“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…” (Psalm 107:1 & 2a)
The main point of Psalm 107 is found in the opening 2 verses. The author begins with the exhortation, “Oh give thanks,” which continues throughout the Psalm. It is God’s people who learn to give thanks, because according to Romans the human race fallen into sin as it is, does not give thanks to God, neither does it acknowledge the one true God.
“For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Romans 1:21)
Not honoring God and not giving Him thanks for all He has done go hand-in-hand. In our society we have taken not honoring God to an all new high. Civilizations for millennia have acknowledged there must be a god, howbeit they do not acknowledge the one true God. Idols are the result of forming God into an image pleasing to men, but not according to truth. Men know there must be a God because otherwise there is no explanation for how all things came to be. Creation testifies to the existence of God.
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
Where there is a cause there must be an effect, and the first effect that caused all things to come into being is God. However, today it is preferred by many to believe that the universe designed and created itself, hence evolution.
The exhortation to give thanks is followed up by the words, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…” At the forefront of this Psalm the is the divine truth of a redemption, the price that has been paid in order to free the people of God from their enemies, “Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary” (107:2b). In the minds of the Israelites bondage to Egypt would have been paramount followed by the nations surrounding Israel.
The implications of course are far reaching with regards to redemption and freedom. The New Testament takes the idea of redemption and applies it to salvation of the soul, which is an everlasting lovingkindess. Redemption takes the responsibility for personal salvation out of the hands of man and places it squarely as a result of what God has done. It is to God we are exhorted to give thanks and not ourselves.
According to Psalm 107 there are at least 5 reasons to give thanks to God. All 5 apply to the redeemed who were once part of this present world system, but by God’s grace have been called out and placed into the everlasting arms of God.
1) Those who have lost their way find again the way in which they should go.
“They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region; they did not find a way to an inhabited city.” (107:4)
The “way” in the kingdom of God is to honor, obey, and love Him forever.
2) There is a hunger that can only be satisfied by the living God.
“They were hungry and thirsty; Their soul fainted within them.” (107:5)
Jesus offers the water of life in (Revelation 22:17) “And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”
3) There is no greater darkness than to live a lie, to die and not know why. To be cast into outer darkness is the greatest prison of all.
“There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in misery and chains,” (107:10)
There is no other savior than Jesus, who according to (Hebrews 2:14 & 15) became one with humanity to free the prisoners from the fear of death and death itself.
“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.”
The reason for the death and darkness is always the same in the scripture, it is always related to man’s relationship with God who created him. “Because they had rebelled against the words of God and spurned the counsel of the Most High.” (107:11)
4) The storms of life, which are meant to reveal to man the consequences of sin temporally, point to the coming eternal judgment of God.
“For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, Which lifted up the waves of the sea. They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths; their soul melted away in their misery.” (107:25 & 26)
There is no greater evidence to the indwelling Spirit of God than a transcendent peace during one of life’s storms.
5) In this present life everything is not always as it seems. Sometimes a righteous man suffers through much misery, while the wicked prosper. However, the righteous are not focused on the outworking of this present world, as are the wicked, but are able to look ahead with the promises of God in view.
“But He sets the needy securely on high away from affliction, and makes his families like a flock. The upright see it and are glad; but all unrighteousness shuts its mouth.” (107:41 & 42)
One day all the righteous that have been redeemed by the God of creation and salvation will be set securely on high. All affliction, suffering, and death will be done away forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, that God is good for His loving-kindness is everlasting.