“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 107:1).
Psalm 107 is, like many psalms, an exaltation of the steadfast love of God. He is great, and one way He shows that greatness is by loving His people regardless of their failings. This psalm lists specific examples of those failings, highlighting God’s love through it all and glorifying Him because His unfathomable faithfulness.
The first example is of the people of Israel wandering in the wilderness, presumably after they had run away in fear from the land God had promised to give them. When they had no food or water, God provided for them. He brought them safely through the wilderness, leading them to the land of His promise. “Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!” the psalm proclaims. “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things” (vv. 8-9).
The next stanza discusses people in prison and in slavery because of their own foolishness. They have rebelled against God and don’t deserve His mercy. But when they cry to Him, He hears them and delivers them. “For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron” (v. 16). The same thing applies to those who are suffering from illness because of their rebellion. They are near death, but when they cry to God for help, He heals them. The psalm is sure to reiterate that this is because of His vast, steadfast love.
Finally, the psalm describes those who are at sea when a storm comes upon them. The waters are overpowering them, and they are sure to die. But once again, God hears their pleas for deliverance, and He does not let them perish in the waves. Rather, “He made the storm to be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven” (v. 30). God acted on their behalf. It was He Who had made the waters rise up against them, and it was He Who made them calm down again.
God can do so many incredible things. He can make fruitful places barren, and He can make barren places fruitful. He provides a dwelling place for those who have nowhere to go. He multiplies those who were once hungry, filling them with every good thing. He delivers them from their enemies; He “raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks” (v. 41). And this is all because of His steadfast love! He promised long ago to Abraham that He would make him the father of many nations, blessing them and giving them land. He has stayed true to that promise. He loves His people with an unfailing love. These few examples in this psalm barely scratch the surface of that love. As the psalm concludes, “Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD” (v. 43).