Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.
Psalm 107 is a hymn of thanksgiving. It begins:
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from. . .
from east and west, from north and south (vv. 1-3).
The backdrop to Psalm 107 is a joyful homecoming of exiled Israelites. Behind that backdrop is another homecoming–the return led by Moses through the Red Sea and across the desert, after the Israelites had lived in Egypt for 400 years.
The psalm tells four stories of deliverance, ending each with the encouragement:
Give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love,
and his wonderful deeds for humankind (vv. 8, 15, 21, 31).
Here are the four stories:
Some people were lost in the desert, dying of thirst. They cried to the Lord, who led them to a city they could call home (vv. 4-9).
Others were prisoners in darkness and chains. They cried to the Lord who broke their chains and brought them out of darkness (vv. 10-16).
Some were sick, near death, unable to eat. They cried to the Lord who sent his word and healed them (vv. 17-22).
Some were sailors in a mighty storm. They too cried to the Lord who stilled the storm to a whisper (vv. 23-32).
Our Lord, Psalm 107 tells our story.
We are lost in a desert of modern culture, working our computers, reading endless news, worrying about politics and wars, and chasing rabbit trails on social media. In this desert, we are thirsty for truth, thirsty for life, thirsty for news of eternity. Lead us through our wilderness to a city we can call home, to a new Jerusalem where you will live with us.
We have been prisoners, chained to our narrow thinking and constricted theology, not sure how to understand evolution and the Big Bang and the expanding universe. We live in a world of decaying morals, where truth is despised and persons are measured by productivity and wealth. Bring us out of our prison into the light of Christ. May he take away our chains, reveal the shallowness of the things we trust, and establish us in his light and truth.
We are sin-sick, O Lord. Our lives are full of petty jealousy, endless selfishness, needless anxieties, daily sadness. We cry to you in our sickness, deliver us from ourselves, deliver us from our habits, deliver us to sing your praise and give you thanks.
We have been at sea. Our lives are like the Titanic, navigating confidently, heedless of storms and icebergs. O Lord, teach us wisdom on the sea of life. Teach us temperance. Teach us to put our trust in you. Be our navigator. Pilot us safely to harbor.
With the poet, we praise you:
We give thanks to you for your unfailing love,
for your wonderful deeds for mankind.
You turn our desert into pools of water,
our parched ground into flowing springs (vv. 31, 35).
You poured contempt on the nobles
and made them wander in a trackless waste.
But you lifted the needy out of affliction
and increased the families like flocks.
We see and rejoice in your works, O Lord (vv. 40-42a).
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.