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Monday, October 2nd, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 107

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-43

Let's turn now in our Bibles to Psalms 107:1-43 . The hundred and seventh psalm begins with an exhortation to us to

Give thanks unto the LORD ( Psalms 107:1 ),

And the basis for the thanksgiving is His goodness and His mercy. Two things that we really should be thankful for: the goodness of God to us, and then God's mercy unto us. How thankful I am for the mercy of God. Were it not for the mercy of God, where would I be tonight? Surely not here. But,

for his mercy that endureth for ever ( Psalms 107:1 ).

Now, as we go through the psalm, the first verse exhorts us to praise. But then the psalm goes on and begins to talk about certain people and their condition. And then we find the oft-repeated phrase. In fact, it's repeated about three times, or four times through the psalm, "Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and His wonderful works to the children of men!" Oh that men would really learn to just praise God for His goodness to us. I think that we reflect too little upon God, because I really don't think that you can seriously reflect upon God without praising and without thanksgiving. When you really just start to reflect on His goodness, on His blessings, on all that He's done, the praises just sort of come.

Second verse he said,

Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy ( Psalms 107:2 );

We've been redeemed, Peter tells us, "not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but by the precious blood of Jesus Christ" ( 1 Peter 1:18 , 1 Peter 1:19 ). You've been redeemed; you ought to talk about it. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. We were actually in the bondage of sin. We were slaves to Satan. Paul said, "Who in times past walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, that even now works in the children of disobedience: among whom you all had your manner of living in times past as you walked after the lust of your own heart and your own mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others" ( Ephesians 2:2-3 ). But from that disastrous state, the Lord has redeemed you. "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy."

And he gathered them out of the lands, from the east, from the west, the north, the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Then hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of all their distresses ( Psalms 107:3-6 ).

So he is describing, really, the condition of the nation of Israel that God has gathered out of all of the lands. The people who wandered after the dispersion, "hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of all their distresses."

And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness ( Psalms 107:7-9 ).

Now that goes back to verse Psalms 107:5 , where it speaks of their condition, "Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted." Verse Psalms 107:9 , "For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." The longing soul-the soul is the consciousness of man. And somehow there is a consciousness in every man that life must be something more than what I have yet experienced. Somehow I feel there is more to life. The longing soul of man He satisfies.

Now we start into the second strophe of this psalm as he begins to describe another group.

Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the Most High ( Psalms 107:10-11 ):

So the second group he is talking about, a group who are bound in afflictions and irons, men who are in real trouble. And the reason for their trouble: their rebellion against the words of God, their scorn for the counsels of God. How many times have we gotten into trouble when we rebelled against the counsels of God? I can do it my way. Just leave me alone, Lord. I'll go my own way. And I am trying to do my own thing, and it has led me into bondage so many times. Sometimes we wonder, how in the world could I ever get in such a mess? It's because we rebelled against the words of God. We scorned His counsel.

Therefore he brought down their heart with labor; they fell down, and there was none to help. Then ( Psalms 107:12-13 )

In this sad condition,

they cried unto the LORD in their trouble ( Psalms 107:13 ),

Going back to verse Psalms 107:6 , the first group who cried unto the Lord in their trouble.

and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in two ( Psalms 107:13-14 ).

Now the breaking of the bands in two go back to verse Psalms 107:10 , "Being bound in affliction and iron." God breaks the bondage that we experience.

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! ( Psalms 107:15 )

And then going back once again.

For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder ( Psalms 107:16 ).

Now he deals with another category.

Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted ( Psalms 107:17 ).

We bring a lot of grief on ourselves.

Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat ( Psalms 107:18 );

Now this to me is interesting, because it seems to be describing a vegetarian and it calls them fools. And they do act a little funny at times if you observe them. They seem to be lacking protein in their diet. "Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat."

and they draw near unto the gates of death ( Psalms 107:18 ).

And again,

Then [in this condition] they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from his destructions ( Psalms 107:19-20 ).

How many times God uses His Word to heal, to deliver, to set us free. How many times when I've had a particular problem and I was very concerned and as I was praying, the Lord would send His Word. He would give me a scripture in my heart. A scripture would flash in my mind, and that scripture was just what I needed. How many times when the Word of God has flashed in my mind in a particular circumstance, I said, "Thank You, Lord, I really needed that." For the scripture was just exactly what I was needing at that time. And it ministered to me, and it was strength to me, and it brought me through.

