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Volume 14 - Page 58 of 167 Index | Zoom | |
When in this extremity they cried unto the Lord. In each case, whether lost, rebels,
fools, or mariners, the one expression occurs--"in their trouble". Over and over again
does this word come to indicate the circumstances both of the redeemed and of the sinful.
It is too large a subject to be dealt with just here. God, however, has revealed Himself as
"A very present help in trouble" (Psa. 46: 1).
and He is seen in the Psalm before us responding alike to lost and to fool, to rebel and
"Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble,
And He delivered them out of their distresses.
And He led them forth by a right way,
That they might go to a city of habitation" (verses 6 and 7).
It will be observed that in the first two cases "they cried" (verses 6, 13), but in the
second two instances "they cry" (verses 19, 28). The Scriptures are written that we may
take heart and profit by them. They are not merely records of the past; they are also
promptings for the present:--
"Hear my cry . . . . . FOR THOU HAST BEEN a shelter for me" (Psa. 61: 1-3).
Unless we really use the Scriptures in this way, are they not to a large extent a dead
letter, a tale that is told, and ourselves merely sentimental antiquarians? Now comes the
refrain, that which the redeemed of the Lord are called upon to "say" (verse 2):--
"Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He satisfieth the longing soul,
And filleth the hungry soul with goodness" (Psa. 107: 8, 9).
The "point" of each section of the Psalm is not discovered by searching the story, but
by noticing the subject of thanksgiving. Who are the wanderers in the wilderness? Do
they typify the sinner lost in his sin? We may incline to that view, but we shall be wrong.
God, Who trieth the reins and knows what is in man, answers the real and actual need,
and this shows us that the first picture of the series is not so much that of the sinner, but
of the saint, the satisfaction of the longing soul being the substance of the Lord's answer.
When we look at the last tableau we shall see that the same is true of that case also.
Instead of pilgrims seeking a city and fainting in the pathless wilderness we have sailors
doing business in great waters. These are neither rebels nor fools, but set forth in type the
traveler on the heavenly journey. The terrific storm that breaks over them melts their
soul in trouble, they are at their wit's end. That is a place that does not appear in the
Gazetteers of this world, yet every traveler across the sea of life must round this Cape
"Wit's end" if he would enter the true Pacific:--
"Then they cry unto the lord in their trouble,
And He bringeth them out of their distresses,
He makes the storm a calm,
So that the waves thereof are still.
Then they are glad because they are quiet;
So He bringeth them unto their desired haven" (Psa. 107: 28-30).