Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say this – those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, …Psalm 107:1-2
I like to reflect on the Christian life being like a man rowing a boat: he is moving FORward, but can do this most effectively by LOOKING BACKward.
We are living in an age when following Jesus, living in obedience to his Word, and trusting fully in his promises when everything that is happening around us seems out of control, is very challenging.
We are encouraged throughout this long psalm to LOOK BACK on WHO our God IS, what defines his CHARACTER, and what he has DONE for us as an expression/proof of his nature and character; and, by looking back on these things, to use our energy to GIVE THANKS instead of using it up on anxiety and worry about the present and the future.
Here, at the beginning of the psalm, we are reminded of at least FIVE truths.
Firstly, the God in whom we trust is none other than THE LORD (YAHWEH/JEHOVAH), the One who is not only the Creator/Sustainer of the Universe (Isaiah 45:5-8), but the One who has bound himself into a Covenant relationship with his Chosen People based on his love (CHESED) and faithfulness (AMUNAH) (eg Exodus 34:6; Psalm 86:15; 100:5; 138:2; etc, etc).
Secondly, our God is GOOD. As the Apostle Paul says, “And we know that in all things God works for the GOOD of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Thirdly, all these things “endure FOREVER”. Our God is NOT unpredictable or erratic – he is the SAME, ‘yesterday, today, and forever’ (cf Hebrews 13:8).
Fourthly he has REDEEMED all those whom he has chosen; he has PAID IN FULL THE PRICE of our FREEDOM!
Fifthly, he HAS (already) WON the VICTORY over all who would oppose him and try to defeat us in out efforts to serve him – our ‘foes’.
I hope I will keep in mind everything I have just written, the next time I become anxious and worried about everything that is going wrong in our world. I hope the Sovereign LORD will enable me to TRUST, to HOPE, to WAIT PATIENTLY, in the midst of the darkness! If the Psalmist could be confident of all these things a millennium BEFORE Jesus came, how much more should I be convinced of their eternal truth and reliability!