From Every Point of the Compass

From Every Point of the Compass

This year, as part of my daily devotions, I have been reading through the book of Psalms each month. It has truly been a delight. Yet while every Psalm is inspired and profitable, some Psalms have stood out to me in a peculiarly powerful way. Psalm 107 is one of those Psalms. Though it would be impossible to plumb the rich depths that are here in such a short article, I hope that the few points I bring out will prove as profitable to you as they were to me.
The Psalm begins by calling on all the redeemed whom the Lord has gathered to give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endureth forever. These redeemed are then specified as having been gathered from the four corners of the world, from the East, the West, the North and the South. These four directional points are mirrored in the quadruple repetition of the refrain, Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! The four-fold repetition of this phrase serves to structure the remainder of the Psalm.
Verses 4–9 speak of a group of the redeemed that is wandering in the wilderness—hungry, thirsty and faint. They cried unto the Lord and He delivered them from their distresses and led them out of the wilderness. After describing this wonderful work of God, the refrain is given for the first time followed by a recap of what God has done for them in the final verse of this section.
Verses 10–16 speak of some whose troubles are clearly their own fault. Because of their deliberate rebellion, they were brought into bondage and affliction by the Lord Himself, with none to help them. Yet despite their rebellion, when they cried to the Lord He heard them. Their bondage newly broken, the second refrain calls upon them to praise the Lord.
Verses 17–22 speak of a group who were truly pathetic. Their own folly, even without the specific judgment of the Lord, had brought them to destruction. Sick and broken, they were ready to die. Yet when, as the last of all last resorts, they cried unto the Lord He heard them and healed them. They too are called upon to praise the Lord.
Verses 23–32, the longest of these four sections, speak of those who reached the end of their own ability to handle life. No matter how skilled they were at their profession as sailors, the storms that came, storms controlled by the Lord, were too great for them. Yet when they cried out to the Lord, they were brought safely to shore. This group, no less than the others, is called upon to praise the Lord.
The Psalm concludes with a celebration of the Lord’s power over every sort of circumstance. From turning rivers into a wilderness to transforming watersprings into dry ground, God is firmly in control. The wonderful way in which God works causes His people to rejoice—and to understand the loving-kindness of the Lord. If you have been redeemed, God has done a wonderful work in your life. Regardless of what point of the compass you come from or what circumstances you have come out of, your redemption demanded the almighty grace of God. When was the last time you took time to praise the Lord for His wonderful works in your life? We as believers have been gathered from every point of the compass and from every condition of life for a purpose—to praise the Lord for His marvelous goodness that He has shown to every one of His redeemed. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!