Read Psalm 107:1-16
This Psalm was a song written to express gratitude as the people of Judah returning from being exiled in Babylon.
This Psalm records a similar cycle to that of the book of Judges.
• Israel betrays God.
• God allows the consequences of poor decision making to come upon Israel.
• The people call out to God for deliverance.
• God saves and redeems His people.
But what we see here are two major themes.
1. God’s love endures forever.
2. This love is the foundation for a heart of gratitude. Thankfulness.
In the first half of the Psalm, we see two different situations where God displays His enduring love.
1. The Wanderer (v4-9)
Some of the exiles would be more correctly described as refugees. After Babylon took Jerusalem, there were those who fled Judah and left as refugees. Some of these refugees were attacked by Edom, as they fled.
This sets the scene for what this part of the Psalm deals with. We read that there were those who wandered in the desert, with no city to dwell in. They hungered, thirsted and grew faint. Which was ultimately self-inflicted. They made poor decisions and choices. They were independent not dependent on God.
This is depicting a barren, lonely and unstable/ uncertain way of life. Maybe that’s a place that you feel that you’re in. Maybe you feel that all you are experiencing barrenness, loneliness, and instability.
2. The Prisoner (v10-16)
Some of the exiles were taken captive. They were held as prisoners. This is a result of rebelling against God. They rebelled which lead to the bondage of labour.
These were people that were alone with no help, held captive by the situation of their life, with no ability to see a way out. Once again this was self-inflicted. They made poor decisions and choices. They were reaping the harvest of what they sowed.
Maybe you feel captive in a situation. That might be to do with your employment, or your relationships, your finances, your own emotions.
In both these situations, we read that there is hope. The wanderers and the prisoners call out to the LORD. Here is where the enduring love comes in.
God didn’t condemn them. He didn’t say “I told you so.” He didn’t say “I can’t help you because you didn’t come to me first.” All he did was wait patiently for His children to call on Him and depend on Him. Then He moved to restore and heal them. All because of His love.
Calling on God in this way is a call of humility, where pride is stripped away, and we stop trying to solve the problem ourselves. We let God redeem us.
God’s love redeems the barren, the lonely, the isolated, the unsustained soul, the captive, the rebellious. Our God is all about relationship and restoration. He is about faithfulness and loyalty to His people, even when His people aren’t faithful to Him.
So, what are we to do with this?
Give thanks to the LORD for His steadfast love endures forever. This Psalm lays out situations that are hard to be thankful for. This is where we need to understand what we are being thankful for.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 instructs us to: 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Paul calls us to give thanks ‘IN’ all circumstances, not ‘FOR’ every circumstance. What are we being thankful ‘FOR’ ‘IN’ every circumstance? We need to be thankful for God’s steadfast and enduring love. For His ever-present mercy that He shows us, even when we let Him down.
Life brings about many different types of distress, whether out of our hands or self-inflicted. Yet God brings us out of all of them when we call out to him. He is faithful to His children. Our calling out to Him is an acknowledgment of our dependence on Him. We can’t get ourselves out of situations in our own strength.
We should thank God because He restores and redeems us when we become dependent on him.
Do you feel like a wanderer in the wilderness?
Do you feel like a prisoner to something?
God wants you to turn to Him. Let Him be your deliverer. Break out of an independent frame of mind.
As we learn to give thanks in every circumstance, we will find that overcoming will be our natural state. Not because we are strong enough, but because our God is more than strong enough.
In faith, hope, and love
Steve and Cass Abram