Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good. His faithful love continues forever.
Let those who have been set free b the Lord tell their story.
He set them free from the power of the enemy.
Let those who are wise pay attention to these things.
Let them think about the loving deeds of the Lord. (Psalm 107:1,2, 43)
I grew up in a family of immigrants. Both my parents immigrated from the Netherlands. My mom was 10 when she came, my dad 19. Mom came on a boat with her family, seven siblings. She left behind everything she knew, including her deeply loved grandparents. My dad came alone, grieving that he would never see his mother again.
My parents met shortly after dad arrived. A three-year courtship blossomed into marriage and a small apartment. A few years later they had scraped together enough to buy a farm. In their early years, Dad worked off the farm while mom cared for the children and the pigs (at least once they escaped and ran into the fields, the pigs that is).
In two short paragraphs I can relate what I know about my parent’s history. There is a lot of details, pains and joys, hidden behind these events, but there are few that I know. For some reason, it wasn’t in my parents to recall those years, or maybe I just didn’t pay attention.
The point is that these psalms (105-107) recount history, Israel’s history. They are not meant to put us to sleep but to teach us important elements of our faith. This psalm recounts God’s love to his people when they were in trouble. How will the youth in Israel learn to trust in God if they don’t hear the stories of God’s work in the lives of their parents and grand parents? Why should parents tell if the young will not pay attention?
The psalmist recounts moments in Israel’s history that were dark, desperate times. In each stanza, the people eventually cry out to God and God hears them. And God saves them. And God causes them to flourish. And the people accept the redemption that God provides for them.
Most commentators believe that this psalm was composed among those returning from the Babylonian exile. It was designed to help these returning Israelites re-enter their covenant with God and this time to keep covenant. And so the final verse is essential to the psalm, “Let those who are wise pay attention to these things. Let them think about the loving deeds of the Lord.”
We are reminded that ‘keeping the faith’ is more than just reading the Bible or coming to church. What do you know about God’s loving deeds? What stories have you heard? What stories do you need to tell? How do these stories affect the way that you live?
Your Friend & God’s Friend,
Psalm 107:1-2, 43