Psalm 107

107:0Psalm 107 is a wonderful psalm. It tells us that God will give help to people that ask him for help. Some people think that they do not need help from God. Those people will not get help!

The soldiers of Babylon took the Jews away from their own country. 70 years later, they came home again. Then they wrote this psalm. They were prisoners in Babylon, (verses 10-16). Prisoners are people who are in a prison or not free. They had done what was wrong, (verses 17-22). That is why they were not free. But the Lord (another name for God) brought them home again, (verses 4-9). He redeemed them, or saved them from their enemies. The journey was difficult, (verses 23-32). So they must tell the Lord how good he was, (verses 33-43). Babylon was a country east of where the Jews lived.

God Gave Us Help

107:1There are 6 groups of verses in this psalm:

The Beginning: Thank the Lord for what he has done. (verses 1-3)

The Lord gave help to people who were coming home. (verses 4-9)

The Lord gave help to people that were in prison. (verses 10-16)

The Lord gave help to people that were ill because they had done wrong things. (verses 17-22)

The Lord gave help to people that were on the sea (verses 23-32)

The End: The Lord does wonderful things. (verses 33-43)

Verses 1-9

107:1Verses 1-9 are about refugees. Refugees are people with nowhere to go. They have no home or country. If you are one, ask God for help. He will give it to you if you believe in him.

1 Thank the Lord because he is good.

His kind love will never stop.

2 People must say that the Lord has redeemed them,

when he has redeemed them from the power of an enemy.

3 He brought them from countries to the east, to the west,

to the north; and from the sea.

107:3Some Bible students think that ‘the sea’ should be ‘the south.’ The two words are not very different in Hebrew. Hebrew is the language that the psalm-writers spoke. Because verses 23–32 are about the sea, we think that verse 3 may also be about the sea. There was a sea to the south of Judah, so perhaps both are right!

4 They moved from place to place in the wild country.

They did not find the way to a city to live in.

5 They were hungry and wanted a drink.

They thought that they were going to die.

6 Then they prayed to the Lord in their trouble.

And he saved them from the danger that they were in.

7 He led them by an easy road to a city where they might live.

8 They must thank the Lord for his kind love.

And they must thank him for the wonderful things that he does for people.

9 His people have enough to drink

and he fills the hungry people with good things.

Psalm 107 verses 10-22

107:10Verses 10-16 are about people that are in prison. God will even give you help in prison. He may even make you go free! But you must ask him. And remember, there are prisons without walls and bars: They are bad things that we cannot stop ourselves from doing. God will give us help here too.

Verses 17-22 are about people that are ill. They are ill because they did something wrong. Now, not all illness is because we do something wrong. But some of it is. God will even give help here, but we must ask for help!

10 Some people sat in darkness and in the shadow of death.

They were prisoners behind iron bars. And they felt despair.

107:10They were prisoners in two ways:

– There were iron bars to keep them in until they died;

– This made them very, very sad (or, in despair).

In other words, they were prisoners of their enemies. And they were like prisoners because of their own thoughts. ‘In darkness’ means ‘in a dark place.’

11 This happened because they did not obey the words of God.

They laughed at the plans of the Most High.

107:11Verse 11: ‘Most High’ is a name for God. He is so great and powerful that he has many names. They all tell us about God. ‘Most High’ means that there is nobody with more authority than God.

12 Hard work made them listen to him.

When they fell down, there was nobody to help them.

107:12Verse 12: The hard work was what their enemies made them do. It made them feel very angry. But in the end, they said that God was right.

13 Then they prayed to the Lord in their trouble.

And he saved them from the danger that they were in.

107:13Verses 13 and 15: So they prayed to God and he saved them. These verses come 4 times, so they are important.

14 He led them out of the darkness and the shadow of death.

He broke the chains that held them.

107:14Verse 14: Chains are bits of metal. They hold people so that they cannot get away.

15 They must thank the Lord for his kind love.

And they must thank him

for the wonderful things that he does for people.

16 They must thank him because he broke the metal gates

and destroyed the iron bars.

107:16Verse 16: The metal gates were the gates of the prison. The bars were also pieces of metal. They were over the windows and they stopped people getting away.

17 Fools went away from the right road

and were in pain because of their sin.

