1 O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
3 And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
Let us declare that we are the redeemed of the Lord! Give thanks for that redemption. Let people know they need this redemption as well. This is our calling – that is our reason for being here – to take someone with us. Most of the people we meet every day don’t even realize they need redemption. They go about their lives thinking Jesus died, their sins are covered and they are headed for heaven. They have never been told that they must personally accept that fact, and ask Jesus into their heart.
It’s like a Christmas gift. The giver prepares the gift for giving, places it in front of the person whom it was for, and waits for them to accept it as their own. You have to personally take that gift into your hands and open it. Then it truly becomes yours. Now, do you take the gift? Os do you just leave it there, wrapped, and admire it without opening it.
God prepared Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins. He died on the cross to redeem you from your sin, once and for all. All the sacrifices of the old testament were wrapped up in Christ, and after Christ, no more sacrifice for sin is necessary. Once Christ died, that redemption was available to you. Like the gift, it was prepared, wrapped and presented to you. Now it’s your step – you must accept the gift by asking Christ into your heart, personally. Once you do that, you have this marvelous redemption covering you. Hallelujah!
4 They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.
5 Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
6 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
7 And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
8 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
When His people wandered in the wilderness and became hungry and thirty, He provided for them. He came to their rescue. And He will come to our rescue as well. When we cry unto the Lord, he will hear our cries, and He will lead us in the right way.
It’s time that we praise Him for His wonderful works to all of us. He satisfies our longing soul. Our soul longs for God. I wondered around for years trying to fill that void in my soul, using alcohol, drugs, sex and other things to try and satisfy that longing. But God fills our longing soul with the fruit of the spirit, the gifts of the spirit and His mercy and grace. He fills our hungry soul with goodness.
10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
13 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
15 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
16 For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.
There are those that sit in darkness, unaware that God is calling out to them. Unaware that he loves them. Unaware that He wants them to come to Him. They have rebelled against God, following other Gods instead. They are far from God and bound by other gods.
But God is waiting, and if they will cry out to Him, He will come and save them from this distress. If that is you, God is within ear shot this morning. He will hear your cry. he will come to you in your distress and lift you out. he will break the gates of brass – the things that are holding you back, and the bras of iron that are holding you down from your full potential. Only God can bring you to your full potential – He is your creator. He knows the plans He has for you (Jer 29:11). If you are in distress, call ou to Him today and let Him rescue you.
17 Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.
19 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
21 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
Remember, the fool is the one that says there is no God (Psalm 14:1). Those that think they are above God and His statutes basically do not acknowledge God. They are fools. The abhor the things that God has provided for them from the very beginning. They deny He is their provider, and call on the earth alone as their provider. They have their back turned on God.
But when trouble comes, they turn and cry to God, and despite the fact that they have cursed Him before, He still will come and save them out of their distress. He will pull them from destruction on the final day. He will heal them in every way so that they will bring unto Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise. What an awesome God we serve, who even hears those that have cursed Him.
23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
24 These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end.
28 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
31 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
32 Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
Sometimes life surrounds us like a mighty ocean. We wander out on the waves, thinking we can navigate it by ourselves. And things goo fine for a while. We do fine. But then the waves start to rise, and the storms start to come and we start to wonder how we can get out of that ocean. They are at their wit’s end.
But the Lord is there, ready to hear our cry. He is ready to calm the waves and the storm. He is willing to bring us to a safe harbor. And all He asks is that we cry out to Him. It s that simple. We try to make it so hard to get to God, but it really isn’t. He is always available to us. He is always listening to us, to hear our cry. He is always willing to extend His mercy and grace. No matter what kind of storm we get into, He can rescue us. And He will rescue us when we call to Hiim.
33 He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground;
34 A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
35 He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.
36 And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;
37 And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.
God can change the landscape. Notice that He can turn the dry to wet and the wet to dry. He has the ultimate power to change what land is habitable and what land is not. But not only the land. he can also shape your heart, and cultivate it with His word. he can take the stony heart that is there now and replace it with a heart of flesh (EZ 36:26). He can pour the living water of His word into your heart and help you to grow in His grace. he is longing to do this!
38 He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.
39 Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.
40 He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.
41 Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.
42 The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.
43 Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.
God is above all, and over all. He is not concerned with the princes and kings, but with the poor and needy. He iis a God of compassion and justice, and those of us that are righteous see it, and we are glad. We must be wise, and remember the things that are written in this beautiful psalm. In our distress, we can cry to Him, and He will hear us and deliver us.