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Something to ponder

Whatever may be going on around us, Psalm 107 suggests what should be happening inside us.

BIBLICAL PREACHING AUTOR 108/Peter_Mead 06 DE OCTUBRE DE 2022 09:41 h
Photo: [link]Emmanuel Phaeton[/link], Unsplash CC0.

The book of Psalms sits at the centre of our Bibles for the times we are just reading through. Maybe there is no experienced crisis that leads us to this vast collection of Hebrew poetry.



Sometimes, we will find ourselves reading it simply because it comes next in our Bible reading. It can be a great experience to read it through with fresh eyes and notice the uniqueness of each Psalm and the recurring themes.



Let’s look at the first Psalm of book five – Psalm 107. This Psalm sets the tone for the section that will follow.



It begins as you might expect, with a call to thank our good God for his enduring, steadfast love. This call goes out to all who have been redeemed and rescued by God (v1-3).



Then we find ourselves walking through four examples of challenging circumstances from which God rescues his people:



First, we read of the weary wilderness wanderers failing to find a place of sanctuary (v4-9). They cried to the LORD, and he delivered them. (Those words will come up again.) 



So, with stomachs full and souls satisfied, the psalmist encourages them to thank the LORD for his steadfast love. 



Second, we read of the helpless prisoners, tired and broken by hard labour (v10-16). They cried to the LORD, and he delivered them.



With their bonds broken and bodies set free, they are called to thank the LORD for his steadfast love.



Third, we read of the afflicted starving to death, suffering for their sin and facing their demise (v17-22). They cried to the LORD, and he delivered them.



With healed bodies and joyful hearts, they are invited to thank the LORD for his steadfast love.



Fourth, we read of the fear-filled seafarers, tossed to and fro by the raging seas, despairing and at their wit’s end (v23-32). 



This example gives more vivid detail, but again, they cried to the LORD, and he delivered them (see v 6, 13, 19 and 28).



With the storm stilled and safely brought back to the fellowship of humans on shore, they are encouraged to thank the LORD for his steadfast love (see v8, 15, 21, 31)



The final section of the Psalm underlines some of the points made throughout. God is in charge. Just as he can bring about change in nature (v33-38), he can reverse his people’s fortunes (v39-42).



And so, the final verse ensures we have not missed the point. If we are wise, we will ponder what this Psalm says. Indeed, if we are wise, we will ponder, contemplate, consider and meditate on the steadfast love of the LORD (v43).



The Psalm begins and ends with the spotlight on the steadfast love of God. The Psalm invites us to consider four examples of people in dire straits who called out to God and discovered why they should thank God for that steadfast love.



Perhaps Psalm 107 is the food for thought that we need.



It could be that we feel like we are close to death or tossed in every direction and despairing of life itself. Or it could be that we are calmly moving through the second half of 2022, thankful for God’s blessing and a season of tranquillity and peace.



Whatever may be going on around us, Psalm 107 suggests what should be happening inside us. We should be considering the steadfast love of God.



Honestly, it is hard to think of a wiser thing to do.



Peter Mead is mentor at Cor Deo and author of several books. This article first appeared on his blog Biblical Preaching.


 

 


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