Psalm 107:5-9 They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
In Psalm 107 the Psalmist traces the history of God’s Covenant People through all their ups and downs, their trials and difficulties, their times when they were very aware of his presence and blessings, and the times when they grumbled, wondering where he was and what he was doing … . But, in looking back over all this, he remains confident in, and grateful for, the Lord’s unfailing love (ches-ed – ‘lovingkindness’ ‘tender mercy’) and his wonderful deeds (‘pele’ – the word used to describe all the ‘miracles’ he performed in Egypt leading up to the Exodus).
This psalm expresses the sentiments of the Lord’s Covenant People in every generation, especially our own, and particularly in relation to our many persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world. And, as we look back, we have a big advantage over the Psalmist: what he could only ‘see’ as a foreshadowing, we can look back on as an historical reality – God’s ultimate expression of ‘ches-ed’ in the death of the Lord Jesus Christ for sinners, and the ultimate expression of his ‘pele’ in his glorious resurrection and the empty tomb!
And we have the reminder in Hebrews that “here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14), a place where we can finally ‘settle’ in the blessing of everlasting peace and joy, a place where “he will wipe every tear from [our] eyes” and “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4).
“For all the saints who from their labours rest, who to the world by faith their Lord confessed, your Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! You were their Rock, their fortress and their might, you, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight, and in the darkness their unfailing Light: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! So may your soldiers, faithful, true and bold, fight as the saints who nobly fought of old, and win with them the victor’s crown of gold Hallelujah! Hallelujah! One holy people, fellowship divine! We feebly struggle, they in glory shine; in earth and heaven the saints in praise combine: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long, far off we hear the distant triumph-song; and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! But look – there breaks a yet more glorious day: the saints, triumphant, rise in great array; the King of Glory passes on his way: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! From earth’s wide bounds, from dawn to setting sun, through heaven’s gates, to God the Three-in-One they come to sing the song on earth begun: Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” (William Walsham How)
– Bruce Christian