Summary: How many disasters like COVID-19 have felt like a raging storm? God's word helps us to understand the storm and understand where He is in the midst of the COVID-19.
He Calms the Storm
In 1996, a photographer named Charles O’Rear was driving through the Napa Valley, North of San Francisco, when a particular landscape caught his eye. It was a green, hillside sloping down with a few wildflowers, the grass at the bottom of the hill. He was struck by the beauty of the peaceful scene. He pulled over his car and shot the lush green of the hill. He had no idea of knowing that he’d just taken what would become the most viewed photograph of all time. Because guess what! A few years later, the Microsoft company commissioned bliss and designers to set the picture as the default background for their new operating system. And by the time Microsoft estimated that the picture Bliss had been viewed by billions of people around the world. Including the most famous painting in history, the Mona Lisa. The Psalm 107 is like a picture by Charles Photographer. The psalmists were experts at creating pictures, except that they didn’t use a paintbrush. They don’t use cameras either, they use words as an example.
Psalm 107 celebrates the friendship and faithfulness of God. It is the beloved hymn of Thanksgiving for his deliverance in the section from verses 4 through 32. We can find pictures or circumstances faced by God’s people along their journey.
I. THE DESERT
The first picture is that of a desert. It is described in verses 4-9 of Psalm 107 and you read the word picture painted by the psalmist here’s what it says, “they wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in, hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them”.
The Bible tells us that life for Christians and life for all of us who are God’s followers can sometimes be like being in the desert. We lose our way, we get into dry wilderness, we get into barren field, don’t understand the meaning of this. For some of the desert is loneliness others are lost and still others become dislocated in the desert. The wanderers struggled through the sand without a home. The psalmist paints the picture of people lost in a desert as a picture of hopelessness and helplessness. Many people right now, through this whole pandemic, have been through just an exaggerated experience in their life.
II. THE PRISON
The psalmist paints another picture and this one is the picture of prison. He said sometimes life can be like a prison. It is a group portrait of prisons: Psalm 107:10 says, “Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death bound in affliction and irons.”
Some of us are trapped by difficult circumstances from which there seems little hope or escape. These prisons might have been constructed by other people’s evil persecution or by matters over which we don’t have any control. We don't have to be at fault to become hopeless captives. The psalmist says that sometimes life can be like a desert the dryness and barrenness of it all. Sometimes it's like being in prison you're caught up in the chains of your own making. These two pictures were easily described, and we can dispense with them. The third picture is meaningful for all of us.
III. THE STORM
Now here is the picture of the storm. This picture causes us to catch our breath. We're gazing at the portrait of a furious storm; here are the verses from Psalm 107:23-32. “Those who go down to the sea in ships who do business on great waters, they see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep. For he commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea. They mount up to the heavens they go down again to the depths their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man they are at their wit's end. Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble and he brings them out of their de-stresses. He calms the storm so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; So, he guides them to their desired Haven. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the Assembly of the people and praise him in the company of the elders.”
How many disasters like COVID-19 have felt like a raging storm? That's why this Psalm is so meaningful, because when we go through these storms, God's word helps us to understand the storm and understand where He is in the midst of it.
A. Place of the storm:
Verse 23: Here's what he says: they will go down to the sea in ships. I feel certain that I'm pursuing the will of God for my life, but my faith is tested by the wind and the rain. Have you ever been out as far as you know, where you are out of the will of God? When God asks you to do it, you're walking in faith. You've taken a big step to trust him for something important, and then, all of a sudden, the storms come.