19 April 2020 PM – Psalm 107 – Scott Childs
Welcome: Welcome to our Sunday evening online church service.
Introduction: Psalm 107 reminds me of the cycles found in the book of Judges (prosperity > sin > oppression > repent > mercy > prosperity). However, in this Psalm, the emphasis is on God’s sovereign ways to get us to do right and to praise Him for his lovingkindness. These are two lessons that we often need.
Transition: In this great Psalm, God gives us five illustrations to remind us of His lovingkindness and of our need to praise Him.
1. God’s Lovingkindness to the Exiled (v.1-7)
a. God deserves our praise (v.1-2)
1) God begins each of the five illustrations in this chapter with the same or similar command.
2) We have a duty to our Maker to give Him thanks (i.e., praise) for His goodness (i.e., lovingkindness).
3) The redeemed of the LORD ought to speak praise to God. He has delivered us from sin.
4) Sadly, our human nature is quick to complain and slow to praise. It ought to be the other way around.
b. God displays His sovereignty (v.2-5)
1) In this first illustration, we see the heartaches of the exiled (those who have been driven from home) (v.3-5). Enemies have taken them captive.
2) God’s hand was not shortened that He could not save. He sovereignly allowed His people to go into exile to awaken them to their sinfulness.
3) Though we may not be literally carried into exile, many Christians figuratively live in exile from God. They may display a Christian face, but their heart is far from God.
c. God distributes His mercy (v.6-7)
1) Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble. When God heard their repentant cry, He delivered them.
2) The hymn writer, Edna Worrell penned these words in “It’s Just Like His Great Love”.
² A friend I have called Jesus, Whose love is strong and true, And never fails howe’er ’tis tried, No matter what I do; I sinned against this love of His, But when I knelt to pray, Confessing all my guilt to Him, The sin-clouds rolled away. It’s just like Jesus to roll the clouds away, It’s just like Jesus to keep me day by day. It’s just like Jesus all along the way, It’s just like His great love.
3) Praise God for his lovingkindness to the exiled.
2. God’s Lovingkindness to the Enslaved (v.8-14)
a. God deserves our praise (v.8-9)
1) God longs to hear us praise Him for His goodness and His wonderful works. It is time to praise God!
2) He continually satisfies our longings and fills our hungry soul with goodness.
b. God displays His sovereignty (v.10-12)
1) Those who rebel against God’s Word can expect to sit in darkness, in affliction and in chains as slaves. Sinful habits will bind you. Ungodly choices can enslave you.
2) God brings down men’s hearts with labour when they rebel against Him. We cannot hide any sin from God. (Jeremiah 23:24) “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.”
3) We may not literally sit in prison or in chains, but many wayward Christians are groping in darkness, full of affliction and bound by the chains of their sin. In reality, they are miserable.
c. God distributes His mercy (v.13-14)
1) No matter how severely you may be bound by the chains of sin, if you will humbly cry to the Lord, He will save you from your distresses.
2) The same sovereign God who allowed you to suffer in your sin can bring you out of that darkness and break the bands that enslave you. (Proverbs 28:13) “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
3. God’s Lovingkindness to the Sinful Fools (v.15-20)
a. God deserves our praise (v.15-16)
1) Once again, God gives us the same reminder. When God repeats himself in the Bible, it is generally to emphasize a point.
2) God deserves our praise for his deliverance.
b. God displays His sovereignty (v.17-18)
1) Fools are those who live in sin instead of following God’s wise ways. We have all lived like fools at times.
2) The life of a fool is hard. (Proverbs 13:15) “Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.” God makes it so to help the fool see that his ways all lead to heartache. God longs for the foolish sinner to repent and cry out for help. Pride often keeps him from crying out to God as he should. (Proverbs 16:18) “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
c. God distributes His mercy (v.19-20)
1) When the fool does cry to the Lord, the Lord tenderly saves him out of his distresses.
2) God delights to heal and deliver from the destructions of sin. (Psalms 86:5) “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”
4. God’s Lovingkindness to the Sailors (v.21-30)
a. God deserves our praise (v.21-22)
1) As God reveals more and more of His goodness and wonderful works, we ought to praise Him.
2) We ought to offer sacrifices of thanksgiving. We ought to have great rejoicing in God’s mercies.
b. God displays His sovereignty (v.23-27)
1) In this illustration of His sovereignty, God uses sailors. The life of a sailor in those days was dangerous. God can stir up terrible storms on the sea that lift ships high on the crest of waves and drop them to the depths moments later.
2) We cannot help but remember Jonah’s experience. As he ran from God’s will, he experienced an unbelievably terrible storm. The sailors thought they would perish.
3) In a similar way, if we do not obey God, He may send terrible storms into our lives to get us to repent.
c. God distributes His mercy (v.28-30)
1) When the sailors repentantly cried to the Lord, He delivered them. God’s mercy is so consistent.
2) God calmed the storm, stilled the waves and took them to their desired destination. What a great God!
5. God’s Lovingkindness to the Hungry (v.31-42)
a. God deserves our praise (v.31-32)
1) This is the fifth time He gives us this charge.
2) He truly deserves our praise.
b. God displays His sovereignty (v.33-41)
1) In this illustration, God shows his ability to control the climate. He can cause rivers and springs to go dry or He can turn parched ground into lakes (v.33-35).
2) God can cause fields to produce abundantly and cattle to multiply (v.36-38).
3) He can reverse this and cause affliction and sorrow. He can put down the rich and lift up the poor (v.39-41).
4) We have seen God’s mighty hand even in the Covid virus. It is no respecter of persons. God is sovereign.
c. God distributes His mercy (v.42)
1) The righteous will see God’s mercy.
2) The wicked have no say in the matter.
Conclusion: The Psalmist concludes these five illustrations of God’s sovereignty with a powerful statement (v.43). The only way that you will discern the goodness of God in the midst of trials is when you wisely accept that God’s actions are for your good and His glory. We must be willing to praise God for His goodness and his wonderful works designed for our good. God’s chastening is always restorative not just punitive (i.e., punishment). This is an important principle to remember in child-discipline as well.