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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Psalms 107

 

 

Verses 1-43

Psalm 107

Date- Psalm 107 appears to be post-exilic since it makes reference to the gathering of Israel from foreign lands ( Psalm 107:3).

Psalm 107:3, "And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south."

Theme- This is a psalm of praise and thanksgiving for God's eternal love, with a repetitive refrain ( Psalm 107:1; Psalm 107:8; Psalm 107:15; Psalm 107:21; Psalm 107:31) that calls man to praise Him for his love and mercy towards them. God delivers man through His mercy when he cries out to Him in repentance.

Note some modern titles given to this Psalm:

1. Exhortation of praise

2. The Lord delivers men from manifold troubles

Structure - Here is a proposed structure for Psalm 107 :

I. Introduction: A Call to Praise the Lord ( Psalm 107:1-3) - The psalmist opens Psalm 107 by giving them a call to praise the Lord for Him mercy towards them.

II. Four Illustrations of God's Love for Mankind ( Psalm 107:4-32) - Having given a call to praise and thanksgiving to God's redeemed for His mercy and love towards them, the Psalm provides four illustrations of God's redemption to His people.

A. The Stranger — ( Psalm 107:4-8)

B. The Prisoner — ( Psalm 107:9-15)

C. The Afflicted — ( Psalm 107:16-22)

D. The Seafarer — ( Psalm 107:23-32)

These four illustrations repeat a common message of man's helplessness, his cry unto God, and the Lord's deliverance. Each illustration concludes with a call for thanksgiving unto God for His love ( Psalm 107:8; Psalm 107:15; Psalm 107:21-22; Psalm 107:31-32).

III. God's Divine Providence ( Psalm 107:33-42) - After giving four illustrations of God's redemption from earthly distress ( Psalm 107:4-32), the psalmist reminds them of how His divine providence operates here on earth. He curses the wicked ( Psalm 107:33-34) and blesses the hungry ( Psalm 107:35-38), and all based upon the love of God, which moves Him to hear the cry of those in need ( Psalm 107:39-42).

IV. Conclusion ( Psalm 107:43) - The psalmist concludes Psalm 107 by asking the redeemed to consider God's love towards them.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline of Psalm 107 :

I. Introduction — Psalm 107:1-3

II. Four Illustrations of God's Love for Mankind — Psalm 107:4-32

A. The Stranger — Psalm 107:4-8

B. The Prisoner — Psalm 107:9-15

C. The Afflicted — Psalm 107:16-22

D. The Seafarer — Psalm 107:23-32

III. God's Divine Providence — Psalm 107:33-38

A. God Curses — Psalm 107:33-34

B. God Blesses — Psalm 107:35-38

C. God Delivers the Needy — Psalm 107:39-42

IV. Conclusion — Psalm 107:43

Psalm 107:1 O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 107:1Word Study on "mercy" - Strong says the Hebrew word "mercy" "checed" ( חֶסֶד) (H 2617) means, "favor, good deed, kindly, (loving-) kindness, merciful (kindness), mercy, pity, reproach, wicked thing." It is often translated into English as "lovingkindness, mercy, love, and acts of kindness." It can be considered the equivalent of the New Testament word agape ἀγάπη. For this reason, the NIV translates this Hebrew word ( חֶסֶד) as "love."

NIV, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

The Hebrew word ( חֶסֶד) is used six times in refrains of the Psalm 107 (1, 8, 15, 21, 31, 43).

Psalm 107:2-3 — God Gathers His Redeemed - Psalm 107:2-3 makes a reference to God gathering the people whom He has redeemed from the four corners of the earth. This is certainly a reference to the time when the children of Israel returned from Babylonian Captivity. It dates this psalm as post-exilic. This passage also predicts of the rebirth of the nation of Israel that took place in 1948.

Psalm 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say Song of Solomon , whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

Psalm 107:3 — "the redeemed of the Lord" - Comments- We find this phrase "the redeemed of the Lord" used in Isaiah 62:12 to describe God's people.

Isaiah 62:12, "And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken."

Psalm 107:3Comments- God's love is extended to all mankind; however, it is only the redeemed who have acknowledged it and now recognize it in their daily lives. The sinner, lost in the darkness of sins, is not able to see God's plan of redemption for him.

Psalm 107:3 And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.

Psalm 107:3Word Study on "the south" - Strong says the Hebrew word "south" "yam" ( ָים) (H 3220) literally means, "a sea or a large body of water." The Enhanced Strong says this word is found 396 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "sea 321, west 47, westward 21, west side 4, seafaring men 1, south 1, western 1." The word is most often used literally of the sea, particularly the great sea, or Mediterranean Sea. It is occasionally used figuratively to refer to the west, since the Sea lies immediately to the west of the land of Palestine. Because of its context of using "east, west, and north" immediately beforehand in Psalm 107:3, this is the only time this word is translated "south" in the Scriptures.

