Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD (Psalm 107:3).
Psalm 107 is a psalm of praise, extoling the Lord who redeems those who cry out him, whether in trouble due to their own sin, or through no fault of their own. The psalm testifies to four groups of people in distress: those with no home, the prisoner, the sick, and the seaman on the threatening seas. Those in prison were there for rebelling against the word of God (v 11), and the sick were sick because of their iniquities (v 17). There is no mention of sin in the cases of those wandering in desert wastes (v 4-5) and those who are doing business on the seas (v 23-24). In fact, for those on the seas, the Lord Himself commanded the storm that brought fear and crying out. No matter—the Lord delivers those who cry out to him.
Although the circumstances differ in each of these four deliverances, two things are said of them all, in exactly the same language. First, the people in distress cry out: “Then thy cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.” Secondly, a call to respond to the Lord’s deliverance is given: “Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man.”
Could it be said that this is all that the Lord requires his people—to look to Him as Savior, and to give Him thanks for His goodness toward them? In fact, is it possible that the Lord will seek to put people in a position to do that very thing, as He did with the merchants at sea? Such a thought is not alien to the Scriptures. For instance, when the Israelites were fleeing Egypt, the Lord led them in a direction where they would eventually be hemmed in between the mountains, the sea, and the pursuing Egyptian army (Exodus 14:2). Why? Apparently so that the Lord could deliver Israel through the Red Sea, making crystal clear that their only hope is that the Lord would fight for them (1:14, 15:1-3).
Those who know God do two things. They cry to the Lord in their distress. And they give thanks to the Lord for their deliverance.
The Lord’s ways are higher than ours, and there is much that we do not understand. After all, according to His own counsel, the Lord turns rivers into a desert, and the turns the desert into pools of water (107:33, 35). Yet each is a reflection upon His steadfast love (107:43), which he extends, as always, for His glory and for our good.