Monday, September 17, 2012
Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31--Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Above is a refrain that is repeated four times in the 107th Psalm. A refrain is a phrase or verse repeated throughout a work; to us they are most recognizable as choruses of songs. As any repetition, refrains add emphasis to their subject. This is used to help an idea stick in the audience's mind and underscore its importance, and it often displays the theme of a work. So, what is the Holy Spirit trying to tell us here? It's pretty obvious: we should praise God! Why? Because He's good and has done wonderful things for us.
The list of God's amazing works is endless, but the psalmist, still utilizing repetition, relates a specific theme throughout Psalm 107: God's help in times of trouble. He illustrates this with four scenarios, each developing in the same pattern and revealing the theme of God's saving mercy and grace. First, people are in some sort of trouble; second, they cry to God for help; third, God delivers them. The psalmist always then follows with the above refrain, emphasizing that we should praise and thank God for His goodness to us.
The simple message is no matter what your situation, God can help you if you turn to Him. That's what it means when the Psalm says the people cried unto God. They gave up every hope except the Lord and knew He was the only One capable of saving them. They turned from everything else and cried to God for help, trusting in Him to rescue them. And He did.
So are you in one of the situations mentioned in this Psalm? Even if you're saved, you can be in one of these circumstances. Are you wandering through a desert, lost and famished? Are you bound in the darkness by sin and its consequences and punishment? Are you sick and despondent, physically or spiritually? Could you be in the midst of a storm, tossed about, confused, terrified? Whatever the case, God is there to help. Just call on Him. Forsake all other helps and rely on God. Only He can bring you through, and if you trust in Him, He will.
The natural reaction to this should be praise, which is what the refrain highlights. If God has saved you, which these examples illustrate, praise Him! He has given you the greatest gift possible. Whenever He does a good work to you--which, honestly, He does every day by allowing you to live and breathe--praise Him! He has blessed you with something you absolutely do not deserve.
God is the highest, the holiest, the mightiest; and He deserves all praise. All good things come from His ever-faithful and righteous hand. He deserves our total adoration and devotion. Don't be like the lepers Jesus healed and walk away without giving thanks. This reveals a selfish heart. Praise God; let His works be known. As it says earlier in the Psalm, "Let the redeemed of the LORD say so". Make God's praise the refrain of your heart, lips, and life.
Lastly, are you saved? Do you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you're going to Heaven? Maybe your life feels like one of the scenarios described above, but you haven't called on God to help. He will if you ask Him. First, though, you must realize the most drastic situation you are in: the lost condition of your soul. This must be fixed before anything else, and only God can do it. You can't do it; another person can't do it; good works can't do it; religion can't do it. Only God can. Will you please come to Him now and be rescued from eternity in Hell? Then you too can praise Him for His wonderful works in your life. Click the Salvation tab above for more information.
Thank you for reading, and God bless!