Psalms 107



(Psalms 107–150)


Psalm 107

1 "Give thanks to the LORD because he is good, because his faithful love lasts forever!"
2 That's what those who are redeemed by the LORD say, the ones God redeemed from the power of their enemies,
3 the ones God gathered from various countries, from east and west, north and south.
4 Some of the redeemed had wandered into the desert, into the wasteland. They couldn't find their way to a city or town.
5 They were hungry and thirsty; their lives were slipping away.
6 So they cried out to the LORD in their distress, and God delivered them from their desperate circumstances.
7 God led them straight to human habitation.
8 Let them thank the LORD for his faithful love and his wondrous works for all people,
9 because God satisfied the one who was parched with thirst, and he filled up the hungry with good things!
10 Some of the redeemed had been sitting in darkness and deep gloom; they were prisoners suffering in chains
11 because they had disobeyed God's instructions and rejected the Most High's plans.
12 So God humbled them with hard work. They stumbled, and there was no one to help them.
13 So they cried out to the LORD in their distress, and God saved them from their desperate circumstances.
14 God brought them out from the darkness and deep gloom; he shattered their chains.
15 Let them thank the LORD for his faithful love and his wondrous works for all people,
16 because God has shattered bronze doors and split iron bars in two!
17 Some of the redeemed were fools because of their sinful ways. They suffered because of their wickedness.
18 They had absolutely no appetite for food; they had arrived at death's gates.
19 So they cried out to the LORD in their distress, and God saved them from their desperate circumstances.
20 God gave the order and healed them; he rescued them from their pit.
21 Let them thank the LORD for his faithful love and his wondrous works for all people.
22 Let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices and declare what God has donein songs of joy!
23 Some of the redeemed had gone out on the ocean in ships, making their living on the high seas.
24 They saw what the LORD had made; they saw his wondrous works in the depths of the sea.
25 God spoke and stirred up a storm that brought the waves up high.
26 The waves went as high as the sky; they crashed down to the depths. The sailors' courage melted at this terrible situation.
27 They staggered and stumbled around like they were drunk. None of their skill was of any help.
28 So they cried out to the LORD in their distress, and God brought them out safe from their desperate circumstances.
29 God quieted the storm to a whisper; the sea's waves were hushed.
30 So they rejoiced because the waves had calmed down; then God led them to the harbor they were hoping for.
31 Let them thank the LORD for his faithful love and his wondrous works for all people.
32 Let them exalt God in the congregation of the people and praise God in the assembly of the elders.
33 God turns rivers into desert, watery springs into thirsty ground,
34 fruitful land into unproductive dirt, when its inhabitants are wicked.
35 But God can also turn the desert into watery pools, thirsty ground into watery springs,
36 where he settles the hungry. They even build a city and live there!
37 They plant fields and vineyards and obtain a fruitful harvest.
38 God blesses them, and they become many. God won't even let their cattle diminish.
39 But when they do diminish— when they're brought down by oppression, trouble, and grief—
40 God pours contempt on their leaders, making them wander aimlessly in the wastelands.
41 But God raises the needy from their suffering; he makes their families as numerous as sheep!
42 Those who do right see it and celebrate, but every wicked person shuts their mouth.
43 Whoever is wise will pay attention to these things, carefully considering the LORD's faithful love.

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Psalms 107 Commentary

Chapter 107

God's providential care of the children of men in distresses, in banishment, and dispersion. (1-9) In captivity. (10-16) In sickness. (17-22) Danger at sea.(23-32) God's hand is to be seen by his own people. (33-43)

Verses 1-9 In these verses there is reference to the deliverance from Egypt, and perhaps that from Babylon: but the circumstances of travellers in those countries are also noted. It is scarcely possible to conceive the horrors suffered by the hapless traveller, when crossing the trackless sands, exposed to the burning rays of the sum. The words describe their case whom the Lord has redeemed from the bondage of Satan; who pass through the world as a dangerous and dreary wilderness, often ready to faint through troubles, fears, and temptations. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, after God, and communion with him, shall be filled with the goodness of his house, both in grace and glory.

