Hope for the Hopeless

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), July 10

images“Consider the great love of the Lord,” concludes the Psalmist’s discourse about hope for the hopeless in Psalm 107. He describes four categories of people who benefit from God’s love:

Wanderers in desert wastelands (107:4-9)
People living in the desert wastelands suffer from hunger and despair of life. Their hopeless state changes when they cry out to the LORD: “He delivered them out of their distresses. And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city for a dwelling place” (6-7). Desert wastelands may be drugs, alcohol, and the sexual sin that sucks the life out of those who use them to fill the empty places of their souls. Only He “satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry with goodness” (9).

Let those who find their sustenance in Christ “give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men” (8).

Laborers bound to bitter work (107:10-16)
Rebellion against the Word of God and rejection of His counsel condemn men to bitter labor, rather than joyous service. His love, however, shatters the chains that bind them when they cry out to the LORD. The wisdom writer warns, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12). Only the LORD “[breaks] the gates of bronze and [cuts] the bars of iron in two” (Ps. 107:16). Religion, atheism, and materialism are all bitter labor, never bringing the joy and freedom that they promise. Rather, they enslave the heart to “darkness and the deepest gloom.” Jesus came to give abundant life to any who dare come to Him (Jn. 10:10).

Let those who have submitted to His Word and counsel “give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men” (15).

Fools held by the chains of consequences (107:17-22)
The consequences of foolish thinking and actions soon come knocking on the door of the foolish and take up residence in their lives. Consequences of foolish behavior take their toll on a man physically, mentally, and spiritually—“Their soul abhorred all manner of food, and they drew near to the gates of death” (18). When those drowning in the consequences of their foolishness cry out to the LORD, He sends forth His Word to heal their anguish and to rescue them. His Word is the hammer that breaks, the fire that burns, and sharper than the two-edged sword. He reveals His wisdom, enlightening the foolish and drawing them to repentance.

Let the foolish “give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men” (21).

Those at their wits’ end (107:23-32)
Sometimes those who follow the LORD go through storms that shake their faith—that melt their courage. They cry out to the LORD, and He brings them out of distress. Only the LORD has the ability to bring peace and calm during life’s storms. Those at their wits’ end should “give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men” (31). To them the Psalmist adds a postscript, “Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, and praise Him in the company of the elders” (32). In other words, “Tell everybody about His unfailing love and his wonderful deeds!”

Though all of the groups differ in their circumstances, they all experience deliverance when they cry out to God. The LORD meets them where they are and delivers them.

This Psalm offers a number of encouraging truths for those at “their wits’ end”:

  • No person is so far off that God cannot rescue him.

  • God will deliver anyone who will humble himself and cry out to the Him.

  • God uses consequences to bring the rebellious and disobedient to the end of themselves.

  • Those who love and follow Christ aren’t exempt from the storms of life. It is often in those storms that they experience His love in a greater way.

Question from today’s chronological Bible reading (Ps. 107; 111-114):
Why is it important to begin worship with recognizing the goodness of God? How does the psalmist reveal God’s goodness in these psalms?