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Friday, December 1st, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 107

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 22-32

  1. Intro:
    1. Why this Psalm? – Our church is going through a thick storm!
      1. Some are Seasick; others scared of the storm; others almost shipwrecked.
      2. The Lord showed me this Psalm through a friend this week.
      3. It deals with the storms of life: Why they come; What our response should be; & where God is in the midst of them.
    2. Whole Psalm 107 overview:
      1. 5 pictures of Gods Mercy toward man & how he responds.
      2. [1] Wanderers (4-9) [2] Prisoners (10-16) [3] Sufferers (17-22) [4] Sailors (23-32) [5] Farmers (33-38).
      3. Note the repeated phrase: “Oh, that men…” (8,15,21,31)
        1. Showing Gods heart seeking man to give thanks!
      4. Note the repeated phrase: “Then they cried out…” (6,13,19,28)
        1. Showing that men do cry out to the Lord…but it’s often only after He takes us through a trial.
      5. We are only going to deal with the Sailor analogy(23-32).
    3. How dangerous it is when a Christian becomes comfortable!
      1. It’s not that God “can’t stand” when we’re comfortable; it’s that often we can’t “stand”(i.e. up) when we’re comfortable…& we fall!
      2. God wants us to depend upon Him & not on our circumstances around us.
      3. Watch how fast He can change our circumstances, for better or for worse!
        1. See verses 33,34(worse) – Maybe referring to those who are enjoying the gifts & forgetting the Giver!
        2. They look to His hand & not to His heart! – They enjoy His wealth but neglect His will!
        3. Vs. 35-38(better).
  2. THE STORM! (23-27)
    1. Here we have a big ship, tossed like a little cork on mountainous waves!
      1. You almost turn green & get Seasick just reading this description of a storm at sea.
    2. (23) “Who do business”
      1. You never hear of Solomon having a Yacht for cruising out on the Med. Sea - The Sea was feared because of its unpredictability.
        1. The Great Sea was used specifically for commercial trade & transportation.
      2. Dangers on waters usually exceeded dangers on land.
        1. For where can you go for help? For shelter? For refuge, in the midst of a violent raging storm out at sea?
        2. You can only look up!
    3. (24) “The mystery, power, & beauty of the sea, w/everything that lives in it, testifies eloquently to God’s wisdom!” (New Geneva Study Bible, footnote on this verse.)
    4. (25) Q: Whose Waves are these? “The Lord’s Waves!”
      1. Here again is Gods Providence, ruling in what appears the most ungovernable province of nature.
      2. It is God who raises the storm (25) & God who stills it (29).
      3. Q: What waves does He use today to drive us to our knees?
        1. Waves at Work? - High Tide Teenagers? - Billows of Bills? – Wedlock Whitecaps?
      4. Q: What causes the different storms in our lives?
      5. [1] Other People can bring on storms in our lives
        1. Acts 27:9-12 – Paul sails to Rome (prisoner).
        2. This is an example of someone’s mistake, effecting someone else’s life.
        3. Worse, is when we “allow” someone else’s storm to affect us (Paul here couldn’t prevent this). - But we can prevent some storms of our lives by being careful to have friends who will listen to the word of God!
      6. [2] God can bring storms in our lives
        1. Sometimes God causes the storms to test & build us.
        2. He wants us to develop our sea legs!
        3. Jesus sent His disciples right into a storm to teach them an important lesson of faith.
      7. [3] We can bring on our own storms in our lives
        1. Sometimes we cause storms in our lives by disobedience!
        2. Like Jonah running away from God, the only way He can bring us back sometimes is to send a storm to fetch him!
      8. [4] Satan can bring storms to our lives
        1. Job example.
      9. But from which ever way the storm blows(N,S,E,W) rest assured… God is the ultimate weather-gauge!
    5. Q: Are you in a storm today? – Do you know its cause?
      1. Ask God for strength & courage to weather it, wisdom to understand it, & not to waste it.
    6. (26) “They” – specifically the mariners (see 26b).
