Song of thanks from gathered Israel and the redeemed 

Though the psalm can be applied to specific periods of Jewish history, there is also much of the New Testament scenario indicated. In reading Hebrews 11:37-38, we are reminded of verses 4-6 in this psalm. There is also the emphasis on the “City of habitation” (v. 7), which finds expression in Hebrews 11:16. The elect will be gathered from the four points of the compass, although in the process they will experience different vicissitudes. There are four classes of persons described and their experiences. 

Now we are told of the prisoner sitting in darkness and in chains; the seamen who are plunged into tempest and storms; sickly persons who need healing, and then the husbandmen who see fruit for their labours. These occupations can be spiritualised to cover the different aspects of the Christian pilgrimage. This calls for a four-fold return of thanks, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness.” Only the wise will notice these things, and appreciate with understanding the loving kindness of God.


Psalm 107

 1  Praise God, for he is good: for still
       his mercies lasting be.
 2  Let God's redeemed say so, whom he
       from th' en'my's hand did free;

 3  And gathered them out of the lands,
       from north, south, east, and west.
 4  They strayed in desert's pathless way,
       no city found to rest.

 5  For thirst and hunger in them faints
 6     their soul. When straits them press,
    They cry unto the Lord, and he
       them frees from their distress.

 7  Them also in a way to walk
       that right is he did guide,
    That they might to a city go,
       wherein they might abide.

 8  O that men to the Lord would give
       praise for his goodness then,
    And for his works of wonder done
       unto the sons of men!

 9  For he the soul that longing is
       doth fully satisfy;
    With goodness he the hungry soul
       doth fill abundantly.

10  Such as shut up in darkness deep,
       and in death's shade abide,
    Whom strongly hath affliction bound,
       and irons fast have tried:

11  Because against the words of God
       they wrought rebelliously,
    And they the counsel did contemn
       of him that is most High:

12  Their heart he did bring down with grief,
       they fell, no help could have.
13  In trouble then they cried to God,
       he them from straits did save.

14   He out of darkness did them bring,
        and from death's shade them take;
     These bands, wherewith they had been bound,
        asunder quite he brake.

15  O that men to the Lord would give
       praise for his goodness then,
    And for his works of wonder done
       unto the sons of men!

16  Because the mighty gates of brass
       in pieces he did tear,
    By him in sunder also cut
       the bars of iron were.

17  Fools, for their sin, and their offence,
       do sore affliction bear;
18  All kind of meat their soul abhors;
       they to death's gates draw near.

19  In grief they cry to God; he saves
       them from their miseries.
20  He sends his word, them heals, and them
       from their destructions frees.

21  O that men to the Lord would give
       praise for his goodness then,
    And for his works of wonder done
       unto the sons of men!

22  And let them sacrifice to him
       off 'rings of thankfulness;
    And let them shew abroad his works
       in songs of joyfulness.

23  Who go to sea in ships, and in
       great waters trading be,
24  Within the deep these men God's works
       and his great wonders see.

25  For he commands, and forth in haste
       the stormy tempest flies,
    Which makes the sea with rolling waves
       aloft to swell and rise.

26  They mount to heav'n, then to the depths
       they do go down again;
    Their soul doth faint and melt away
       with trouble and with pain.

27  They reel and stagger like one drunk,
       at their wit's end they be:
28  Then they to God in trouble cry,
       who them from straits doth free.

29  The storm is changed into a calm
       at his command and will;
    So that the waves, which raged before,
       now quiet are and still.

30  Then are they glad, because at rest
       and quiet now they be:
    So to the haven he them brings,
       which they desired to see.

31  O that men to the Lord would give
       praise for his goodness then,
    And for his works of wonder done
       unto the sons of men!

32  Among the people gathered
       let them exalt his name;
    Among assembled elders spread
       his most renowned fame.

33  He to dry land turns water-springs,
       and floods to wilderness;
34  For sins of those that dwell therein,
       fat land to barrenness.

35  The burnt and parched wilderness
       to water-pools he brings;
    The ground that was dried up before
       he turns to water-springs:

36  And there, for dwelling, he a place
       doth to the hungry give,
    That they a city may prepare
       commodiously to live.

37  There sow they fields, and vineyards plant,
       to yield fruits of increase.
38  His blessing makes them multiply,
       lets not their beasts decrease.

39  Again they are diminished,
       and very low brought down,
    Through sorrow and affliction,
       and great oppression.

40  He upon princes pours contempt,
       and causeth them to stray,
    And wander in a wilderness,
       wherein there is no way.

41  Yet setteth he the poor on high
       from all his miseries,
    And he, much like unto a flock,
       doth make him families.

42  They that are righteous shall rejoice,
       when they the same shall see;
    And, as ashamed, stop her mouth
       shall all iniquity.

43  Whoso is wise, and will these things
       observe, and them record,
    Ev'n they shall understand the love
       and kindness of the Lord.


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