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Ps 107:1-43. Although the general theme of this Psalm may have been suggested by God's special favor to the Israelites in their restoration from captivity, it must be regarded as an instructive celebration of God's praise for His merciful providence to all men in their various emergencies. Of these several are given--captivity and bondage, wanderings by land and sea, and famine; some as evidences of God's displeasure, and all the deliverances as evidence of His goodness and mercy to them who humbly seek Him.
1, 2. This call for thankful praise is the burden or chorus (compare Ps 107:8, 15, &c.).
8, 9. To the chorus is added, as a reason for praise, an example of the extreme distress from which they had been delivered--extreme hunger, the severest privation of a journey in the desert.
10-16. Their sufferings were for their rebellion against
the words, or purposes, or promises, of God for their benefit. When
humbled they cry to God, who delivers them from bondage, described as a
dark dungeon with doors and bars of metal, in which they are bound in
iron--that is, chains and fetters.
16. broken--literally, "shivered" (Isa 45:2).
17-22. Whether the same or not, this exigency illustrates that
dispensation of God according to which sin brings its own punishment.
18. near unto--literally, "even to"
20. sent his word--that is, put forth His power.
27. are . . . end--literally, "all their wisdom swallows up itself," destroys itself by vain and contradictory devices, such as despair induces.
29-32. He maketh . . . calm--or, "to stand to stillness," or "in
quiet." Instead of acts of temple-worship, those of the synagogue are
here described, where the people with the
33-41. He turneth rivers into a wilderness, &c.--God's providence is illustriously displayed in His influence on two great elements of human prosperity, the earth's productiveness and the powers of government. He punishes the wicked by destroying the sources of fertility, or, in mercy, gives fruitfulness to deserts, which become the homes of a busy and successful agricultural population. By a permitted misrule and tyranny, this scene of prosperity is changed to one of adversity. He rules rulers, setting up one and putting down another.
40. wander . . . wilderness--reduced to misery (Job 12:24).
42, 43. In this providential government, good men will rejoice, and the cavils of the wicked will be stopped (Job 5:16; Isa 52:15), and all who take right views will appreciate God's unfailing mercy and unbounded love.