November 16 2023
Today, Thursday November 16
“Let The Redeemed of The LORD Say So”
1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
3 And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south.
Psalm 106:47 ends with a prayer: “Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the Gentiles, To give thanks to Your holy name, To triumph in Your praise.” Then Psalm 107 begins with a praise of thanksgiving because the LORD has answered that prayer: “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”
The emphasis in Psalm 105 is on Israel's exodus from Egypt. The emphasis in Psalm 106 is on God's longsuffering care of His people. Psalm 107 focuses on the Lord's redemption of the nation from captivity in Babylon (vv. 2-3). While the circumstances described in the psalm could be experienced by almost anyone, they especially apply to what Israel had to endure while in captivity. The word "redeemed" is often used in Isaiah to describe this great deliverance (Isa. 35:9; 43:1; 44:22-23; 48:20; 62:12).
God has a prophetic time clock in heaven for His nation Israel. The prophet Jeremiah had prophesized that because of their idolatrous sins the nation of Israel would go into Babylonian captivity for 70 years. At the exact time God set, Cyrus the Persian king gave the degree that the Babylonians captives could go home. Their exile was over, the prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled, and the prayer of Daniel was answered.
Interestingly, the majority of Jews, many of them born in Babylon since the 70-year exile began, chose to stay in Babylon where they had made a comfortable living for themselves and their families. But 42,360 decided to take the rigors of a four-month march across the desert to return to their homeland. Over the next several years several other remnants followed them. When they got home, there was no temple and Jerusalem was a heap of rubble. The returned remnant, acutely aware of the sins of the nation that had brought about the captivity, determined to "put first things first." They began by building an altar for God and reinstituting the sacrifices. They began at the heart of things. They put Calvary, so to speak, into the center of the picture, since without a proper view of sin and redemption no nation can prosper.
Then they laid the foundation of the temple. That was in their second year, in 535 B.C. The foundation was laid amid the nation's mingled songs and sobs. The musical services instituted by David were restored. Shouts of joy rang out over Jerusalem's ruined walls and desolate streets, and the sobs of the old men added a note of pathos—the old men who remembered the glories of Solomon's temple, now gone forever. Psalm 107 seems to be one of the psalms centering around these events. It is a psalm we can associate with the laying of the foundation of that temple into the courts of which one day the Messiah Himself would come.
This psalm begins the last of the five books of psalms, sometimes called "The Deuteronomy Book." Just as the last book of Moses is concerned with the Law and with the land, so are the psalms that make up this book. Psalms 107 through 119 were probably all sung in connection with the laying of the foundation of the new temple and the challenges they faced upon their return.
Note the words describing their plight: adversity (v. 2), trouble and distress (vv. 6, 13, 19, 28), misery (vv. 10, 26, 39), labor (v. 12), affliction (vv. 17, 41), destruction (v. 20), oppression (v. 39), and sorrow (v. 39). The psalmist begins by urging us to give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and mercy (lovingkindness), and he closes by exhorting us to be wise and learn from the mistakes of other people (v. 43). The people described in this psalm needed God's help, either because of their own folly or because of circumstances beyond their control, and they called on the Lord and He delivered them.
This is a great psalm that also should remind us that despite whatever adversity, trouble, distress, misery, affliction, oppression, or sorrow, we might find ourselves in, we can “cry to the LORD” and He will help and deliver us! (vv. 8, 13, 19, 28).