Keep Movin’

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Psalm 107:33-38 They sow fields and plant vineyards. (v. 37) The people of this psalm had been exiles. God judged Judah for unfaithfulness to him and injustice towards the poor. In faithfulness to his covenant with his people, he reversed their fortunes because of their sin. They questioned how to live in this unexpected situation. Should they just wait for God to set them free? The false prophet Hananiah thought so: “Within two years I will bring back . …

At Our Wits’ End

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Psalm 107:23-32 He made the storm be still. (v. 29) The sailors in today’s passage are at their wits’ end (v. 27). Life was going according to plan, even smooth sailing. Then, out of the blue, a storm tossed their boat to and fro, and the sailors were knocked to their knees. We are so similar, going about our business, even nobly advancing godly causes, but when a crisis comes, we are left helplessly wondering what comes next. Today …

Redeemed Fools

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Psalm 107:17-22 He sent out his word and healed them. (v. 20) The “redeemed” of verse 2 are the “fools” of verse 17. Fools do not so much willfully rebel as they carelessly miss God’s way. I am quick to think such fools are those steeped in addictions like drugs, alcohol, or some other besetting behavior. But then I look in the mirror and like C. S. Lewis, I’m appalled by what I find: “a zoo of lusts, a …

Out from the Shadow of Death

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Psalm 107:10-16 . . . prisoners in affliction . . . (v. 10) More than 2.3 million people in North America experience imprisonment today, among well over 10 million worldwide. They are incarcerated for violating human law. The prisoners in today’s key verse had done far worse. They had rebelled against God’s words and spurned God’s counsel (v. 11). These people of Judah were carried off to exile in Babylon for their continued faithlessness. Like the thief next to …

Satisfied

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Psalm 107:4-9 For he satisfies the longing soul. (v. 9) The Irish rock band U2 had a hit in 1987 with the song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” It labels the soul-searching despair for meaning that so many know too well. The redeemed in our verses today knew both the longing of that quest and the quenching of their thirst in God. It reminds me of Augustine’s famous words, “Our heart is restless until it rests …

Who Are the Redeemed?

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Psalm 107:1-3 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. (v. 2) Harvest season brings prayers of thanksgiving. These prayers often focus on the what of thanksgiving: harvest, health, family, etc. Psalm 107 affirms the what but emphasizes the who of thanksgiving. Who were those called to “give thanks to the Lord” (v. 1)? They were “the redeemed of the Lord” (v. 2). The redeemed of Psalm 107 came from all kinds of trouble, but they had two things …