For our meditation and worship preparation on this last Lord’s Day of February we turn to Psalm 107, which begins Book V of the Psalms (107-150). This is another psalm in a series which extols the works of God in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalms 104-107). While we do not know the precise historical context of this psalm, it seems to point to the Babylonian captivity and the return to Jerusalem (vss.2-7). In any case, the psalm is a call to the redeemed of the Lord and to the children of men to thank and praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy, especially in the face of their sin and rebellion.
You will notice that the same phrase structure and is repeated is repeated four (4) times in this psalm (4-8; 9-15; 16-21; 22-31). First there is a description of some special need on the part of the people (vss.4-5). Then the note that they cry unto the Lord for help in the midst of their trouble (v.6). Next is the word that the Lord heard this cry and sent His saving help (v.7). And finally, there is the call to praise the Lord for this manifestation of His goodness in His wonderful works (v.8).
As we consider the examples set before us in this Word of God, we can certainly recall our own list of examples (our need and God’s goodness to us) and make our own poem of praise structured after these four here. This is fitting not just at Thanksgiving time, but throughout the year, and even daily. This helps to make our thanks and praise pointed and personal.
And let us not forget to view this psalm in the light of the NT and the full revelation of Christ and His cross and resurrection! What goodness and mercy the Lord has shown to us in His Son – in our deepest need! Shall we not make a stanza along the lines of this psalm for these wonderful works of God?!
Yet we should also give thanks and praise to the Lord for His goodness corporately. There are specific references to public worship in Psalm 107. Look at verses 22 and 32 especially. And as we look at the entire psalm, we will see that it is speaking to God’s people as a body of redeemed and renewed children. Together we are addressed; together we recall our need and our cry to the Lord; together we speak of what God has done in saving us. And so together also we thank and praise Him. In the congregation we exalt Him (v.32) and offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving (v.22).
Thus we are called to do on this Lord’s Day. May we gladly and gratefully gather with our fellow saints, the Lord’s redeemed, from every land and from every background, and with united hearts lift up the sacrifices of thanksgiving to the God of our salvation. For this is wisdom – to observe these things and understand our covenant God’s lovingkindness (v.43),
O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; 3And gathered them 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 solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. 5Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. 6Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. 7And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. 8Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 9For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. 10Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; 11Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned 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 unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. 14He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. 15Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 16For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder. 17Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. 18Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death. 19Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. 20He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.21Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 22And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. 23They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;24These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. 25For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 26They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 27They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. 28Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. 29He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. 30Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. 31Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 32Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. 33He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; 34A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. 35He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings. 36And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation; 37And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase. 38He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease. 39Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow. 40He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness,where there is no way. 41Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock. 42The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. 43Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.
If you wish to mediate on this psalm through music, you are encouraged to sing along with this piano accompaniment of a versification of Psalm 107 taken from the Psalter. Click on the title below to hear the music. For more selections, visit this page (scroll down to Psalm 107).
292. Redeeming Love. Psalm 107. 7s. (4 stanzas)
1. Praise the Lord, for He is good,
For His mercies ever sure
From eternity have stood,
To eternity endure;
Let His ransomed people raise
Songs to their Redeemer’s praise.
2. From captivity released,
From the south and from the north,
From the west and from the east,
In His love He brought them forth,
Ransomed out of every land
From the adversary’s hand.
3, Wandering in the wilderness,
Far they roamed the desert way,
Found no settled dwellingplace
Where in peace secure to stay,
Till with thirst and hunger pressed
Courage sank within their breast.
4. To Jehovah then they cried
In their trouble, and He saved,
He Himself became their guide,
Let them to the rest they craved
By a pathway straight and sure,
To a city strong, secure.
5. Sons of men, awake to praise
God the Lord Who reigns above,
Gracious in His works and ways,
Wondrous in redeeming love;
Longing souls He satisfies,
Hungry hearts with good supplies.