TO CHEW ON: "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses." Psalm 107:19
The first part of Psalm 107 talks about many kinds of trouble, described in the language of bondage.
- There is the bondage of being owned by the enemy (Psalm 107:2,3).
- There is the bondage of homelessness and not enough to eat and drink (Psalm 107:4-7).
- There is the bondage of terminal illness (physical—and spiritual? "… sat in darkness") that is caused by rebellion and insisting on one's own way (Psalm 107:10-14).
- There is the bondage of foolish, self-destructive behaviour (Psalm 107:17,18).
The writer uses a variety of words to describe this subjection: "…wandered … distresses … longing soul … hungry soul … sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Bound in affliction and irons … chains … gates of bronze … bars of iron … gates of death … destructions…"
It's easy to recognize ourselves described here. Perhaps we see ourselves as we were before we came to Jesus, lost and wandering. Or we've experienced the humiliating bondage of an illness or accident (when I was convalescing from my broken hip in 2014, the feeling of being limited and bound by pain and weakness was very real). It doesn't even have to be a big thing or event that binds us. I'm intrigued by the words:
"He sent His word and healed them,Sometimes slavery comes from within ourselves—our appetites for food, entertainment, our physical, emotional and social longings.
And delivered them from their destructions" - Psalm 107:20 (emphasis added).
When we feel bound by a physical condition or mentally, emotionally or spiritually, do we do what the psalmist says to do here—cry to God in our trouble (Psalm 107:6,13,19)?
How He answers in our specific case—by supplying food and drink, or healing from illness, or helping us break chains of habit and addiction—is up to Him and will be tailored to us and our situation. But we do need to take advantage of the recourse we have.
PRAYER: Dear Father, when I am in trouble, help me to remember whose I am, and to call out to You for help, intervention, and deliverance. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.