Psalm 107:3Comments- The event of God gathering His redeemed from the east west, north and south best describes the return of the children of Israel from Babylonian Captivity. Thus, scholars see Psalm 107:3 as an indication that this Psalm is post-exilic.

God promised this divine gathering of the nation of Israel in Deuteronomy 30:1-4 when His people turn back to Him in repentance and godly sorrow. God also spoke through the prophet Ezekiel during their Captivity and reminded them of this promise.

Deuteronomy 30:4, "If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:"

Ezekiel 34:12, "As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day."

Psalm 107:4-32 — Four Illustrations of God's Love for Mankind- Having given a call to praise and thanksgiving to God's redeemed for His mercy and love towards them, the psalmist provides four illustrations of God's redemption to His people.

1. The Stranger — — ( Psalm 107:4-8)

2. The Prisoner — — ( Psalm 107:9-15)

3. The Afflicted — ( Psalm 107:16-22)

4. The Seafarer — — ( Psalm 107:23-32)

These four illustrations repeat a common message of man's helplessness, his cry unto God, and the Lord's deliverance. Each illustration concludes with a call for thanksgiving unto God for His love ( Psalm 107:8; Psalm 107:15; Psalm 107:21-22; Psalm 107:31-32).

Psalm 107:4-8 — God Delivers Those in the Wilderness - Psalm 107:4-8 tells us how God delivers those who are in the wilderness who are overcome with hunger and thirst. This most closely describes the children of Israel during their wilderness journeys. In God's love, He guided a sinful and rebellious people along their journey to the Promised Land. Why did the children of Israel have to face a need of water, and food, and fight against the Amalekites, etc? God was testing their faith in Him, to get them to turn to Him as their God.

Psalm 107:8 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psalm 107:8Illustrations:

1. Moses" song after crossing the Red sea and God's great deliverance - Exodus 15:1-19.

2. Miriam's song - Exodus 15:20-21.

Psalm 107:18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.

Psalm 107:18Comments- Matthew Henry says that when the physical body is sick, it loathes food. When a person's appetite is lost, death is soon to come. 106] Thus, Psalm 107:18 describes a condition of the body that approaches death unless there is divine deliverance.

106] Matthew Henry, Psalm, in Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), notes on Psalm 107:18.

Psalm 107:20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

Psalm 107:20 — "their destructions" - Comments- This phrase tells us that some people have an appointed destruction. We know that Satan, who comes to steal, kill and destroy, plans these days ( John 10:10). God also has an appointed day of salvation ( 2 Corinthians 6:2). Satan may have a plan of destruction, but if we will look to God, His divine plan will prevail.

John 10:10, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

2 Corinthians 6:2, "(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)"

Psalm 107:22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

Psalm 107:22 — — Comments- Leviticus 7:11-15 gives us the Laws on the thanksgiving offering.

Leviticus 7:11-12, "And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the LORD. If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried."

We see a type of thanksgiving offering in Hebrews 13:15.

Hebrews 13:15, "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that Isaiah , the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."

Psalm 107:23-30 — God Delivers from the Storm - Psalm 107:23-30 tells us how God delivers those who are in the storms of the sea. Although the context of this psalm is about God's deliverance to a rebellious people, we do find a similar deliverance in the Gospels when Jesus was awakened by His disciples in the boat during the storm and He rebuked the winds and the waves ( Matthew 8:23-27).

Psalm 107:23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;

Psalm 107:23 — "They that go down to the sea in ships" - Comments- The Hebrew verb describes a descent, to go downward. This would describe the journey from the highlands to the seashore.

Psalm 107:23 — "that do business in great waters" - Comments- The phrase "in great waters" is descriptive of the vast bodies of water, such as the Mediterranean Sea, in contrast to smaller inland lakes and rivers.

Psalm 107:33-42 — God's Divine Providence - After giving four illustrations of God's redemption from earthly distress ( Psalm 107:4-32), the psalmist reminds them of how His divine providence operates here on earth. God rules over nature and over mankind. He curses the wicked ( Psalm 107:33-34) and blesses the hungry ( Psalm 107:35-38), and all based upon the love of God, which moves Him to hear the cry of those in need ( Psalm 107:39-42). Thus, this passage of Scripture explains God's providential ways towards mankind.

Psalm 107:34 A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.

Psalm 107:34Comments- Psalm 107:34 serves as a good illustration of Sodom and Gomorrah ( Genesis 19:25).

Genesis 19:25, "And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground."

Psalm 107:43 — Conclusion- Psalm 107 serves as a conclusion with a final call for the redeemed to consider God's ways of mercy and love towards them. The righteous have God's wisdom to see God's hand in all of this. If man will live in an attitude of worship and praise and recognition towards Him, he will be able to abide under God's blessings, and live above the curses that plague a depraved humanity.

Psalm 107:43 Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Psalms 107:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/psalms-107.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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