Vs. 1-3 give a well-deserved praise of the LORD;
Vs. 4-9 show God’s deliverance to the bewildered;
Vs. 10-16 show God’s deliverance to the bowed down;
Vs. 17-32 show God’s deliverance to the busy;
Vs. 33-42 show God’s abundance for the blessed;
Vs. 43 describes those who pay attention.
This Psalm fits into the continuity of the preceding few, tracing God’s preservation of Israel through more of the Old Testament history, notably, bringing them back to Canaan after their Babylonian “captivity.” OR this Psalm is also worded in such a way that it might describe God’s salvation of any sinner with figures of speech that describe what it would mean to be saved. OR the wording may well point forward to events in Jesus’ life that would show God’s works through and about Jesus in order to convince sinners to come to Him for salvation. The historical Israelite setting is probably more fitting. The repeated formula of repentance in Psalm 107:6, 13, 19, 28 IS the history of Israel, AND of the churches of Christ. The repeated refrain in Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31 should be the learned lesson heeded by all of “the children of men,” that is, everyone!
Verses 1-3: Those who thank God for His goodness and mercy (verses 1-2) are those who realize He paid their price (“redeemed”) to make them His own. The “gathering” (verse 3) easily depicts Israel gathered from all directions to re-possess their Land of Canaan (historically recorded in the Books of Ezra & Nehemiah).
Verses 4-9: The “wandering” easily describes Israel after Egyptian bondage (historically recorded in the Book of Numbers), ending in their land with “a city for habitation,” Jerusalem (as recorded in the Books of Joshua-2 Kings). Jesus offers to satisfy the hungry and thirsty (Matthew 5:6).
Verses 10-16: The “bondage” easily fits the Israelites’ life in Babylon as punishment for their rebellion against God’s words (historically recorded in 2 Chronicles 36:1-23; Jeremiah 25:1-14). Jesus discussed the Jews’ bondage in sin (John 8:30-36) and freedom is in Him (2 Corinthians 3:12-18).
Verses 17-32: The “affliction” easily fits Israel’s (the Northern Kingdom) crumbling to Assyrian conquest (2 Kings 17:1-23). Jesus stilled stormy seas (Mark 4:36-41), and also healed the “afflicted” (Matthew 4:24; 2 Corinthians 1:6). Congregated people should “praise Him” (in other words, “go to church”).
Verses 33-42: Abundance, or lack, is in the hand of God, and can depend upon a people’s wickedness or righteousness. When things go wrong, the first place to look for a reason is one’s own life! “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: ‘He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.’ Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God” (2 Corinthians 9:8-11).
Verse 43: The “wise” will “observe,” that is, pay attention to the lesson of history, and “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off” (Romans 11:22).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.