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God does Rescue

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God Does Rescue (Psalm 107:1-32)

God does rescue from helplessness. Our psalm more than states this. Psalm 107 gives four vivid pictures of the conditions from which God can rescue. These pictures are those of travelers who are lost, prisoners who are trapped, invalids who are weak, and sailors about to sink in a storm. Taken together these pictures present four situations of human helplessness. The promise of God is clear. To those who call out of helplessness He will give help.

You should not think that your situation is beyond God's help. God can respond with the resources necessary to reverse your helpless situation.

God Does Rescue from Helplessness

God rescues from aimlessness. "Some wandered in desert wastelands" (v. 4). A lost caravan of desperate people in the trackless wasteland paints a picture of life with no certain aim. Such lost travelers have no stability. They face the lack of resources to sustain life that comes from such a condition: hunger, thirst, and loss of life. Some people simply grope their way through a pointless existence with no direction. Instability, insecurity, and lack of sustaining relationships mark them. God can replace this with direction.

God rescues from confinement. Those lost in a desert are in too wide a world. Others are trapped in too narrow a world. "Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains" (v. 10). Ancient prisons were unlighted vaults. Those who rebel against God find themselves in darkness, confinement, and exhausting circumstances. Aimlessness may not be on purpose, but the confinement that comes from rebellion is deliberate. God can release from confinement.

God rescues from foolishness. "Some became fools through their rebellious ways" (v. 17). This pictures spiritual invalids who reached their condition because of rebellion. They suffer the physical impact of spiritual disobedience. Loss of appetite causes them to languish near the doors of death. This was the earlier experience of the psalmist (Ps. 32:3-4). God can heal this with His Word.

God rescues from powerlessness. "Others went out on the sea in ships" (v. 23). The Hebrews were not a seagoing people. The tiny ships they had hugged the coast itself. A raging sea painted the picture of absolute powerlessness. "They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits end" (v. 27). We can be rocked by situations we never created but which threaten to sink our very lives.

Together these four pictures show the range of human helplessness. Sometimes we are victims of our own folly. At other times we are carried away by vast forces we did not cause.

God Rescues at Our Insistent Call

In each of the four situations the helpless ones found the same remedy. "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress" (v. 6, see also vv. 13, 19, 28). With an intensity they made an outcry. This was not directed in terror toward the situation but in faith toward the living God. They cried out because they were in trouble, literally in the "straits." They were in narrow, restricting, confining circumstances that hedged them in on every side. God's reaction was to rescue them from their misfortunes.

This means that God does not say, "Stew in your own juice." This means that God will never respond, "You made your own bed—lie in it." When we lack wisdom to face the testing times of life, God gives it to us generously and He does not upbraid us for our own helplessness (Jas. 1:6).

God Reverses Our Helpless Situation

God reverses aimlessness with new direction. For those who are lost in the desert God "led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle" (v. 7). Anything else would be little more than first aid. God can give stability and permanence to lives that had no direction or aim.

God reverses confinement with freedom. God breaks the chains that bind, cuts through bars of iron and floods life with the light of freedom. The first sermon of our Lord indicated His entire ministry would be one of release from confinement (Luke 4:18ff.).

God reverses foolishness with the healing of His word (v. 20). For those who suffer the physical and emotional weakness that comes with foolish sin, God makes whole with His word. Instead of languishing in weakness, they will "tell of his works with songs of joy" (v. 22).

God reverses powerlessness with the assertion of His power. "He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed" (v. 29). We know this through our Lord Jesus Christ who said over the Sea of Galilee, "Peace be still," and there was immediate calm. With a single word all was well.

Our God does rescue. Your situation is by no means beyond the reach of His mighty power. What He's done for others, He will do for you.

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