Psalms 107 Commentary

BOOK 5: PSALMS 107-150

Psalms 107-108 Specific thanksgivings

Psalm 107 seems to be particularly appropriate to the time of the Jews’ return to their homeland after their exile in Babylon. It is a song of thanksgiving to be sung by those who have been saved from some great affliction or danger (107:1-3). Four different cases are introduced by verses 4, 10, 17 and 23. Each of the cases describes the danger, notes the prayer, outlines the answer and concludes with a word of instruction and warning.

The first thanksgiving is that of homeless wanderers. Lonely, hungry and thirsty, they cried to God and were led to a place of safety and security. They should now bear in mind that complete satis faction is found only in God (4-9). The second thanksgiving is that of people who were in prison or slavery because of their sins, but when they cried to God he set them free. They should remember that no bondage is too strong for God (10-16). The third thanksgiving is that of the sick who once suffered for their wrongdoings but have now been healed. They should respond to God’s grace by telling others of what he has done for them (17-22). The fourth thanksgiving is that of people who have been saved from terrible storms at sea. They should bear in mind that God is the one who brings all peace and calm (23-32).


When people are wicked, God may turn nature against them, punishing them with thirst and hunger. But when thirsty and hungry people are in need, God sends his generous blessings of nature upon them (33-38). When rulers are wicked, God may turn them into homeless wanderers. But when the poor are oppressed, God lifts their families into places of honour (39-43).

Psalm 108 was composed for some special occasion by combining portions of two other psalms. It is a song of assurance that God will give victory on the basis of his promises. For 108:1-5 see notes on Ps 57:7-11; for 108:6-13 see notes on Ps 60:5-12.

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