Psalm 107 - Give Thanks to Jehovah for his Lovingkindness

INTRODUCTION: This time I selected the first Psalm of book V, to conclude the pattern of examining the first Psalm of each of the five books of Psalms. I know nothing of the origin of this Psalm, but by considering each paragraph, sentence by sentence, I have again been reminded of the omnipotence and grace of our loving God. We exist in our mortal bodies, and wait for our redemption, in total dependence upon our creator, who says in another place "I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy".

Those who are called by God come from all points of the globe, and they are gathered as a shepherd gathers his flock, and they are lead to the place he has chosen for safe and contented dwelling. Because of the entrance of sin into the heart of man in the garden, this will not be fulfilled in the present world; but nature and the condition of man continually provide pictures of the contrast between desolation and rich reward, all under God's control.

If men have the truth before them, but remain in rebellion to the one who has overcome sin on their behalf, their condemnation remains. For those who come to "their wits end" and cry out to the Lord Jesus, salvation is imputed to their souls and they will escape the power of the grave, which is the otherwise inescapable distress. When we fully grasp the truth that for those in Christ Jesus, there is therefore now no condemnation, our hearts should leap within us in praise to our wonderful Savior!


Psalms 107 in paraphrase

Give thanks to Jehovah, for excellent benefits: his lovingkindness endures forever. Let the redeemed of Jehovah declare that we are redeemed from the power of distress; gathered from lands east, west, north, and south. Wandering in the desolate wilderness journey, they found no encampment for habitation. Hungry and thirsty, their souls were swooning. They cried out to Jehovah in distress; and he delivered them from their distress. He led them on an upright journey to go to an encampment of habitation. Give thanks to Jehovah for his lovingkindness, and his marvelous surpassing works for the children of men! He completely satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with excellent benefits.

They inhabited darkness and the shadow of death, and were prisoner in affliction and iron; because they rebelled against the words of God, and abhorred the counsel of the most high. He humbled their hearts with toil and trouble; they fell down with no one to help. Then they cried out to Jehovah in distress, and he saved them from the distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, broke their bonds, and plucked them away. Give thanks to Jehovah for his lovingkindness, and his marvelous surpassing works for the children of men! He has broken in pieces the gates of brass, and cut down the bars of iron.

Foolish men on a journey of transgression and unrighteousness are afflicted. Their soul abhors food; and they draw near to the gates of death. Then they cry out to Jehovah in their distress and he saves them out of their distress. He sends his word and heals them, and delivers them from the grave. Give thanks to Jehovah for his lovingkindness, and his marvelous surpassing works for the children of men! Offer the sacrifice of praise, confession, and thanksgiving; and recount his deeds with triumphant rejoicing.

They that go down to the sea in ships and do business in great waters; these see the works of Jehovah, wondrous and surpassing in the deep sea. He spoke, and raised the stormy whirlwind, which lifted up the waves. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of their trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end. Then they cry out to Jehovah in their distress, and he brings them out of their distress. He makes the storm calm so that the waves are still. They rejoice at the calm; he brings them to a delightful haven. Give thanks to Jehovah for his lovingkindness, and his marvelous surpassing works for the children of men! Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people, and praise him the assembly of the elders.

He turns rivers into deserts, and watersprings into dry ground; a fruitful land into barrenness for the wickedness of the inhabitants. He turns deserts into pools of water and dry land into watersprings. He makes the hungry remain to establish an encampment for habitation; and sow the fields and plant vineyards which may yield fruits of increase. He blesses so that they are Multiplied greatly, and does not diminish their animals. Again, they are diminished and humbled through oppression, wickedness, and sorrow. He pours out contempt on nobles and they wander in confusion in the way. But the beggar is set on high from affliction, and appointed to Families like flocks. The righteous shall see and rejoice: unrighteousness shall shut up its mouth. The wise man will heed these things and understand the lovingkindness of Jehovah.


