I had been baptized at nine years old, but I had never truly prayed to God out of a serious need for help until I experienced domestic abuse as a teenager. His answering my prayers convinced me further of the love of God. Last week, we examined Psalm 107, verses 1-22, and this week, I want to complete the psalm by studying verses 23-43, which includes other scenarios in which God hears and answers cries for help.
Psalm 107: 23-32 Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.
I have never been on a boat in a storm, but I have been in an airplane during severe turbulence in the midst of a storm, and it felt just as described here. You feel helpless and so scared, and all you can do is pray for a good outcome. Once, it was so bad that when we finally landed, the passengers spontaneously started to clap, and I was busy giving God thanks for a safe landing.
We all experience storms in our lives, moments when the troubles we are enduring seem so hopeless. One minute, you are up and everything seems well in the world, and then, the very next minute, you have fallen so low, you don’t know if you can recover. You are drunk with worry and confusion, wondering why me?
Storms have been teaching moments for me, for in the midst of the storm, I had to learn to rely only on Jesus to help and save me. So, I cried out and in His unfailing love, God heard and saved me, leading me to safety and a place of belonging. I will forever exalt Him for His wonderful deeds!
Psalm 107: 33-38 He turned rivers into a desert, flowing springs into thirsty ground, and fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who lived there. He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs;
there he brought the hungry to live, and they founded a city where they could settle. They sowed fields and planted vineyard that yielded a fruitful harvest; he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased, and he did not let their herds diminish.
In these verses, the psalmist declared that God could turn any situation around, proving that there was nothing too hard for God. The earth is the Lord’s, and He can do whatever He wishes with it, for He has overcome the natural world. Those that have been hungry will be fed and satisfied, and He will bless them with opportunities for them to remain fruitful, providing the means to take care of themselves and their families.
Psalm 107: 39-43 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled by oppression, calamity and sorrow; he who pours contempt on nobles made them wander in a trackless waste. But he lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks. The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths. Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.
The psalmist noted that change to a nation’s fortunes can happen through oppression, calamity, or acts that create great sorrow. The mass shootings in America have nearly everyone mourning the loss of a sense of safety. We find ourselves divided and contemptuous of each other. Wickedness in high places in all of our social institutions has led to such incivility that individuals think that killing someone who thinks different is acting on God’s behalf.
It is time for the righteous who call themselves people of God to join hands across race, gender, class, and ideology and cry out to God for healing of the land and its people. God will hear and help us find our way back to a sense of oneness as a nation, for He alone possesses the wisdom and intensity of unfailing love we need.
Psalm 107 allows us to understand that no problems are so big that God cannot help us to solve them. Our hope must always be on God and not on men. Let us remember the Lord’s response to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7: 14-15, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. ”
To God be the Gory for the great things He has done.