107:17Verse 17: The ‘right road’ here means the ‘right way to live.’ If you can, study Psalm 1 or Psalm 119 in this set. They were not fools because they were silly. They were fools because they did not obey God. ‘In pain’ means that something was hurting them. ‘Sin’ is ‘not to obey God's rules.’

18 They would not eat any food, so they nearly died.

107:18Verse 18: Perhaps they were too ill to eat.

19 Then they prayed to the Lord in their trouble.

And he saved them from the danger that they were in.

20 He sent his word and he healed them.

He saved them from the deep hole of death.

21 They must thank the Lord for his kind love.

And they must thank him

for the wonderful things that he does for people.

22 They must give offerings of praise.

And they must sing about what he has done.

107:22Verse 22: ‘An offering’ is something that you give to someone. In the psalm, the writer meant an animal. They would kill the animal and then burn it. They believed that this made God happy. The burning animal was called ‘a sacrifice.’ ‘Praise’ is to tell someone that they are very great.

Psalm 107 verses 23-32

107:23Verses 23-32 are about dangers when we travel. The refugees in verses 4-9 were in danger on the road. And here they are in danger at sea. God gave help to these people. And he will give help to you when you travel. It does not matter how you go, land, sea or air! Just ask God for help.

23 Some went down to the sea, to work in deep waters.

24 They saw the wonderful things that the Lord did there.

107:24Verses 23-24: We do not know who these people were. There was no sea near Babylon. They were probably Jews that went to places to buy and sell things. We call them ‘traders.’

25 He spoke and a wind started. A storm lifted up the sea.

26 The sailors went up to the sky then down into deep places.

The danger made them afraid.

27 It was not possible to stand up, so they fell over like drunks.

They did not know what to do!

107:27Verses 25-27: There was a bad storm. God sent it. The traders and the other sailors fell over. This was because the boat moved up and down a lot. They did not know what to do. They had sailed a lot. But this was something that they had not seen before. All that was possible was to pray!

28 Then they prayed to the Lord in their trouble.

And he saved them from the danger that they were in.

29 He stopped the noise of the storm and made the sea become quiet.

30 They were happy when it became quiet.

He showed them the way to the port that they wanted to reach.

107:30Verses 29-30: God answered them. The storm stopped. The sea was quiet. This made them happy.

31 They must thank the Lord for his kind love.

And they must thank him

for the wonderful things that he does for people.

32 The people must say that he is great when they meet together.

Their leaders must praise him when they sit together.

107:32Verses 31-32: When God answers us when we pray, we must remember to thank him! This is very important when Christians meet together.

Psalm 107 verses 33-43

107:33-34Verses 33-43 finish the psalm. They tell us that God will give help to those people that ask for help. But he will not give it if they do not ask. The last verse of the psalm tells us to think about this. If we ask God for help we are wise. If we do not ask for help, then we are stupid! And nobody wants to be stupid, so let us all ask God for help in our lives!

33-34 The people who live in some places are very bad.

In those places, God will make:

· rivers become desert places

· wells of water become dry ground

· good ground become salt marsh

35 He can make desert places become pools of water

and dry ground become wells of water.

107:35Verses 34-35: God can change good places into bad places. A desert is a dry place with no water but much sand. A marsh is a very wet place.

36 He can give a place to hungry people where they can build a city to live in.

37 They can sow seeds in the fields and plant vineyards.

Then they will bring home much food.

38 He will be kind to them so that they grow in number.

Their animals will not decrease in number.

107:38Verses 35-38: God can also change bad places into good places. ‘Sow seeds’ means ‘put them into the ground so they can grow.’ A vineyard is a place where people grow grapes. People make grapes into wine, a drink with alcohol in it.

39 Then they began to decrease in number

because of oppression, trouble and despair.

40 He just laughed at their leaders.

And he took them into roads that led nowhere.

107:40Verses 39-40: He does not do good things to people that do not obey him.

‘Oppression’ means the trouble that you have when people are not kind to you.

41 But he lifts people that are in need out of their trouble.

And he makes their families grow like wild animals.

107:41Verse 41: But the Lord is kind to those that need his help. Some wild animals have many babies, as the mouse does.

42 Good people see it and it makes them happy.

Bad people just shut their mouths!

43 People that are not stupid will think about these things.

Then they will understand the kind love of the Lord.