In Vs. 1 the first thing the psalmist says is “O give thanks.”
Unto who? -- Unto the Lord
Who is this Lord?-- God
Why? Because his mercy endureth (lasts) forever (until eternity)
Vs. 2-- Let the redeemed. What does this mean redeemed? We were in bondage; in sin, and God had mercy upon us. He bought us back from slavery and bondage not giving us what we deserved. We could not purchase ourselves, a slave has no rights, and a slave does not belong to themselves. We belonged to Satan even though we might have thought we were our own boss, we weren’t. We were all redeemed but not everyone accepts this redemption.
What were we redeemed or bought from? The hand of the enemy: Satan’s grip.
Vs. 3-- He gathered them out. We must realize that we cannot save ourselves; we cannot bring ourselves out of bondage, if we could God would never have sent the redeemer Jesus Christ to die for our sins. He is gathering us today, come out of sin and bondage. Come out and be not partaker of her sins.
Vs. 4-- They wandered in the wilderness. We were wandering also. Those without Christ are still wandering.
The word "wilderness" means a desolate, barren, uninhabited place, usually without trees, and water. Sin can be described as a wilderness.
To wander is to: move about from place to place without a plan or definite purpose. It also means: to have an indifference or absence to a fixed course.
So when we are wandering our movements are pointless, we do not have a rational course. There is no sense to our life. But when we receive Jesus we know what direction we are going in. There is now purpose and meaning to our lives. We know why we are here, we know what we must do, we know who we belong to and we know we will have a reward for following Christ. Therefore when we are wandering in the wilderness of sin we are living a barren, desolate life, without meaning and purpose.
We wander because we reject God’s word. The children of Israel were in bondage because of sin, and sin brings torment. It brings despair, worry and fear. It brings doubt, insecurity and pain.
Vs. 5-- Hungry and thirsty their soul fainted in them. The children of Israel were hungry and thirsty in a natural sense, and because of this they became weary and tired, depressed, hopeless and disheartened. When we are in sin and bondage this is exactly how we often feel; weary, tired, depressed, disheartened and without hope. This is how David felt in Psalms 42, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?...Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” David was experiencing problems but there is one thing he knew, God would help him.
Vs. 6-- They cried and he delivered them.
Vs. 7-- He led them by the RIGHT way. This right way is the door, if any man tries to enter in any other way he is a thief and a robber. This way is the New Birth baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. The right way is the only way we can enter into a city of habitation, the kingdom of God.
Vs.8-- Oh, (If only men would). If we really knew and understood the goodness of the Lord we would give him praise. We would tell people about his goodness.
Vs.9-- For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. God wants us to hunger and thirst after him. Jesus said in Matthew 5:6 they that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled. The woman at the well was thirsty. Jesus said in St. John 4:14 he would give her living waters to drink and whosoever drinks of this water shall never thirst again. This living water is “a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” A well is something you can draw from continuously. It must be deep to always supply water, manmade wells might dry up but the well of the Holy Spirit will never run dry.
Jesus said in St. John 7:37-38, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive.”
Vs. 10-- Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron. People who deny God are like the blind that cannot see and they are in darkness. They are in sin and cannot see. It is like being in a dark room with no light.
Why are people blind and in darkness? Why are they bound in chains and affliction?
Vs. 11-- Because they rebelled. They were against the authority of God, they disobeyed God. Because they contemned--They despised, they didn’t want to hear what God had to say.
Just as many people today do not want to hear what God has to say. God says to put off the works of the flesh and walk in the spirit and we say; it’s not that important, God knows my heart. God says to love him with all our heart, soul and spirit and to love our neighbor as ourselves we say I would but God you know how they have treated me.
In the first chapter of Malachi verses 6-13 the people despised the word of the Lord. They did not give him what he required. It is the same today; many people pay lip service to the things of God and expect him to accept it. God forbid.
Vs. 12-- What happened? There was none to help. He allowed them to go into bondage. This is what happens when we turn away from God. Just like the prodigal son who took his inheritance and wasted it on sinful living. He found himself in such a bad state and there was no one who would help him. He realized that he had sinned against his father. When they realized they couldn’t help themselves and no one else would or could, they cried unto God. That’s what we do, we turn to others but our help can only come from God. That’s where sin will lead you, it will bring you down. Down to misery and shame, it will bring you down so low that you will find yourself doing things you never thought you would do.
