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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

November 29 2023

Wednesday November 29

“Launch Out Into the Deep”

Psalm 107:23-28

23 Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters,

24 They see the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep.

25 For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea.

26 They mount up to the heavens, They go down again to the depths; Their soul melts because of trouble.

27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits' end.

28 Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses.

29 He calms the storm, So that its waves are still.

30 Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven.

31 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

32 Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, And praise Him in the company of the elders.

I will never forget in the early 70’s, when I was in Lynchburg Baptist College (Now Liberty University), hearing a message in chapel on this passage in Psalm 107 by a pastor by the name of Larry Chapman. I could be wrong about his name, but I clearly remember his message. He was challenging the “preacher boys” to be willing to step out of our comfort zone and “launch out into the deep” to attempt to do great things for God.

It is interesting to remember that the context and historical background for this passage is about Israel coming out of Babylonian captivity and returning to the Promise Land to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, their temple, and their nation. The psalmist first pictures them as wandering through the wilderness, looking for a city to dwell in for security and peace (vv. 4-9). Then they are pictured as rebelling against God’s Word and His counsel and find themselves sitting in darkness and in bondage (vv. 10-16). Next, they are pictured as fools being afflicted because of their sins and almost ready to die (vv. 17-22). But in each case when they cried to the LORD in their trouble, He saved them out of their distresses!

Now in these verses they are pictured as sailors going out on the sea to do business in the great waters. We need to remember that the Jews were not a seafaring people like the Phoenicians. They would definitely be out of their comfort zone to get into a ship to go out into the sea to do any kind of business! But this group of people were willing to leave the comfort and safety of the shallow waters of the harbor and to go into the “great waters” to do a great business (vv. 23-24). The psalmist points out that it is this courageous group of sailors that would have the opportunity to see the awesome “works of the LORD, and His wonders in the deep”.

In Luke 5, Jesus was in a boat with His disciples next to the shore on the Sea of Galilee where He was teaching the multitudes. After He finished His lesson, He instructed Peter to “launch out into the deep and let down his nets for a catch of fish” (Luke 5:4). Peter objected by saying that he had fished all night and had caught nothing but said, “nevertheless, at Your word, I will let down my net”. Then one of the great miracles of the New Testament takes place. They begin to catch so many fish that they almost sink their boats.

In the other Gospels we also learn that after this miracle they are instructed by the Lord to “go to the other side” of the sea. Jesus leaves them and goes up to a mountain to pray. It is then as they are sailing in the middle of the night that they encounter such a great storm they think they are going to perish. But Jesus shows up walking on the water and calms the storm, gets into the boat with them and immediately they are at the place they are going (John 6:16-21).

I often wonder if later Peter and the other disciples thought about this passage in Psalm 107. My friend, if we want to see God do great things we must be willing to be obedient and leave our “comfort zones” and “launch out into the deep” to do the great business of catching souls for Jesus. This could mean teaching a Sunday school class of children, becoming a deacon, or maybe going to Bible College to become a pastor or a missionary!

What is the Lord speaking to you about today?

God bless!

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