Psalm 107
Sermon Bible
O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 107:6

I. In all the changes of this mortal life, the psalmist sees no real chance, no real change, but the orderly education of a just and loving Father, whose mercy endureth for ever, who chastens men as a father chastens his children, for their profit, that they may be partakers of His holiness, in which alone are life and joy, health and wealth. It seems at first the worst of news, that which the Ninth Article tells us: that our original sin, in every person born into this world, deserves God's wrath and curse. And so it would be the worst of news if God were merely a Judge, inflicting so much pain and misery for so much sin, without any wish to mend us and save us. But if we remember the blessed message of the Psalm; if we will remember that God is our Father, that God is educating us, that God hath neither parts nor passions, and that therefore God's wrath is not different or contrary to His love, but that God's wrath is His love in another shape, punishing men just because He loves men, then the Ninth Article will bring us the very best of news. If our sin had not deserved God's anger, then He would not have been angry with it; and then He would have left it alone, instead of condemning it and dooming it to everlasting destruction as He has done; and then, if our sin had been left alone, we should have been left alone to sin and sin on, growing continually more wicked till our sin became our ruin. But now God hates our sin and loves us; and therefore He desires above all things to deliver us from sin and burn our sin up in His unquenchable fire, that we ourselves may not be burned up therein.

II. If these words seem strange to some of you, that will only be a fresh proof to me that the Bible is inspired by the Holy Ghost. Nothing shows me how wide, how deep, how wise, how heavenly, the Bible is, as to see how far average Christians are behind the Bible in their way of thinking, how the salvation which it offers is too free for them, the love which it proclaims too wide for them, the God whom it reveals too good for them, so that they shrink from taking the Bible and trusting the Bible in its fulness and believing honestly the blessed truth that God is love.

C. Kingsley, Town and Country Sermons p. 446.

Psalm 107:7Notice one or two particular features of the leadings in the wilderness.

I. The Israelites had a very little way to go, and they were a very long time about it. What seemed a matter of days took many years. Is it so with you? Have you been a very long time getting on a very little way?

II. The fightings of God's people in the wilderness were all at the beginning and at the end of it. It is generally so with God's saints.

III. They had strange ups and downs. Their road, as we trace it on the map, is a perfect riddle, now quite near and then back again, far, far away, almost to where they set out.

IV. It was all in dependence—most absolute and humble dependence for everything. Not a drop nor a crumb, nothing, came from the wilderness, all direct from God Himself. Who ever went the road to heaven without learning, temporally and spiritually, the same humiliating but assuring lesson?

V. The leading was the clearest where the need was the greatest, God's universal method. In our sunny days His hand dimly seen, and His voice low, but in our darkest hours bright, distinct, glorious.

VI. It was a restless life they lived these forty years, just as perhaps life has been to us. We are but strangers and pilgrims. We must sit loose and not tarry long by the way. It is "the right way," but it is only a way. And we are prone to say, "It was good for me to be here!" and mistake our tabernacles for our houses, while He is all the while leading us forth to go to a city of habitation.

J. Vaughan, Sermons, 12th series, p. 213.

I. The company. Any considerable company of men is imposing; but here is a company more illustrious than any other upon earth, a company overwhelming in its vastness and yet ever growing in numbers, calm in aspect and yet irresistible in power. These are "the redeemed of the Lord, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy." We are redeemed from spiritual perils and foes: from sin, from wrath, from the lure of the world, from the wiles of the devil, and from selfishness, sluggishness, lust, passion, pride, fear, doubt, dismay. It is impossible that a man can be "led forth into the right way" until this deliverance is accomplished, until it is at least begun.

II. The Leader. The Leader of this ransomed company is the Lord Himself. "He led them forth." The Bible abounds with intimations of the nearness of God, and particularly with assurances of His actual and perpetual presence with His people as their Guide, and Guard, and everlasting Friend. "Be still, and know that He is God"—God to supply all your need, to guide all your way, to give far more than He takes, to do for you "exceeding abundantly above all that you can ask or think."

III. The way. This way, as God's appointed way, is right, whatever may be its present aspect to us. Haply to some it is covered with the clouds of disappointment; to others it is bleak and cold with the gales of adversity; to others it is drenched with the rains of sorrow. It has places of heart-wringing separation from fellow-pilgrims, and even deep, dark gulfs of sin; but notwithstanding all its mystery, as God's way, it is always right.

IV. The end. The end is arrival and rest in "the city of habitation"—in some secure and permanent abode; the wanderer finds at last a settled rest: the lost and worn traveller is conducted back into the way, and the way leads him home. And what more appropriate end could there be to such a way as that of the Christian through this life than the heaven that has been promised and prepared for all who are truly seeking it? The mystic company has not been gathered and redeemed with such cost and toil only to be scattered again and lost. The Leader has not assumed His position at their head to see them falling and vanishing away, for "He is able to make them stand." The way has not been opened and consecrated for short distances only, with gulfs and deserts left in it that cannot be crossed; it stretches away beyond earthly territory and mortal sight, and ends at the open gate of heaven.

