Psalm 107

The Word Made Fresh

(Book 5: Psalms 107-150)

Psalm 107

1Give thanks to the LORD, who is good,
and whose steadfast love endures forever.
2Let those whom the LORD rescued from their troubles say it.
3For they were gathered from the east and the west,
and from the south and the north.
4Some wandered in the deserted wastelands,
finding no pathway to an inhabited town.
5They were hungry and thirsty,
and their spirits were faint and weak.
6Then they cried out to the LORD,
and were delivered out of their distress.
7God led them straight toward an inhabited town.
8Let them give thanks for the LORD’s steadfast love
and wonderful deeds done for them.
9God helps those who are thirsty
and fills those who are hungry with good things.
10Some were prisoners in chains,
sitting in misery, in darkness and gloom
11because they had rebelled against God’s words
and refused to listen to the teachings of God Most High.
12They were saddled with hard labor,
and when they stumbled no one would help them.
13Then they cried out to the LORD,
who saved them from their terrible state.
14God brought them forth from their darkness,
breaking their chains apart.
15So, let them give thanks for the LORD’s steadfast love
and wonderful deeds done for them.
16For God can smash bronze doors
and shatter iron bars asunder.
17Some were foolish and rebellious,
and were afflicted with disease because of their sins.
18They rejected any nourishment
and were very close to dying.
19Then they cried out to the LORD
and God rescued them from their distress.
20God’s word healed them of their afflictions
and they were saved from being destroyed.
21So, let them give thanks to the LORD for unfailing love
and wonderful deeds done for them.
22Let them bring sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and tell others of God’s deeds with joyful songs.
23Some boarded ships and went out to sea,
merchants on the deep and wide waters.
24They witnessed the things the LORD did,
wonderful works performed in the deep ocean.
25God ordered the stormy winds to blow
and raise up waves in the sea.
26They were lifted up to the sky, and plunged to the depths,
and their courage failed in the midst of their troubles.
27They staggered and stumbled like drunk men.
They didn’t know what to do.
28Then they cried out to the LORD in their distress,
and were rescued from the danger.
29God stilled the stormy winds,
and the waves of the sea became calm.
30Then they rejoiced because of the peacefulness,
and the LORD brought them safely to their harbor.
31So, let them give thanks for the LORD’s steadfast love
and wonderful deeds done for them.
32Let them praise the LORD in the gathering of the people,
and thank God before the assembly of elders.
33God can turn rivers into deserts,
and springs into dry ground.
34God can make a fruitful land become a salty waste
when the people who live there are wicked.
35God can turn a desert into pools of water,
and a dry land into springs.
36The LORD allows the hungry to live
and establish a town to settle in.
37They can sow crops in the fields,
and they can plant a vineyard and enjoy its fruit.
38They can have children and multiply when God blesses them,
and God will not let their cattle decrease in number.
39When they are brought low and few in number
because they are oppressed and in trouble and sorrow,
40God holds their rulers in contempt
and sends them away to wander in wastelands,
41but the poor God rescues from distress
and multiplies their families like flocks of sheep.
42Those who live uprightly see this and are glad,
and all wickedness is silenced.
43So, let those who are wise take note of these things,
and consider the LORD’s unfailing love.


Psalm 107 begins the fifth and last collection in the Book of Psalms.

1-3: The introduction presents this as a hymn of thanksgiving, summoning “the redeemed of the LORD” to join in gratitude for what God has done for them. The following sections of the psalm will deal with four groups of pilgrims and the kinds of difficulties they faced from which God delivered them. Each section will introduce a group of people, describe their predicament, have them cry to the LORD, describe how God helped them, then give reasons for them to thank the LORD.

4-9: The first group consists of those who have been lost in the wilderness, threatened with hunger and thirst. They were rescued when they “cried to the LORD in their trouble.” God led them to an inhabited town where they could find food and drink. Verse 6 will be repeated in each section (see 13, 19, and 28) as will verse 8 (see 15, 21, and 31).

10-16: The second group is those who were imprisoned, apparently through their own doing. Nevertheless, when they cried to the LORD, the LORD set them free.

17-22: The third section deals with those who had become mortally ill through their own doings, and again were rescued when they cried to the LORD.

23-32: The fourth and longest section describes a group of seafarers caught in a storm. This time their predicament is due not to their sinful ways but rather to the majesty and power of God’s good creation. They just happened to be on the open water when the storm, symbol of God’s might, struck and stirred the waves. Still, when they cried to the LORD the storm was stilled and they were safe. This will of course remind Christians of the stories of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee (see Mark 4:39).

33-38: The author concludes the psalm with two scenarios of alternatives. First, there is the belief that both sinfulness and faithfulness have an impact on the environment – rivers, springs, fields, etc.

39-43: Second, there is the belief that the poor and needy have a special place in God’s heart, and those who oppress them are especially scorned by God.


There is no situation in life from which we cannot be redeemed through the grace of God if we cry out to the LORD for help and submit to the way the LORD provides out of our troubles.