Summary: Man needs to live with hope and only God can give us a sure and enduring hope in life. The Psalmist inspires hope in God as he recounts God’s past deeds and their experience of God’s deliverance.
In “Point Man”, Steve Farrar tells about a photographer for a national magazine who was assigned to take pictures of a great forest fire. He was advised that a small plane would be waiting to fly him over the fire.
The photographer arrived at the airstrip just an hour before sundown. Sure enough, a small Cessna airplane was waiting. He jumped in with his equipment and shouted, "Let’s go!" The tense man sitting in the pilot’s seat swung the plane into the wind and soon they were in the air, though flying erratically.
"Fly over the north side of the fire," said the photographer, "and make several low-level passes." "Why?" asked the nervous pilot. "Because I’m going to take pictures!" yelled the photographer. "I’m a photographer, and photographers take pictures."
After a long pause, the "pilot" replied: "You mean, you’re not my instructor?"
Who are you relying on today? Whose hands have you committed your life into?
• Where is our hope? Where have you placed your hope?
• Our hope can only be found in God.
We usually say things like, “I hope it will not rain tomorrow.”
• This is just a wish, a word upon our lips. We cannot control the weather, the weather station cannot. Our hope is actually baseless, unless we believe in the One who controls all things.
• God is our only hope. Look at Psalm 107 and understand this God whom we can fully trust.
The Psalmist recounts his past experiences and remembers God’s deliverance.
• It is a thanksgiving psalm, a testimony of what God has done.
• The psalmist testifies how God helped them through many difficulties, and wanted the people to join him in thanking and trusting God.
The introduction in Psalm 107:1-3 expresses the theme of the Psalm.
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say this - those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
3 those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.
We have a good God, who can help us through our difficulties.
• He loves us, and His love ‘endures forever’ – meaning it does not change.
• This is the thing that gives us hope today. I trust Him because He does not change.
The psalmist went on to explain WHY we should give thanks to God and trust Him.
• He describes 4 experiences (or testimonies) from 4 scenarios, of people who are hurting and in need of help. These are most likely Israelites true experiences.
1. People who were in the wilderness, lost and in need of food and water;
2. People who were in bondage, in slavery,
3. People who did wrong and sinned, and were discouraged and hopeless,
4. People who are hit by storms.
[Read Psalm 107:4-9]
• These are those who are lost, looking for a home or a place of security. Just like the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. They lacked food and water.
• They are looking for life’s direction and purpose. They are hurting because life has little meaning to them. They have many basic needs.
• In their hardship they cried out to God and God guided them back to the right path, into the land of Canaan.
Many are in such an experience today, searching for answers. They have no direction in life. They need to cry out to God and seize God’s help.
• They dwell in darkness, like prisoners enchained in misery.
• They disobeyed God’s Word. They suffered because they did not listen to what God says.
• The Israelites were attacked and enslaved by foreign powers, eventually by the Babylonians and were in captivity for 70 years.
• In their hardship they cried out to God and God opened the way for their return (and a new freedom).
People are in bondage today, by certain addictions, habits, by their sin.
• They want to get out of it but they cannot. They are living the life of a slave, no freedom. They need to cry out to God and see God’s deliverance.
• They have done wrong. They made mistakes in life. They did evil and sinned. Their iniquity brought them pain and suffering. They are discouraged and hopeless.
• They feel that there is no hope for them. They are ready to give up and die.
• In their hardship they cried out to God and God healed them.
• They are ‘merchants’ going out to do business. It was good at first but then they faced a terrible storm.
• Who sends that storm? Verse 25: "For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves.” Not to punish them but to get their attention.