Summary: 4 word pictures from Psalm 107. People are in real trouble...1) Stranded in the Desert 2) Sitting in a Dungeon 3) Suffering with Disease and 4) Sinking in the deep. They cry out to God & God Rescues!
Warren Wiersbe told about a ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.
The One who rescues us Deserves our Thanksgiving.
The passage this evening uses 4 word pictures to describe what Jesus does for us.
Let’s start by looking at how Jesus comes to rescue people who are…
1. IN REAL TROUBLE
See how verse 8,13, etc… says “in their trouble…”
A. Stranded in the Desert, Psalms 107:2-6
> What a picture this is! Wandering in the desert. Hot. Sweaty. Desperate. Lost. Alone. Starving. Thirsting. Giving up hope. I read some stories of individuals lost in the deserts in Arizona and Utah…. Eating frogs, ants, sufferings from exposure… horrible suffering, exhaustion.
>> Perhaps you would say, this is my life…. I’m wandering in circles—keep coming back to the same old habits, the same hang-ups, repeating the same mistakes. I’m lost. I’m alone. Starving. Thirsting. Giving up hope.
>>> Might I suggest that this is what life is like when we turn away from God. Isaiah 53 reminds us that “we all like sheep have gone astray and have turned everyone to his own way.”
Let’s look at the second picture.
B. Sitting in the Dungeon, Psalm 107:10-13
>Damp, dark. Rats scurrying everywhere. Clink and scrape of chains as the prisoner tries to move to a more comfortable position. The iron gate locked tight. Only scrapes of old bread and thin soup. And the worst of it all…. Guilty with a death sentenced!
>> Trapped in their sinful life. Bound by habit or addiction. Chained by regrets. Locked in Prison of shame. Guilty and facing eternal death. VERSE 11
C. Suffering with Disease, Psalm 107:17-18
> This is a picture of some one with a deadly disease. Suffering. Certain death. No appetite.
>> People sick and tired. Miserable. And if properly diagnosed, they would learn that they have a terminal disease.
D. Sinking in the Deep, Psalm 107:23-27
> One last picture and perhaps this is the most vivid. Out on a vessel at sea in the midst of a terrible nor’easter. See the ship mount up to heaven on a tremendous wave and then crash down to depths. The crew is staggering around on the deck like drunken men. They don’t know what to do and are afraid for their lives.
>> Perhaps you know what it is like to be in the middle of a terrible storm. You are staggering through each day without hope of surviving.
2. THE RESCUER
I’M GLAD THE STORY DOESN’T END WITH TRAGEDY WITH A SHIPWRECK OR IN THE WILDERNESS, ICU OR ON DEATH ROW. JESUS COMES TO RESCUE!
A. He Satisfies the Hungry
VS 6-9—Hungry satisfied. Leads out by the right way. Straight paths.
B. He breaks the chains
VS 13-16—Broken chains—brought out of the dark.
>Darius to DANIEL—was the God you serve able to deliver? Yes!
Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. –Charles Wesley
C. He heals the sick.
VS 19-22—Healing>>>He healeth the broken hearted and bindeth up their wounds. I love the story in Mark 2 of the healing of the paralyzed man. Son, thy sins are forgiven. Take up you mat and go home.
D. He calms the storm.
VS 28-31—COMES WALKING ON THE WATER>>>CALMS THE SEAS and BRINGS US HOME!!
3. WHAT ABOUT US?
PERHAPS TONIGHT… Perhaps you would say, “That’s me. I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more. But the Master of the Seas heard my despairing cry from the water’s lifted me Now safe am I! Love lifted me! Jesus came to my rescue… He spoke the word of peace to my troubled soul and he is going to lead me all the way to heaven.”
“I was suffering with the terminal illness of sin… miserable and dying… But Jesus came and healed me.”
Or maybe, “I was bound in chains of addictions and sinful habit, destructive living… but Jesus came, broke the chains and led me out of the dungeon.”
“I was lost… wandering through life, hungry, desperately need water, food and shelter. Jesus came looking for me… the led me out of the desert, satisfied my longing and gave me hope!”