Reading Psalm 107 this morning was a defibrillating blast of vitality to my heart. This psalm beckons readers and listeners to peer across the long history of God’s dealings with His people in order to apprehend the shape and the magnitude of His steadfast love. This anthem offers breathtakingly tangible examples of how YHWH rescues His people from catastrophe after catastrophe. And why? Because that’s what He has promised to do!
What God did in the lives of all these individuals, the psalmist is saying, was not a random series of one-off events. The God who accomplished all of these things for His people is still that kind of God today- how He has been He continues to be. He is faithful to His covenant! His steadfast love binds Him to us, though we be lowly, foolish creatures of dust, often fitting ourselves for the disasters we need Him to rescue us from.
The reversals of fortune described in the psalm are vivid exhibitions of how God acts to deliver His people in the multitudes of calamities that are imaginable in this world. The closing stanza of the psalm solidifies the promise that the God who has acted in all the ways described has not ceased and will never cease to be this way. YHWH will act to vindicate His faithfulness. Period. He will always prove His character by making good His promises.
I was surprised today reading through this psalm to find that I was deriving very intense pleasure from meditatively reading aloud each word and letting it resonate in the morning stillness. With the taste of the words in my mouth I could picture in my mind’s eye the panorama being painted by each phrase. The testimony of the psalmist and the promises of God took on life and power, redirecting and reenergizing my emotions with supernatural potency.
Verses 8 and 9 contain what is for me the most poignant promise of deliverance in the psalm- the deliverance from emptiness. My disposition is such that I absolutely need this promise at times. I awoke this morning with a black hole of a heart, aware and yet unaware that I needed exactly that promise. Then this psalm intercepted me and gave no quarter to the melancholy listlessness which had held me captive. The death blow was delivered with the two verses mentioned previously:
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
It delivered the satisfaction of awakening from sleep without grogginess, without fatigue, without even the slightest temptation to beat a retreat back to bed. There was such an acute sensation of being replenished, of being nourished with choice morsels rather than simple, utilitarian victuals. No, that would have sufficed, but here was a wholly gracious deliciousness that flooded my soul with a vibrant, singing joy. Here was fullness. Fullness! Not a momentary boost or a five hour energy, but fullness. This is what we all need to put to death the emptiness that preys upon us in our lonely moments, in our deprivations, and in our defeats. Praise the Triune God whose superabundance of love and joy He allows to overflow into the lives of His people!