“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses.” Psalm 107:6, 13, 19 and 28 (NASV)
“Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men.” Psalm 107: 8, 15, 21 and 31 (NASV)
Did you ever hear the humorous old parental saying, “If you break your leg, don’t come running to me!?” The parent supposedly warns the child about some activity that may cause harm and senses the child’s rebellious spirit so as to go and do exactly what he or she has been cautioned not to do. The parent affirms if you disobey me and get hurt, then don’t come crying … don’t come seeking my help to get you out of trouble … to relieve you of your distress. The irony is that if a child broke his or her leg, how on earth did the parent expect the child to come running?! Though most likely all of us have given God reason to say those words to us, that is not our Loving God’s parental attitude towards erring children! Thank the Lord!
Four times within thirty-two verses of this forty-three verse psalm, we find this twofold refrain. First, “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses.” The psalm tells the stories of the Israelites, how they got into trouble and how they cried out to the Lord. They disobeyed … they rebelled … they brought this trouble on themselves. We do not get the impression that the Lord says I will allow them to wallow in their misery for a while to make certain that they have learned their lesson. God hears and God responds. The Lord is gracious and merciful and delivers them out of their distresses.
Second, the psalm suggests that there are observers on the sidelines watching what the Israelites have done and how God has responded. It would seem that the Israelites, who have been rescued from their trouble … who have been redeemed, need some coaching as to what to do next. These observers from the sidelines cheer on the Israelites saying: “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men.”
I can relate to the Israelites having found myself in trouble of my own making and then crying out to the Lord for help. I have experienced the grace and mercy of the Lord, who has delivered me out of my distress. Just in case I should ever forget what my response should be to the Lord’s grace and mercy, I am grateful for the cheering section’s coaching: “give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness and for God’s wonders to all people.”
O Lord, I was in trouble. You heard my cries. You delivered me from my distress. Thank you for Your grace and mercy … for Your lovingkindness to me and all people … and for the miracles and wonders You perform daily. Amen.