The author recalls four situations where the people called out, and the LORD delivered them. They are called to give praise and thanks!
VERSE 1. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his loving kindness endures forever.
VERSE 2. Let the redeemed by the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the adversary,
Let the redeemed … say so. We are to tell people that we have been redeemed. Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out! We’re to share our faith with people who don’t have it yet. For us Christians, this means exercising the Ministry of Evangelism.
VERSE 3. And gathered out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
VERSE 4. They wandered in the wilderness in a desert way. They found no city to live in.
wandered in the wilderness. Some people wander in the desert, spiritually speaking. They are hungry for God. They are hungry for spiritual friendships. They are hungry for spiritual growth.
VERSE 5. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
Hungry and thirsty. Some people feel hungry and thirsty for authentic spirituality. Sometimes they feel like giving up, because they can’t find it.
VERSE 6. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses,
he delivered them. When the time is right, God will fulfill their hopes and dreams. He will deliver them, in ways better than they could have imagined. He exercised a deliverance ministry. It is rescue. It is God-given safety and security.
VERSE 7. he led them also by a straight way, that they might go to a city to live in.
led them also by a straight way. God redirects their life in a better direction. This new spiritual path is the “city” they can habitat. Like a city, there are fellow citizens, fellow pilgrims, true friends. It is a place where God will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish them:
1 Peter 5:10. But may the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
VERSE 8. Let them praise the LORD for his loving kindness, for his wonderful deeds to the children of men!
VERSE 9. For he satisfies the longing soul. He fills the hungry soul with good.
VERSE 10. Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron,
VERSE 11. because they rebelled against the words of God, and condemned the counsel of the Most High.
VERSE 12. Therefore he brought down their heart with labor. They fell down, and there was no one to help.
VERSE 13. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
VERSE 14. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke away their chains.
VERSE 15. Let them praise the LORD for his loving kindness, for his wonderful deeds to the children of men!
VERSE 16. For he has broken the gates of bronze, and cut through bars of iron.
VERSE 17. Fools are afflicted because of their disobedience, and because of their iniquities.
VERSE 18. Their soul abhors all kinds of food. They draw near to the gates of death.
VERSE 19. Then they cry to the LORD in their trouble, he saves them out of their distresses.
VERSE 20. He sends his word, and heals them, and delivers them from their graves.
VERSE 21. Let them praise the LORD for his loving kindness, for his wonderful deeds to the children of men!
VERSE 22. Let them offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his deeds with singing.
VERSE 23. Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business in great waters;
VERSE 24. These see the LORD’s deeds, and his wonders in the deep.
VERSE 25. For he commands, and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up its waves.
VERSE 26. They mount up to the sky; they go down again to the depths. Their soul melts away because of trouble.
VERSE 27. They reel back and forth, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.
VERSE 28. Then they cry to the LORD in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distress.
VERSE 29. He makes the storm a calm, so that its waves are still.
the storm. We experience storms in our lives. But we can look forward, in faith, to the day when God will cause the storms to end.
its waves are still. After God causes the storms to end, the “waves” will be “still.”
glad because it is calm. In Contemplative Prayer, God leads us to a place of quiet and calm. He gives us the peace that surpasses all understanding.
their desired haven. The haven we desire is union with God.
NASB translation: Then they were glad because they were quiet, So He guided them to their desired haven.
Psalm 131:2. Surely I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
VERSE 31. Let them praise the LORD for his loving kindness, for his wonderful deeds for the children of men!
VERSE 32. Let them exalt him also in the assembly of the people, and praise him in the seat of the elders.
VERSE 33. He turns rivers into a desert, water springs into a thirsty ground,
VERSE 34. and a fruitful land into a salt waste, for the wickedness of those who dwell in it.
VERSE 35. He turns a desert into a pool of water, and a dry land into water springs.
dry land. We sometimes feel as though we are in a desert, whether spiritually or emotionally, relationally or financially. Yet God can easily change all that for us in an instant.
VERSE 36. There he makes the hungry live, that they may prepare a city to live in,
VERSE 37. sow fields, plant vineyards, and reap the fruits of increase.
sow fields, plant vineyards. This is a promise of provision. We are to “sow fields” and “plant vineyards.” That is, we are to do things that earn a living.
reap the fruits. Then God will cause the “fruits” to “increase,” the income to happen.
VERSE 38. He blesses them also, so that they are multiplied greatly. He doesn’t allow their livestock to decrease.
they are multiplied greatly. With God’s blessing, our finances will be multiplied GREATLY.
VERSE 39. Again, they are diminished and bowed down through oppression, trouble, and sorrow.
VERSE 40. He pours contempt on princes, and causes them to wander in a trackless waste.
VERSE 41. Yet he lifts the needy out of their affliction, and increases their families like a flock.
VERSE 42. The upright will see it, and be glad. All the wicked will shut their mouths.
VERSE 43. Whoever is wise will pay attention to these things. They will consider the loving kindnesses of the LORD.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.