Today’s reading: Psalms 106-107.
God isn’t a retired watchmaker who set the world to ticking and then sat back and let it run. He is and always has been very involved with his creation. That’s one reason why prayer makes a difference. Psalm 107 isn’t an exhaustive list of what God is up to, but it does open our eyes to some of the areas where he continues to intervene in the world. The Psalmist uses this list to exhort us to give thanks to the LORD for all the actions in which he rescues us.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. Psalm 107:15
He provides for us when we are needy. “He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” The Psalmist describes people, like the Israelites wandering in the wilderness, who have no home and face starvation. God rescues them by bringing them to a place where they could settle and find food and water.
He frees us from prison. “He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.” These prisoners are locked up because they rebelled against God’s word; their disobedience allowed the enemy to capture them. Yet God rescues them when they cry out to him, and he breaks their chains and frees them.
He heals us from sickness. “He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.” Once again sin and rebellion have awful consequences, leading to sickness that threatens to kill its victims. God rescues them from death and restores their health when they call to him for help.
He brings us through the storm. “He brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.” Merchants on the high seas aren’t the only ones who face terrible storms, but no matter what rough waters you face, God stands ready to rescue you and bring you to a safe port when you ask him for help.
He brings justice to the oppressed. “He lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks.” There are times when the wicked seem to be winning, when their evil is overflowing like a flood, but God will rescue the ones they are oppressing and make an oasis for them where once there was only a desert. The wicked oppressor will have nothing to say, but the rescued poor will rejoice and give thanks to the LORD.
What is God up to these days? He continues to rescue those who are unable to help themselves, who are trapped or sickened by sin, who are unable to provide for themselves or find a home, who face storms or oppression. Consider the great love of the LORD so that when your storm comes you will not lose hope but continue to rejoice in the God who will rescue you.
For the people of God are “redeemed” –redeemed from the curse of the law, the powers of darkness, and the bondage of corruption. They are “gathered” –gathered by his grace out of all the diversities of the human race; “out of all nations and kindreds and peoples and tongues.” Whatever this world is to others, they find it to be “a wilderness”; when they are often tried, but their trials urge them to prayer, and prayer brings them relief. And being divinely conducted, they at length reach their destination: and this is the conclusion of the whole, and it applies to each of them: And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. –William Jay.
“Ship in Storm” by Robert Salmon