On the fourth of July every year the United States celebrates its Independence Day. The day is a celebration of freedom and liberty from England. Christians in the United States and throughout the world can celebrate everyday as a day of freedom from slavery to sin.
John 8:34-36 (NKJV)34 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
This week’s Psalm of the Week, Psalm 107, is a song of freedom sung by the redeemed of God. The Psalm was written to be sung by worshipers at the temple in Jerusalem, thanking God for their return from captivity in Babylon. Today this Psalm is for those of us redeemed, by the sacrifice and finished work on the cross of Jesus Christ, from the penalty of sin and death. We often quote verse two of this Psalm to announce our salvation.
Psalm 107:2 (NKJV) Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
In the first three verses of the Psalm the Jewish captives who are returning from exile in Babylon thank God for their freedom from captivity. Those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior can join them in thanking God for their freedom from slavery and the punishment for sin.
Verses 4 through 32 recount the reasons for their thanksgiving as the spent their time in captivity and in their journey back to Judah. We as Christians can recount countless reasons for our thanksgiving.
The concluding verses, 33- 42 tell of the providence of God as He is the ultimate ruler of nature and mankind. That providential care results in the freedom of those who love Him.
Freedom In God’s Providential Care
Psalm 107:1-43 (NKJV)1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,3 And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south.4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in.5 Hungry and thirsty, Their soul fainted in them.6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses.7 And He led them forth by the right way, That they might go to a city for a dwelling place.8 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!9 For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.10 Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Bound in affliction and irons--11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, And despised the counsel of the Most High,12 Therefore He brought down their heart with labor; They fell down, and there was none to help.13 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses.14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And broke their chains in pieces.15 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!16 For He has broken the gates of bronze, And cut the bars of iron in two.17 Fools, because of their transgression, And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.18 Their soul abhorred all manner of food, And they drew near to the gates of death.19 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses.20 He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.21 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!22 Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, And declare His works with rejoicing.23 Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters,24 They see the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep.25 For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea.26 They mount up to the heavens, They go down again to the depths; Their soul melts because of trouble.27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits' end.28 Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses.29 He calms the storm, So that its waves are still.30 Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven.31 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!32 Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, And praise Him in the company of the elders.33 He turns rivers into a wilderness, And the watersprings into dry ground;34 A fruitful land into barrenness, For the wickedness of those who dwell in it.35 He turns a wilderness into pools of water, And dry land into watersprings.36 There He makes the hungry dwell, That they may establish a city for a dwelling place,37 And sow fields and plant vineyards, That they may yield a fruitful harvest.38 He also blesses them, and they multiply greatly; And He does not let their cattle decrease.39 When they are diminished and brought low Through oppression, affliction and sorrow,40 He pours contempt on princes, And causes them to wander in the wilderness where there is no way;41 Yet He sets the poor on high, far from affliction, And makes their families like a flock.42 The righteous see it and rejoice, And all iniquity stops its mouth.43 Whoever is wise will observe these things, And they will understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.