Vs. 13-- They cried unto God and he delivered them.
- God didn’t say, you’ve committed to many sins
- He didn’t say, you’ve turned your back on me too many times
- He didn’t say I’m tired of helping you
No, he delivered them when they cried out to him. Deliverance may not have come right away but it did come. This should be a lesson to us, when we cry unto God he will deliver us. He saved them and he will save us, if we cry unto him and if we humble ourselves and seek him.
Vs. 14-- He brought them out, He broke their bands. He broke the chains that had them bound. He breaks our chains also; chains of addiction, depression, despair and low self-esteem; chains of jealousy, envy, hatred and whatever chains we are bound with.
Vs.15-- Oh that men would praise him. Why? Because of all his wonderful works that he has done. What has he done for you?
Vs. 17-- The psalmist said fools, why? Because only a fool would reject the wonderful gift of salvation, only a fool would turn his/her back on God, only a fool would say there is no God.
A fool is someone who depends upon his own wisdom, and without Christ we lack wisdom.
Solomon said wisdom comes from God, he said wisdom comes from the words of God. We get this wisdom by studying and eating the word of God. We must eat this word on a daily basis. James said if we lack wisdom let us ask of God and he will give it to us. James 1:5.
Vs. 18-- Their soul abhorreth, whose soul? The fools. They hated the meat of God, they hated the food of God; they hated the word of God. Jesus said in Mathew 4:4 “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.” The Bible is his mouth; he speaks to us from it.
“They draw near unto the gates of death;” anyone who rejects God will not inherit eternal life.
Vs.19-- Then they cried, and God delivered them.
Vs. 20-- He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. He sent Jesus. St John 1:1&14, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus not only heals spiritually but physically also.
Vs. 21-- Oh, that men would praise him.
Vs. 22-27-- People see the works of God every day; they see the creation, the rain, the sun, and the storms. When the storms of life are raging we become distressed and wonder, where is God and “They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end.” And then they…..
Vs. 28-- Cry unto God. They sure are doing a lot of crying to God.
Vs. 29-30-- He makes the storm calm. Just like Jesus calmed the storm in Luke 8:22-25 did when he and the disciples got into the boat to go to the other side.
Vs.31-- Oh that men would praise the LORD ….
Vs.32-- Let the people exalt him. We should praise the Lord wherever we are but especially when we gather together. We should call upon his name. David was always saying, “Bless the Lord, praise him, sing unto him, let his name be exalted” We should never tire of praising the Lord.
Vs. 33-34-- He makes a fruitful land barren…because of wickedness. When we refuse to obey the commandments of God and we don’t stay connected to the vine which is Jesus we become unfruitful and Jesus said we are then good for nothing but to be thrown into the fire.
Vs.35-38-- Not only does God make a fruitful land barren but he also makes a barren land fruitful and full of life. He settled them and blessed them. He set the poor on high; he exalted them and they multiplied and they suffered no lack. This is what God will do for us if we harken unto his commandments. Jesus said in St. John 14th chapter, that if we do what the father commands us to do we will become the love of the father and anything we ask the Father in his name he will do it. He will supply all of our needs.
Vs.39-40-- But what did they do after God had richly blessed them, after he had taken care of their needs and their wants. After he had delivered them from bondage and affliction of Satan. They sinned again. The scripture says in II Peter 2:20-22, “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”
Vs. 41-- Yet after all of this God has respect to the poor, that is the poor in spirit because they have humbled themselves and realize that without God they can do nothing, without God they would fail, without God they would be drifting like a ship without a sail. He gives respect to the poor and delivers them out of all their afflictions.
Vs.42-- When we see people being delivered and set free from sin and bondage we rejoice. We rejoice because the enemy has been defeated. He was defeated when Jesus died and rose from the grave. We rejoice because we have the victory.
Vs. 43-- The only way to understand the lovingkindness of the Lord is to observe these things.
How can God have lovingkindness when the people suffered, when people all over the world are suffering today?
The people turned their backs on God; they refused his help and provision. God did not leave them, they left him. The scripture says, “Who the Lord loves he chastens” When they cried unto God he delivered them, he did not let them stay in their condition. This is the lovingkindness of the Lord, he does not leave us in our mess; he brings us out if we call upon him. But we must call upon him.
Will you call upon the Lord today?