathered out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. 4They wandered in the wilderness in a desert way, they found no city to live in. 5Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. 6Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble and He delivered them out of their distresses, 7 He led them also by a straight way, that they might go to a city to live in. 8Let them praise Yahweh for His grace, for His wonderful works to the children of men!  9For He satisfies the longing soul, He fills the hungry soul with good. 10Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron, 11because they rebelled against the words of God, and condemned the counsel of the Most High. 12Therefore He brought down their heart with labour, they fell down, and there was none to help. 13Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. 14He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke their bonds in sunder. 15Let them praise Yahweh for His grace, for His wonderful works to the children of men!  16For He has broken the gates of brass and cut through bars of iron. 17Fools are afflicted because of their disobedience and because of their iniquities. 18Their soul abhors every kind of food, they draw near to the gates of death. 19Then they cry to Yahweh in their trouble, He saves them out of their distresses. 20He sends His word and heals them, and delivers them from their graves. 21Let them praise Yahweh for His grace, for His wonderful works to the children of men!  22Let them offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with singing. 23Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business in great waters; 24these see Yahweh’s works, and His wonders in the deep. 25For He commands, and raises the stormy wind which lifts up its waves. 26They mount up to the sky; they go down again to the depths. Their soul melts away because of trouble. 27They reel back and forth and stagger like a drunken man, all their wisdom disappears. 28Then they cry to Yahweh in their trouble and He brings them out of their distress. 29He makes the storm a calm, so that its waves are still. 30Then they are glad because it is calm, and so He brings them to their desired haven. 31Let them praise Yahweh for His grace, for His wonderful works for the children of men!  32Let them exalt Him also in the gathering of the people, and praise Him in the seat of the elders. 33He turns rivers into a desert, water springs into a thirsty ground, 34and a fruitful land into a salt waste because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it. 35He turns a desert into a pool of water, and a dry land into water springs. 36There He makes the hungry live, that they may prepare a city to live in, 37sow fields, plant vineyards, and reap the fruits of increase. 38He blesses them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; He doesn’t allow their livestock to decrease. 39Again, they are diminished and bowed down through oppression, trouble, and sorrow. 40He pours contempt on princes, and causes them to wander in a trackless waste. 41Yet He lifts the needy out of their affliction, and increases their families like a flock. 42The upright will see it, and be glad. All the wicked will shut their mouths. 43Whoever is wise will pay attention to these things; they will reflect upon the graces of Yahweh.   


107:4 They found no city to live in- The LXX of this phrase is quoted about us in Heb. 13:14. We too are on a wilderness journey after our Red Sea baptism, and find no place we can call home in that journey. Our place of rest and settling down isn’t in this life, but in the Kingdom which is to come at Christ’s return. The implication could be that Israel wanted to settle in the wilderness. They didn’t want to return to Egypt (although they did at times), they didn’t really desire the unknown promised land… so, they wanted to just settle down there in the wilderness. And so it can be with us. We can be happy with the way to the Kingdom, it can be that the social aspect of the Christian life suites us… we are content with it, and yet it can be that for all that, we lack a real sense of direction towards the Kingdom. We are going some place. The Christian life is but a path leading towards an end, and the end destination is the Kingdom. If we believe surely that we will be there, we will live lives which reflect this sense of concrete direction and aim.
107:9 Mary quoted this verse about how she had been filled with good things (Lk. 1:53); but Zacharias quoted the next verse, :10, shortly afterwards (Lk. 1:79). Surely Mary had gotten him thinking in the same paths as she did. Our spirituality can influence others positively, consciously and unconsciously. This is why it’s important to mix in spiritual company.
107:11 Condemned the counsel of the Most High- This is one of a number of Biblical verses which suggest that we as it were stand in judgment upon God when we encounter His word. He overcomes every claim that His word is untrue and therefore He is condemned (Rom. 3:4). That we mere humans should judge God the judge of all is an arresting concept; but this is what we are in effect doing when we consider His claims, His promises of saving us which are throughout His word.
107:30 The idea of God stilling a storm and getting terrified sailors immediately to their port clearly had fulfilment in how Christ stilled the storm on the lake of Galilee (Jn. 6:18-21). This doesn’t mean that He is God Himself, but rather that Old Testament statements about God were fulfilled in His Son, who manifested the Father to perfection.