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Psalm 107:15-16 – Give Thanks!

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When I began this series, I certainly didn't plan that I would end this week, but how fitting a tribute to the God we serve!  I tell everyone who'll listen that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  An argument could be made–indeed, was made by more than a few Puritans–that it may be the only holiday Christians can observe that is not implicitly forbidden in Scripture.  That aside, in my mind, it is the only holiday 

without strings attached; no one is expecting anything from me and I am not expecting anything from them.  Instead, it is all about being grateful to the God of all the grace, for His provision, for family, for friends.  How fitting then that I should conclude this series on Psalm 107 on the week we celebrate Thanksgiving!

15Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,  for his wondrous works to the children of man! 16For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron.”

But why should you counsel those in prison to be thankful?  For what do they have to be thankful?  The steadfast love of the Lord.  It would be enough to thank Him that He let them live another day.  But He does so much more than that!

First, He allowed them to be carried away captive into prison.  And why should they thank Him for that?  He knew the end of their sin would surely mean their death (Proverbs 14:12), and not just in this life, so He intervened before that happened.  He put them in a place where there was no one else to help because He knew that's what it would take to make them cry out. 

Second, He heard their cry, forgave their sins, and saved them!

Third, He defeated the power and reign of sin in their life.  As the Psalmist says, “He burst their bonds apart” and “cut in two the bars of iron” (verses 14 and 16, respectively).  Effectively, giving them a greater freedom even while behind bars than they ever knew on the outside.

Why should they thank Him?  His saving love for them was steadfast; He never gave up.  He followed them even into prison.  I cannot help but wonder if David had in mind the steadfast love of God for him when he declared, “8If I ascend to heaven, you are there!  If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” (Psalm 139:8)  David is saying, no matter where we go, His presence and love are there, drawing us, keeping us, sustaining us.

Oh, that we would give thanks to the Lord for His steadfast love to us!

Posted on July 27, 2011