Verses 10-16 This description of prisoners and captives intimates that they are desolate and sorrowful. In the eastern prisons the captives were and are treated with much severity. Afflicting providences must be improved as humbling providences; and we lose the benefit, if our hearts are unhumbled and unbroken under them. This is a shadow of the sinner's deliverance from a far worse confinement. The awakened sinner discovers his guilt and misery. Having struggled in vain for deliverance, he finds there is no help for him but in the mercy and grace of God. His sin is forgiven by a merciful God, and his pardon is accompanied by deliverance from the power of sin and Satan, and by the sanctifying and comforting influences of God the Holy Spirit.

Verses 17-22 If we knew no sin, we should know no sickness. Sinners are fools. They hurt their bodily health by intemperance, and endanger their lives by indulging their appetites. This their way is their folly. The weakness of the body is the effect of sickness. It is by the power and mercy of God that we are recovered from sickness, and it is our duty to be thankful. All Christ's miraculous cures were emblems of his healing diseases of the soul. It is also to be applied to the spiritual cures which the Spirit of grace works. He sends his word, and heals souls; convinces, converts them, makes them holy, and all by the word. Even in common cases of recovery from sickness, God in his providence speaks, and it is done; by his word and Spirit the soul is restored to health and holiness.

Verses 23-32 Let those who go to sea, consider and adore the Lord. Mariners have their business upon the tempestuous ocean, and there witness deliverances of which others cannot form an idea. How seasonable it is at such a time to pray! This may remind us of the terrors and distress of conscience many experience, and of those deep scenes of trouble which many pass through, in their Christian course. Yet, in answer to their cries, the Lord turns their storm into a calm, and causes their trials to end in gladness.

Verses 33-43 What surprising changes are often made in the affairs of men! Let the present desolate state of Judea, and of other countries, explain this. If we look abroad in the world, we see many greatly increase, whose beginning was small. We see many who have thus suddenly risen, as suddenly brought to nothing. Worldly wealth is uncertain; often those who are filled with it, ere they are aware, lose it again. God has many ways of making men poor. The righteous shall rejoice. It shall fully convince all those who deny the Divine Providence. When sinners see how justly God takes away the gifts they have abused, they will not have a word to say. It is of great use to us to be fully assured of God's goodness, and duly affected with it. It is our wisdom to mind our duty, and to refer our comfort to him. A truly wise person will treasure in his heart this delightful psalm. From it, he will fully understand the weakness and wretchedness of man, and the power and loving-kindness of God, not for our merit, but for his mercy's sake.

Chapter Summary


This psalm, from its style, and from its connection with the preceding psalms, seems to have been written by David. The two foregoing psalms respect the children of Israel; this is generally thought to concern all mankind, and its view to assert a general providence which attends all, in whatsoever condition and circumstance; and to encourage men in their distresses to cry unto the Lord. According to Kimchi, Aben Ezra, and others, four sorts of persons are mentioned, travellers through a wilderness, prisoners, sick persons, and such who use the seas; to which some add a fifth, husbandmen; these are instanced in, not to the exclusion of others, but from them it may be concluded that whatsoever state or condition persons may be in, they are known and taken notice of by the Lord, and are relieved by him when they call upon him. Some restrain the whole to the Israelites, as the Targum, R. Obadiah, Arama, and others, where they make any application; and others apply the psalm to New Testament times; and indeed, though the literal sense should be attended unto and preserved, yet it seems to be applicable to spiritual persons and things. The title of it in the Syriac version is pretty remarkable,

``it is said concerning Joab and Abiah the sons of Samuel, who recited the commandments of the Lord. God gathered the Jews out of captivity, and brought them out from Babylon. Also the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, gathered the Gentiles from the four corners of the world, by preaching to baptism.''

Psalms 107 Commentaries

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