Monday, October 14, 2019

The Lord to the Rescue

"He sent forth His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave"(Psalm 107:20).

Psalm 107 is a psalm of deliverance the theme of which is our gratitude to God for His salvation of us. The psalm bases its imagery on the world God created. It mentions four places that are threatening, places outside of the land of God which flows with milk and honey. In several cases, God delivered His people from these threatening places and established them in a new Eden.

First, there were those who wandered in the desert. They had neither water nor food, but God fed them. Finally, God led them into His land and gave them a city (Jerusalem), a city that exalted Him and was a glory to them (vv. 4–9). The psalmist clearly alludes to Israel’s experience in the wilderness, but the application is to any of us who are going through a similar experience.

Second, there were some who suffered as prisoners, bound in chains and darkness away from the sun. They had rebelled against God, so He in His faithfulness chastised them. Then they repented and cried to Him, and He heard them and rescued them (vv. 10–16). Perhaps the allusion here is to Joseph, though he was not imprisoned for any sin. When Joseph imprisoned his brothers for a short time, and they repented in prison, God delivered them.

Third, there were those who rebelled against God and thus rebelled against His good creation. They became sick and drew near to Sheol, the place of death. Then they repented and cried to God, and He saved them, granting them new life (vv. 17–22).

Finally, there were some who labored on the sea away from God’s land. They were carrying out God’s great command to traverse and subdue the earth, but a storm broke out at sea. They almost perished, but they cried to God as did the sailors in Jonah 1. He saved them also, returning them safely to land (vv. 23–31).

As an epilogue, the psalmist points out that when those enjoying the fruits of a godly culture forsake the Lord, their good land will turn into a waste. However, if they repent, He will turn and heal their land for them (vv. 33–42). The psalmist tells us to think on these things and be sure to express our gratitude to the Lord.

Out of what great distress has God brought you? Which of the four situations was most like yours? Have you made it a point to give thanks to God and to tell others what great things He has done for you? If you are still in distress, make this psalm your comfort, and start thanking Him now for what He will do for you.