A devotional on Psalm 107:1-22
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
3 those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle.
5 They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away.
6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.
8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
This God, who is The Way, takes lost souls wandering in the wilderness of life, hungry and despondent, and leads them by a straight way to a city where they can settle. The wilderness is desolate, lonely, dangerous from predators of the howling kind or of the thieving, murderous kind. You moan from a parched throat and cracked lips and tongue. The sun beats you down and dries you out during the day and the cold cuts you like a driven nail at night. Your clothes are filthy and rent from thorny snags. Hard rocks that harbor defensive scorpions are your soft pillow for the sleepless nights.
Cities are boisterous with activity and fancy city folks. Roads are laid out and marked. There are numerous good things with which to quench your thirst, scintillate your palate, adorn your fashion sense, and fluffy pillows to lay your head on. The Way takes lost souls wandering in the wilderness of life and leads them by a straight way to a city where they can settle. He reminds us that he is the God who sees our afflictions. We cry, he answers. We cry, he answers. We cry, he answers.
10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
16 for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.
As the Swahili saying goes, “if the child cries for the razor, give it to him.” Yesterday we learned that when we insist on what we think we want or need in life, he will give it to us. Indeed, he will give us over to it. That is a terrible plight. Protect us from ourselves, dear Lord. Protect us from rebellion and from despising your plans. Save us from these prisons of our own making. Humble us in our utter darkness and our iron chains. Open our eyes to see the hidden snares behind our desires. Thank you that your blessings and that you add no sorrow to them, (Proverbs 10:22.) Thank you for being the Light of the World and a very mighty deliverer. Thank you that even from this dim place, we cry, you answer. We cry, you answer. We cry, you answer.
17 Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
18 They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
21 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.
How he desires to protect us from pain. He warns us repeatedly to guard against following our evil desires. They lead only to rebellion and affliction. God will not be mocked. What we sow, that also shall we reap. If we sow iniquity, we become fools. The devil is a cruel taskmaster. We think we can back out of our contract with him at any time, but he will not have that. He tightens the shackles and keeps driving us. He drives us to the ground because he is a thief who comes but to kill, steal, and destroy.
O, but our God! He sends out his word and heals even the fool. He extricates us from the very grave when the cords of death entangled us; when the torrents of destruction overwhelm us; when the cords of the grave coil around us; and the snares of death confront us. (Ps. 18:4, 5).
O, give thanks unto the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for us. You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. (Ps. 139:1-12, 23, 24). Thank you for the being The Way and the Way Maker.