A. Raleigh, Farewell Sermon Preached in Glasgow, Dec. 12th, 1858.

References: Psalm 107:7.—Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 143; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. ii., p. 127; T. L. Cuyler, Preacher's Monthly, vol. iii., p. 29; J. Eadie, Good Words, 1861, p. 413; M. Nicholson, Redeeming the Time, p. 18. Psalm 107:8.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 338.

Psalm 107:14The Bible does not aspire to provide checks for the excesses of freedom, but to instruct us in the nature of freedom, to stimulate an appetite for it, to make us ashamed of our contentment without it, to explain under what conditions we may obtain the highest measure of it.

I. Do we not hear men complaining continually that they cannot do what they would, or be what they would? Each may shift the burden on a different place, but each feels it. If the sigh for pardon has not yet risen out of our hearts, that sigh may yet be working in another form—apparently, not really another. We may cry for an Absolver, for One who will set us free from the bonds of those sins which by our frailty we have committed. The voice of God, be sure, is not monotonous; it does not speak in one accent only, and that one measured, and adapted, and reduced by human art. Whatever a man's perplexity is, whatever it be which makes his actions irregular, his thoughts unquiet, his life contradictory, that is a band which needs to be broken for him, and which, after infinite fretting, he will find that he cannot break for himself, not if he has all the machinery of nature and art to help out his individual weakness. He must turn to the Lord of his will, to One who can meet him there, in a region which the vulture's eye has not seen.

II. It is the Son who makes us free, because He brings us the adoption of sons. It is the faith that in Him these spirits of ours may claim God for their Father, because He has in Him claimed them for His sons and given them His Spirit, that they may cry, "Abba, Father"—it is this faith which raises us above the flesh that has claimed to be our master, when it was meant to be our slave; above that world of which we were intended to offer the fruits to God, but which has demanded our worship for itself; above that spirit of evil which would persuade us that there cannot be freedom in the service of a loving God, and if we listen to it, would make us the slaves of self-will and hatred.

F. D. Maurice, Sermons, vol. iii., p. 149.

References: Psalm 107:14.—G. S. Barrett, Old Testament Outlines, p. 142. Psalm 107:17-20.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxi., No. 1824. Psalm 107:19.—Preacher's Latern, vol. iii., p. 117. Psalm 107:20.—H. Thompson, Concionalia, 2nd series, p. 529; Sermons for Sundays, Festivals, and Fasts, p. 271. Psalm 107:21.—J. Baldwin Brown, Christian World Pulpit, vol. vi., pp. 312, 321, 341, 357, and 375. Psalm 107:23, Psalm 107:24.—C. Kingsley, Discipline, and Other Sermons, p. 23. Psalm 107:23-31.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 236. Psalm 107:30.—J. M. Neale, Sermons on Passages of the Psalms, p. 323. Psalm 107:34.—J. Keble, Sermons Occasional and Parochial, p. 101. Psalm 107:40.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. iii., p. 369. Psalm 107:40, Psalm 107:41.—J. M. Neale, Sermons on Passages of the Psalms, p. 238. Psalm 107:43.—E. Thring, Uppingham Sermons, vol. i., p. 392. Psalm 108:4.—Pulpit Analyst, vol. i., p. 213. Psalm 108:12.—G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 242. Psalm 108—Preacher's Monthly, vol. i., p. 121. Psalm 109:4.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 15.

Psalm 107:30These words naturally lead us to consider two things:—

I. The joy of being at rest. There are several kinds of rest which may indeed be subjects of thankfulness and gladness. There is the rest from enemies without; there is the rest from passions within; and there is the eternal rest of heaven. But the kind of rest of which we think today is the rest from doubt, doubt especially as to what it is needful to believe and to do if we seek to get to heaven. The very idea of rest implies something on which to rest; that is, it implies something above and beyond ourselves: it proves that in and of ourselves we can never have rest. Moses, speaking to the children of Israel, says, "Ye shall not do as we do here this day: every man that which is right in his own eyes." And why not? "For ye are not come unto the rest and the land which the Lord your God giveth you." No man has any more right to believe what he likes than to do what he likes; there is but one thing every one ought to do, which is right, and but one thing every one ought to believe, which is truth: and a man will as surely be punished for believing wrong as he will be for doing wrong.

II. But how can we believe? you will ask. And that brings us to our second head; namely, that we must be at rest before we can reach "the haven where we would be." In other words, unless we believe rightly, we shall never enter into heaven. No man can live as he ought without believing as he ought. Our Saviour, Christ, has promised this. "If any man," He says, "will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God." Therefore it follows that no man who believes wrong can be living right.

J. M. Neale, Sermons on Passages of the Psalms, p. 226.

Reference: Psalm 109:7.— J. E. Vaux, Sermon Notes, p. 94.

Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.
Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.
Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.
Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.
For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end.
Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground;
A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.
And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;
And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.
He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.
Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.
He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.
Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.
The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.
Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.
William Robertson Nicoll's Sermon Bible

Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

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