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing ( Psalms 107:21-22 ).

Now, in the Old Testament, in order to approach God they had to come to the priest with sacrifices. And there were different sacrifices that were offered in the Old Testament. There were the sin offerings, the sacrifices for sin of which we are all very familiar. But there were also what they called the peace offerings, which was just really... the idea behind the peace offering was communion with God. It was bringing a sacrifice and they would barbecue it for you and then you'd sit down and eat with God. Part of it would be burned unto the Lord, His portion, and then you would eat your portion, and it was just an offering of communion. I want to just draw close to God and just sit down and have a meal with the Lord. And so you'd offer a peace offering unto God.

Then there was also the burnt offering sacrifices. And the burnt offering sacrifices were sacrifices of consecration unto God. God, I want to consecrate myself to You. And so I would offer to the Lord a burnt offering sacrifice which was a sacrifice signifying my commitment of myself to God. So the different sacrifices that were offered.

Now we say, "Well, we're living now in the gospel of grace, and Jesus sacrificed Himself once and for all." Yes, as a sin offering. And that takes care of the sin sacrifice completely. But there are sacrifices of the New Testament that we are exhorted to offer unto God. Not animal sacrifices, but fruit sacrifices. "Let us offer unto God the sacrifice of praise, even the fruit of our lips" ( Hebrews 13:15 ). And so praising God becomes actually a peace offering. As through praise, I come into communion with God. "For the Lord inhabits the praises of His people" ( Psalms 22:3 ). The sacrifice of praise and that of commitment of myself as I am worshipping the Lord and I just yield my life to Him.

So there are sacrifices of praise and here, the psalmist said, "Let them sacrifice the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and declare His work with rejoicing." We were talking with a group of people today and we were saying, "We need to get together some night and just talk about the Lord and all of the wonderful things He's doing." Just spend an evening. Just getting together talking about the goodness of God, and the work of God, and the blessings of God. What a profitable evening that would be, as we just sit together and we just talk about, "Oh, you remember what the Lord did? Oh, isn't that glorious?" And just rejoicing, you know, as you talk about the glorious works of God.

There's an interesting thing when people get together to talk about the Lord. The Lord is always interested in it. He's interested in what you have to say about Him. Just like you're interested when people talk about you; you want to know what they're saying. And you get a chance, you know, you hear your name, and you know how you tune in on your name and you get real quiet and you listen to see what they're saying. Well, the Bible indicates that God does something like that, too. It says, "They that love the Lord spake often of Him" ( Malachi 3:16 ). And the Lord made a record of the things that they were saying. God kept a record. And in that day, they shall be accounted as jewels. God loves people to talk about Him. And so here, "Declare His works with rejoicing."

Now we come into a fourth category of people. A fourth section of this psalm. This is for the sailors.

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do their business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep ( Psalms 107:23-24 ).

The ocean is always a marvel. I love... I'm a very water-oriented person. I love the water. I love diving down and looking at the coral and the various fish, and it's just the works of God. "They see the works of the LORD, His wonders in the deep."

For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves thereof. They mount up to heaven, they go down again into the depths: and their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, they're at their wit's end ( Psalms 107:25-27 ).

You ever been in a storm at sea? Huge waves.

And then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distress. And he makes the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they're quiet; so he brings them into their desired haven ( Psalms 107:28-30 ).

The work of God bringing us into the desired haven. Beautiful.

Now the psalm ends with just exhortations unto, again, of praising the Lord for His works, and it begins to list many of the works of the Lord.

Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. For he turneth the rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings. And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation; And sow the fields, and plant the vineyards, which may yield the fruits of increase. He blesses them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and he allowed not their cattle to decrease. Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow. And he poured contempt upon the princes, and causes them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way. Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh his families like a flock. The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the LORD ( Psalms 107:32-43 ).

So the final verses just sort of a conclusion to the psalm saying that "Whoever is wise, and will observe these things." What things? Praising, thanksgiving. "Even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD." "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 107". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/psalms-107.html. 2014.
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