Sunday, 12 September 2021
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. -Psalm 107:1
The main theme of today’s reading is thanksgiving for the God-given deliverances provided by the Lord and therefore it’s a psalm of every man who believes that without God, he is nothing. It is a choice song for the redeemed of the Lord.
Thankfulness is a prominent Bible theme. 1Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Colossians 3:15 says, ‘And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.’ It’s very clear that it is not a suggestion; it is a command: Be thankful! Thankfulness should be a way of life for us, naturally flowing from our hearts and mouths.
When we look on to the Scripture more deeply, we understand why we should be thankful. The key verse says, ‘Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.’ Here we have two reasons to be thankful for: God’s constant goodness and His mercy! Psalms 23:6 says very clearly that goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. If the Lord is the Shepherd who leads the flock, goodness and mercy follows by guarding the rear of the flock. Not goodness alone, for we are sinners in need of mercy. Not mercy alone, for we are weak, in need of goodness. We need both. As one man of God wrote; ‘Goodness to supply every want. Mercy to forgive every sin. Goodness to provide. Mercy to pardon.’
Further in this Psalm, we can see four groups of people, who are far away from the presence of the Lord but still as soon as they cry unto Him, He delivers them and blesses them.
Wanderers (V4-9) – This group is lost in the wilderness. They are hungry, thirsty and fainting from exhaustion, V5. Finally they call out the Lord and He delivers them (V6).
Prisoners (V10-16) – This group is in captivity, in darkness, in affliction, and in chains, due to rebellion against God’s Word. They despised the counsel of the Most High (V11). They found out that there was no one to help and so they cried out to Lord and He saved them (V13-14).
The Sick due to iniquities (V17-22) – This group is physically ill due to their transgressions and iniquities (V17). They almost drew near to death (V18). At last they cried out to Lord and He sent His Word and healed them (V20).
Those Surrounded by difficult circumstances (V23-32) – This group was very confident in their wisdom but lost it when difficulties engulfed them and cried out to Lord for deliverance and He brings them out of their distress (V28).
The repeated refrain in the Psalm: “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!” helps us understand the importance of giving thanks to God continually.
So, no matter how we feel, no matter what our circumstances are, two facts will never change: the LORD is always good and His mercy is everlasting. He is so near, just waiting for our call and there is nothing difficult for Him. The day we understand God’s nature and His dealings with us, we will find ourselves thanking God ceaselessly.
Prayer: Dear LORD, help me not look around for the things troubling me but may I look to You and see Your goodness and mercy which will follow me all the days of my life and be thankful to You. Amen