      1. Where are you at right now in life’s storm? - Up at the crest, or down in the trough?
    7. (27) “at their wit’s end” – (all their wisdom is swallowed up).
      1. What a description here (the drunken man).
  3. THE CRY! (28-30)
    1. When we cry out unto God, He brings us out of our distresses(28); God brings calm(29); God brings gladness(30a); God brings guidance (30b); & God brings a safe haven(31)!
    2. (28) THE CRY!
      1. “He that cannot pray, let him go to the sea, & there he will learn.” (John Trapp)
      2. As we talked about already, their only option out at sea is to look up!
        1. So they looked up & the Lord rescued them.
        2. Next he calmed the storm & brought them to their desired destination.
        3. Sounds like Mt.14:32,33 “And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God."
      3. The Psalmist doesn’t tell us of their praying in good & comfortable weather!
        1. God hears more often from an afflicted people. Then He does from a people that are at ease, quiet, & out of danger.
        2. Proof? – Ps.119:67,71
        3. Examples:
          1. The prodigal – was resolved not to return, until he was brought low.
          2. Jonah – was asleep on the ship, but awake in prayer in the whale’s belly.
          3. King Manasseh – lived in Jerusalem a free man – but it took him to be bound in chains, & a hook placed in his nose, & led off toBabylon until he would pray to God! (2 Chron.33:12,13)
    3. (29) THE CALM!
      1. How calm? “As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean!” (Barnes Notes; Psalms.)
      2. God says to these proud waves, “this far & no farther!”
        1. Job 38:8-11 – Here God answers Job…for 3 full chapters.
      3. God controls the chaotic waters of the sea.
        1. Ps.106:9 “He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it dried up; So He led them through the depths, As through the wilderness.”
        2. Ps.89:9 “You rule the raging of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them.”
        3. Ps.93:3,4 “The floods have lifted up, O LORD, The floods have lifted up their voice; The floods lift up their waves. The LORD on high is mightier Than the noise of many waters, Than the mighty waves of the”
      4. Jesus shows His deity by doing the same powerful miracle of rebuking the wind & waves! (Mt.8:26; Lk.8:24)
        1. Waves often time in scripture represent chaos & evil – rebuked the must shrink back
        2. One day there will be no more Sea! – Rev.21:1 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.”
    4. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​(30) THE QUIET!
      1. “The rougher the voyage the more the mariners long for port!”
      2. Heaven becomes more & more “a desired haven”, as our trials multiply.
        1. How intense the desire to see land once more!
      3. Death is like a ship smoothly gliding into port w/its sails all set.
      4. So God brings His people to rest in Heaven – their haven – their home!
        1. After being tossed by the tempest of life, after encountering its storms & dangers, the way becomes smooth & calm.
  4. OUR RESPONSE! (31,32)
    1. ​​​​​​​The Psalmist gives us 3 Dramamine pills so we don’t get seasick on life’s white capped waves. Thank Him; Exalt Him; & Praise Him!
    2. (31) THANK HIM!
      1. “Oh” – a little word, but it comes w/such force & affection from the heart.
        1. A word used when a man can say no more!
      2. Thank Him privately(31a) – publicly (31b)
        1. Publicly [1] W/family & close friends [2] to the rest of the Gods people [3] Even leadership of your country(32b). {What?…No sep. of church & state???}
      3. Cry with David, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” (or see Ps.103:1-5)
    3. (32a) EXALT HIM!
      1. If we complained less, and praised more, we should be happier, and God would be more glorified.
      2. Don’t let others dismiss Gods radical rescue,to be mere ”good luck”
    4. (32b) PRAISE HIM!
      1. Praise is the best auxiliary to prayer. (Andrew Melville (1545-1622))
      2. Somehow, about forty percent of churchgoers seem to have picked up the idea that "singing in church is for singers." The truth is that "singing is for believers." The relevant question is not, "Do you have a voice?" but "Do you have a song?"(Donald Hustad, Leadership, Vol. 3, no. 1.)
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Psalms 107". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/psalms-107.html. 2017.
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