--- Reflections in prayer ---

Lord, I praise you, and offer my worship, for your excellent benefits provided in and through my eternal salvation, which is borne out of your everlasting lovingkindness. I declare and proclaim that you have redeemed me from the power of human distress, and included me among the many to be gathered from north, south, east, and west. I too, was wandering through my journey of life, in the desolation of my sin with no resting place of final habitation. Hungry and thirsty to the point of swooning in my spirit, I cried out to you my God, in my utter distress, and you delivered me from that distress! You are now leading me on an upright journey, with the righteousness of Christ applied to me, to arrive at that encampment of final rest. I thank you Lord Jesus for your lovingkindness, and your marvelous surpassing works for the children of men! You are completely satisfying my longing soul, and filling my hungry soul with excellent benefits.

Israel, your chosen, inhabited darkness and the shadow of death, and were prisoner in affliction and iron; because they rebelled against the words of God, and abhorred the counsel of the most high. You humbled their hearts with toil and trouble; they fell down with no one to help. Then they cried out to Jehovah in distress, and you saved them from the distress. You brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, broke their bonds, and plucked them away. O my Lord Jehovah, I will continually give you thanks for your lovingkindness, and your marvelous surpassing works for the children of men, first in Israel, and now in the church! You have broken in pieces the gates of brass, and cut down the bars of iron.

I and all other foolish unregenerate men on a journey of transgression and unrighteousness, are afflicted. Our soul abhors food; and we draw near to the gates of death. Then we cry out to Jehovah in our distress and you save us out of our distress. You send your word and heal us, and deliver us from the grave, through salvation in Christ. O I shall give thanks to my Lord Jehovah for your lovingkindness, and your marvelous surpassing works for the children of men! Please strengthen me to offer the sacrifice of praise, confession, and thanksgiving; and to recount your deeds with triumphant rejoicing.

As I go through my work day with many things appearing to be under my control, remind me Lord of those that go down to the sea in ships and do business in great oceans of the world; and how they can easily see the works of Jehovah, wondrous and surpassing in the deep sea. With just a word from you, the stormy whirlwind is raised, which will lift up the waves. The waves mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths carrying even the largest vessel as a toy: the souls of all on board is melted because of their trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like drunken men, and are at their wit's end. Then they cry out to you, Lord Jehovah in their distress, and you bring them out of their distress. You make the storm calm so that the waves are still. They rejoice at the calm; you bring them to a delightful haven. This also reminds me of your power in calming the storm, which frightened your disciples in the boat with you on the sea of Galilee, and it brings to mind many storms you have calmed for me. And again, I will give thanks to you Lord Jehovah for your lovingkindness, and your marvelous surpassing works for the children of men! May your Holy Spirit empower us to exalt you in the congregation of the people, that your church will be built up; and praise you in the assembly of the elders as testimony that you are the head of the body.

You turn rivers into deserts, and watersprings into dry ground; a fruitful land into barrenness for the wickedness of the inhabitants. You turn deserts into pools of water and dry land into watersprings. You make the hungry remain to establish an encampment for habitation; and sow the fields and plant vineyards which may yield fruits of increase. You blessed so that they are multiplied greatly, and do not diminish their animals. Again, they are diminished and humbled through oppression, wickedness, and sorrow. You pour out contempt on nobles and they wander in confusion in the way. These cycles of blessings and withheld blessings, demonstrate your omnipotence, and level the station of all men to utter dependence on your grace. And therefore, the beggar who understands that he must turn to you for that grace, is set on high from affliction, and appointed to Families like flocks. The righteous in Christ shall see and rejoice: unrighteousness shall shut up its mouth. The wise man will heed these things and understand the lovingkindness of Jehovah. O my Lord, grant me comprehension of these things which are too marvelous for me through human understanding alone, and solidify my position in obedience to you. Amen and amen.

Published 4 June 2004, first issued 31 October 1999