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scripture

 

PSALM 107*

God the Savior of Those in Distress

1“Give thanks to the LORD for he is good,

his mercy endures forever!”a

2Let that be the prayer of the LORD’s redeemed,

those redeemed from the hand of the foe,b

3Those gathered from foreign lands,

from east and west, from north and south.c

I

4Some had lost their way in a barren desert;

found no path toward a city to live in.

5They were hungry and thirsty;

their life was ebbing away.d

6In their distress they cried to the LORD,

who rescued them in their peril,

7eGuided them by a direct path

so they reached a city to live in.f

8Let them thank the LORD for his mercy,

such wondrous deeds for the children of Adam.

9For he satisfied the thirsty,

filled the hungry with good things.g

II

10Some lived in darkness and gloom,

imprisoned in misery and chains.

11Because they rebelled against God’s word,

and scorned the counsel of the Most High,h

12He humbled their hearts through hardship;

they stumbled with no one to help.i

13In their distress they cried to the LORD,

who saved them in their peril;

14He brought them forth from darkness and the shadow of death

and broke their chains asunder.j

15Let them thank the LORD for his mercy,

such wondrous deeds for the children of Adam.

16For he broke down the gates of bronze

and snapped the bars of iron.

III

17Some fell sick from their wicked ways,

afflicted because of their sins.

18They loathed all manner of food;k

they were at the gates of death.

19In their distress they cried to the LORD,

who saved them in their peril,

20Sent forth his word to heal them,l

and snatched them from the grave.

21Let them thank the LORD for his mercy,

such wondrous deeds for the children of Adam.

22Let them offer a sacrifice in thanks,

recount his works with shouts of joy.

IV

23Some went off to sea in ships,

plied their trade on the deep waters.m

24They saw the works of the LORD,

the wonders of God in the deep.

25He commanded and roused a storm wind;

it tossed the waves on high.n

26They rose up to the heavens, sank to the depths;

their hearts trembled at the danger.

27They reeled, staggered like drunkards;

their skill was of no avail.o

28In their distress they cried to the LORD,

who brought them out of their peril;

29He hushed the storm to silence,

the waves of the sea were stilled.p

30They rejoiced that the sea grew calm,

that God brought them to the harbor they longed for.

31Let them thank the LORD for his mercy,

such wondrous deeds for the children of Adam.

32Let them extol him in the assembly of the people,

and praise him in the council of the elders.

V

33*God changed rivers into desert,

springs of water into thirsty ground,q

34Fruitful land into a salty waste,

because of the wickedness of its people.r

35He changed the desert into pools of water,

arid land into springs of water,s

36And settled the hungry there;

they built a city to live in.t

37They sowed fields and planted vineyards,

brought in an abundant harvest.u

38vGod blessed them, and they increased greatly,

and their livestock did not decrease.w

39But he poured out contempt on princes,

made them wander trackless wastes,

40Where they were diminished and brought low

through misery and cruel oppression.

41While he released the poor man from affliction,

and increased their families like flocks.x

42The upright saw this and rejoiced;y

all wickedness shut its mouth.

43Whoever is wise will take note of these things,z

and ponder the merciful deeds of the LORD.

* [Psalm 107] A hymn inviting those who have been rescued by God to give praise (Ps 107:13). Four archetypal divine rescues are described, each ending in thanksgiving: from the sterile desert (Ps 107:49), from imprisonment in gloom (Ps 107:1016), from mortal illness (Ps 107:1722), and from the angry sea (Ps 107:2332). The number four connotes totality, all the possible varieties of rescue. The same saving activity of God is shown in Israel’s history (Ps 107:3341); whenever the people were endangered God rescued them. The last verses invite people to ponder the persistent saving acts of God (Ps 107:4243).

* [107:3341] God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in Gn 1819, which the Psalm sees as the destruction of the wicked inhabitants of Canaan to prepare the way for Israel (Ps 107:3334). God then led Israel through the desert to give them a fertile land (Ps 107:3538) and protected them from every danger (Ps 107:3941).

a. [107:1] Ps 100:45; 106:1; Jer 33:11.

b. [107:2] Is 63:12.

c. [107:3] Is 43:56; 49:12; Zec 8:7.

d. [107:5] Dt 8:15; 32:10; Is 49:10.

e. [107:7] Is 35:8; 40:3; 43:19.

f. [107:7] Dt 6:10.

g. [107:9] Lk 1:53.

h. [107:11] Is 42:7, 22; Jb 36:89; Prv 1:25.

i. [107:12] Ps 106:43.

j. [107:14] Is 42:7; 49:9; 51:14.

k. [107:18] Jb 6:67; 33:20.

l. [107:20] Ps 147:15; Wis 16:12; Is 55:11; Mt 8:8.

m. [107:23] Sir 43:25.

n. [107:25] Jon 1:4.

o. [107:27] Is 29:9.

p. [107:29] Ps 65:8; 89:10; Mt 8:26 par.

q. [107:33] Is 35:7; 42:15; 50:2.

r. [107:34] Gn 19:2328; Dt 29:22; Sir 39:23.

s. [107:35] Ps 114:8; Is 41:8.

t. [107:36] Ez 36:35.

u. [107:37] Is 65:21; Jer 31:5.

v. [107:38] Jb 12:2325.

w. [107:38] Dt 7:1314.

x. [107:41] Ps 113:7.

y. [107:42] Ps 58:11; 63:12.

z. [107:43] Hos 14:10.






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