November 17 2023
Today, Friday November 17
“Hungry and Thirsty”
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.
4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in.
5 Hungry and thirsty, Their soul fainted in them.
6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses.
7 And He led them forth by the right way, That they might go to a city for a dwelling place.
8 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
9 For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Psalm 107 was written by an anonymous psalmist who was inspired by God to pen this great psalm to encourage the remnant of Jews that had recently come out of the Babylonian captivity. They were back in their beloved Promise Land and were attempting to rebuild the temple that had been built by Solomon but was now lying in ruins. The walls of the city of Jerusalem were also broken down and they were still surrounded by numerous peoples who detested them and did not want them back. This remnant of Jews needed to be reminded how the LORD had redeemed them and delivered them time and time again over the years.
Psalm 107 is also a great picture and illustration of the different conditions that sinners find themselves in and how God redeems and delivers them. In this chapter we see at least five pictures of sinners in their loneliness, afflictions, addictions, misery, and trouble in this old world, lost and without hope and without God. In each case when the sinners cry out to the LORD for help, God hears their cry and saves and delivers them. And then they are encouraged to give thanks the LORD for “His goodness and for His wonderful works”. Especially His great work of redemption!
First, in verses 4-9, the remnant of Jews are pictured as being in the wilderness on their journey back. It was a long way from Babylon to Judah and the dangers were many, but the Lord brought His people safely home (Ezra 1-2; Isa. 41:14-20; 43:1-21). In their need, they cried out to Him (vv. 6, 13,19, 28) and He brought them out, led them through the wilderness, and brought them to their own land where they found cities to live in. During their journey, He provided food and drink for them (see Luke 1:53; Jer. 31:25). Surely they would want to give thanks to Him for all that He did for them (vv. 8, 15, 21, 31).
Secondly, these verses can also be a reminder and a picture of how Abraham, Issac, and Jacob were sojourners in the wilderness looking for a city. Hebrews 11:8-16 tells us: “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God….But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
But we also see a great application here of how we as sinners are wandering through the wilderness of this old world, living in loneliness and fear, with empty souls, searching for satisfaction in all the wrong places. Looking for a “city”, speaks of a place where we can find protection, provision, peace, and settle down and be satisfied. Notice in verse 6, that when the troubled sinners finally cried out to the LORD in their troubled condition, He heard them and in verse 7 “He led them in the right way”!
My friend, what a picture of us! In Matthew 5:6 Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Jesus Himself is the “right way”! Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life….” (John 14:6). He is the Redeemer that paid the price for our sins with His own blood!
Only Jesus can “satisfy the longing soul, and fill the hungry soul with goodness” (v. 9). Why not trust Him today?