Summary: Message 33 in our James series with a bit of a side trip looking at how God responds to our waywardness from Psalm 107.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“God’s Steadfast Love despite Our Wayward Ways”
The last verse of James emphasizes the value or restoring the fallen or winning the wayward or stabilizing the stumbling.
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. 5:19-20
He wants us to know that the effort to turn anyone back to a healthy walk with the Lord is worth it.
Last week we addressed how our Heavenly Father feels about the wayward by exploring three parables taught by Jesus. We know they reflect the Father’s feeling because He applies them.
"In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
Restoring them is His priority. Restoring them is His passion. Restoring them demonstrates His loving patience.
Psalm 107 powerfully records God’s steadfast love despite our wayward ways. The writer revisits some of Israel’s history to show how God responded to repeated rebellion.
We live in a troubled and broken world. That brokenness responds through all of humanity’s history from the murder of Abel to the myriad of disturbing events all around the world. News flash! It will not change until Jesus come back to change it. No matter what trouble or distress we face in this fallen world, we serve a God whose steadfast love for us endures forever. This ancient song reminds of God’s steadfast love; especially during difficult times. This Psalm has incredible symmetry. It first introduces the subject of the Lord’s steadfast love in difficult times. It then illustrates the subject with four real-life scenarios.
Each scenario includes two repeated phrases.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of men.
Each scenario presents the predicament, records the petition for help, visualizes the pardon and urges the praise.
I don’t know where you are today. I don’t know what you face or will face. Today we reaffirm the steadfast love of the Lord. Today I encourage you to thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of men.
I. Principle Presented107:1-3
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Psalms 107:1-3
The Psalmist introduces His theme. The theme has to do with God essential character and His interaction with His creatures. God is good. God’s steadfast or faithful love never runs out. The theme also includes a logical response to such a truth. Those delivered or redeemed from trouble should gratefully declare His goodness. A few repeating terms merit a closer look.
There are two terms which communicate the idea of praise or thanksgiving. We are familiar with the term “hallal” from which we get our English word Hallelujah. Basically that means to “Praise Ya or Yahweh”.
It means to acclaim, boast or glory in an object. The word used here focuses more on recognition or declaration of a fact. We are called to declare the fact that God is good. It was used in relation to confessing or declaring sin (negative attribute). It was used in relation to confessing or declaring God’s attributes. It was also used in relation to conveying or declaring some truth about man.
The meaning of the Hebrew term translated “thanks” is much richer than our concept. It focused on showing admiration by the declaration or recognition of an attribute. In this case, we are to recognize or declare God’s goodness. God is good – all the time! All the time -- God is good!
This name for God focuses on His eternal attributes. He is the “I AM”; the eternal covenant making and keeping God. He is the one who eternally possesses all the resources for whatever we might need.
The term “good” is a difficult term to nail down a definition.
This root refers to “good” or “goodness” in its broadest senses. Five general areas of meaning can be noted: 1) practical, economic, or material good, 2) abstract goodness such as desirability, pleasantness, and beauty, 3) quality or expense, 4) moral goodness, and 5) technical philosophical good.
Practical = good fruit, good for eating, good income
Abstract = good or desirable name, desirable, beauty
Quality = pure (good) gold, expensive (good) perfume
Moral = good vs. evil, the good way