Psalm 107

1650 psalter

Song of thanks from gathered Israel and the redeemed

Though the psalm can be applied to specific periods of Jewish history, there is also much of the New Testament scenario indicated. In reading Hebrews 11:37-38, we are reminded of verses 4-6 in this psalm. There is also the emphasis on the “City of habitation” (v. 7), which finds expression in Hebrews 11:16. The elect will be gathered from the four points of the compass, although in the process they will experience different vicissitudes. There are four classes of persons described and their experiences.

Now we are told of the prisoner sitting in darkness and in chains; the seamen who are plunged into tempest and storms; sickly persons who need healing, and then the husbandmen who see fruit for their labours. These occupations can be spiritualised to cover the different aspects of the Christian pilgrimage. This calls for a four-fold return of thanks, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness.” Only the wise will notice these things, and appreciate with understanding the loving kindness of God.

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: Newington


Psalm 107

¹Praise GOD, for he is good: for still
His mercies lasting be.
²Let GOD’s redeem’d say so, whom he
From th’ en’my’s hand did free;

³And gather’d them out of the lands,
From north, south, east, and west.
⁴They stray’d in desert’s pathless way,
No city found to rest.

⁵For thirst and hunger in them faints
Their soul. ⁶When straits them press,
They cry unto the LORD, and he
Them frees from their distress.

⁷Them also in a way to walk
That right is he did guide,
That they might to a city go,
Wherein they might abide.

⁸O that men to the LORD would give
Praise for his goodness then,
And for his works of wonder done
Unto the sons of men!

⁹For he the soul that longing is
Doth fully satisfy;
With goodness he the hungry soul
Doth fill abundantly.

¹⁰Such as shut up in darkness deep,
And in death’s shade abide,
Whom strongly hath affliction bound,
And irons fast have tied:

¹¹Because against the words of God
They wrought rebelliously,
And they the counsel did contemn
Of him that is most High:

¹²Their heart he did bring down with grief,
They fell, no help could have.
¹³In trouble then they cried to GOD,
He them from straits did save.

¹⁴He out of darkness did them bring,
And from death’s shade them take;
These bands, wherewith they had been bound,
Asunder quite he brake.

¹⁵O that men to the LORD would give
Praise for his goodness then,
And for his works of wonder done
Unto the sons of men!

¹⁶Because the mighty gates of brass
In pieces he did tear,
By him in sunder also cut
The bars of iron were.

¹⁷Fools, for their sin, and their offence,
Do sore affliction bear;
¹⁸All kind of meat their soul abhors;
They to death’s gates draw near.

¹⁹In grief they cry to GOD; he saves
Them from their miseries.
²⁰He sends his word, them heals, and them
From their destructions frees.

²¹O that men to the LORD would give
Praise for his goodness then,
And for his works of wonder done
Unto the sons of men!

²²And let them sacrifice to him
Off’rings of thankfulness;
And let them show abroad his works
In songs of joyfulness.

²³Who go to sea in ships, and in
Great waters trading be,
²⁴Within the deep these men GOD’s works
And his great wonders see.

²⁵For he commands, and forth in haste
The stormy tempest flies,
Which makes the sea with rolling waves
Aloft to swell and rise.

²⁶They mount to heav’n, then to the depths
They do go down again;
Their soul doth faint and melt away
With trouble and with pain.

²⁷They reel and stagger like one drunk,
At their wit’s end they be:
²⁸Then they to GOD in trouble cry,
Who them from straits doth free.

²⁹The storm is chang’d into a calm
At his command and will;
So that the waves, which rag’d before,
Now quiet are and still.

³⁰Then are they glad, because at rest
And quiet now they be:
So to the haven he them brings,
Which they desir’d to see.

³¹O that men to the LORD would give
Praise for his goodness then,
And for his works of wonder done
Unto the sons of men!

³²Among the people gathered
Let them exalt his name;
Among assembled elders spread
His most renowned fame.

³³He to dry land turns water–springs,
And floods to wilderness;
³⁴For sins of those that dwell therein,
Fat land to barrenness.

³⁵The burnt and parched wilderness
To water–pools he brings;
The ground that was dried up before
He turns to water–springs:

³⁶And there, for dwelling, he a place
Doth to the hungry give,
That they a city may prepare
Commodiously to live.

³⁷There sow they fields, and vineyards plant,
To yield fruits of increase.
³⁸His blessing makes them multiply,
Lets not their beasts decrease.

³⁹Again they are diminished,
And very low brought down,
Through sorrow and affliction,
And great oppression.

⁴⁰He upon princes pours contempt,
And causeth them to stray,
And wander in a wilderness,
Wherein there is no way.

⁴¹Yet setteth he the poor on high
From all his miseries,
And he, much like unto a flock,
Doth make him families.

⁴²They that are righteous shall rejoice,
When they the same shall see;
And, as ashamed, stop her mouth
Shall all iniquity.

⁴³Whoso is wise, and will these things
Observe, and them record,
Ev’n they shall understand the love
And kindness of the LORD.