This psalm was written to celebrate the Jew’s return from their exile in Babylon.
Verse 1 – Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
Verse 2 – Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
Verse 3 – And gathered out of the lands from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
Are you redeemed? Redeemed is to buy back or purchase. A very huge price was paid by our Savior, Jesus Christ. He paid this price, in full, with His precious blood, for the entire world. “Let the redeemed of the Lord, say so!”
Verse 4 – They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; they found no city to dwell in.
Verse 5 – Hunger and thirst, their soul fainted in them.
Verse 6 – Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distress.
Verse 7 – And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city for habitation.
Verse 8 – Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Salvation should result in testimony and praise. God’s wondrous works on behalf of Israel ultimately benefited all humanity in Christ.
Look at Genesis 12:3 – I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. This is the covenant with Abraham, and if you are born-again, you are in that family.
Verse 9 – For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Verse 10 – Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, bound in affliction and irons –
Verse 11 – Because they rebelled against the words of God, and despised the counsel of the Most High,
Verse 12 – Therefore He brought down their heart with labor; they fell down, and there was none to help.
I’m sure each one of you reading this has been in situations where there wasn’t one person who could help you. The Israelites were being held captive, because of their rebellion. Being rebellious is despising God’s Word, according to verse 11. When we go our own way, then we will pay the consequences.
Verse 13 – Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distress.
Verse 14 – He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains in pieces.
Verse 15 – Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Verse 16 – For He has broken the gates of bronze, and cut the bars of iron in two.
The Israelites were held captive by the Babylonians for 70 years. They were slaves in Egypt for 400. Maybe this generation we live in now won’t wait years and years to cry out to the Lord for deliverance.
Verse 17 – Fools, because of their transgressions, and because of their iniquity, were afflicted.
Verse 18 – Their soul abhorred all manner of food, and they drew near to the gates of death.
Verse 19 – Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses.
Why did it take them so long before they cried out for help? Better yet, why do we wait so long before we come to our senses to realize we can’t save ourselves? Because we are stubborn and rebellious also. We think we know better. If we would only humble ourselves and submit our ways to His authority, then He can do a might work in us.
Verse 20 – He sent His Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.
So many people forget how important God’s word is. They look for answers everywhere but in the Word of God. They say they don’t have time, but the truth is, they don’t find the time. No one’s word can bring healing, but the Word of God.
Verse 21 – Oh that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Verse 22 – Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.
And that is why we worship! His Word will bring all things to pass.
Verse 23 – Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters,
Verse 24 – They see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.
Verse 25 – For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea.
Verse 26 – They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble.
Verse 27 – They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end.
Just like a storm coming out of nowhere on the sea, a storm can spring out of nowhere in life. Just remember, we have a Savior that walks on water. Let me ask you something: If you have a child that is not within sight, maybe outside playing, and that child cry’s out, do you not run to their rescue? Our heavenly Father will do the same. That’s how much He loves You.
Verse 28 – Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distress.
Verse 29 – He calms the storm, so that its waves are still.
Verse 30 – Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven.
Verse 31 – Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Verse 32 – Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders.
Do you ever wonder how someone can just stand in a congregation with their arms folded and no expression on their face, during praise and worship? They must have everything they need, is my thoughts. The bigger the trial, the bigger the worship should be.
Verse 33 – He turns rivers into wilderness and the water-springs into dry ground;
Verse 34 – A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of those who dwell in it.
These two verse remind me of the countries which have not made God their God. They have went through thousands of years, worshiping a false dead god. They still live with barren land, not able to feed their people and destroy others with wars of destruction.
Verse 35 – He turns a wilderness into pools of water, and dry land into water-springs.
Verse 36 – There He makes the hungry dwell, that they may establish a city for habitation.
Verse 37 – And sow fields and plant vineyards, that they may yield a fruitful harvest.
Verse 38 – He also blesses them, and they multiply greatly; and He does not let their cattle decrease.
Just like the reversal of these verses, God can turn any nation or situation around. Seek Him with all your heart; put Him first in all your ways, then watch and see if He will not turn everything around for your good.
Verse 39 – When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, affliction and sorrow,
Verse 40 – He pours contempt on princes, and causes them to wander in the wilderness where there is no way;
Verse 41 – Yet He sets the poor on high, far from affliction, and makes their families like a flock.
Verse 42 – The righteous see it and rejoice, and all iniquity stops its mouth.
Verse 43 – Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the loving-kindness of the Lord.