Psalm 107 Commentary
Praise has to do with the person and character of the Creator God. It is a reaction to the awe and wonder of what the LORD is or does. Thanksgiving on the other hand is personal and deals mostly with our experiences as we interact with our God.
This psalm recounts the many circumstances over which God’s people have expressed gratitude to the LORD down the generations.
For some, coming to the LORD wasn’t exactly like deciding between flavors at the coffee shop. No. In the nick of time, the LORD showed up and saved them from unimaginable distress. These could be saints who have had it rough and received God’s offer of love gladly and unreservedly.
Looking for a city in which to settle may also apply to individuals who have never known peace and are constantly chasing the wind. They have moved from a Ferrari to a McLaren; from a Porsche to a Tributo; from a Lamborghini to an Audi. It is easy to be ‘cityless’ without Christ. Many are grateful to the LORD for they have found all of these things in Christ Jesus. He has filled them with good things.
Sitting in darkness is definitely a figure of speech. Rebellion against the LORD God is a direct rejection of the Light of this world. You enslave yourself to sin. Some saints are coming to the LORD from this kind of environment. “Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind.”
They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. Could this be a reference to a point when life becomes meaningless? A point when nothing interests you? Some have found meaning in Christ Jesus and are grateful to the LORD for it.
Going out on the sea in ships may be a reference to life on the high end. This could be a career stretched to its uttermost but with little satisfaction. Record-breaking achievements may be the ultimate goal for many but those with the rare privilege of actually living this dream know that things like these are all emptiness. You are happy when it has grown calm and you have been guided to the correct and desired haven.
The psalmist calls the reader to reflect on the interventions of the LORD. He turns rivers into deserts; He turns deserts into pools of water. He brings increase; He also brings decrease. He creates seasons of greatness, but He also creates seasons of adversity.
The Apostle Paul would say this: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
The psalmist wants the wise to heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the LORD. Amen.
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