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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Morning Manna | Psalms 107:43 | The Lovingkindness of the LORD

Psa 107:43  Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

The closing verse of Psalm 107 tells us the purpose of the whole Psalm, that if we will observe the things written therein we will be wise and it will give us a deeper understanding of the LORD’s “lovingkindness.” I think it would be helpful to define what is loving kindness and then we can see how the Holy Spirit illustrates God’s Lovingkindness with the pictures in in Psalm 107. 

Lovingkindness comes from a Hebrew word that is most often translated as mercy. Mercy is us not receiving what we deserve. Grace is us receiving what we did not deserve. Lovingkindness speaks of the Merciful nature of God, that delivers us from the destruction we have created for ourselves. God’s lovingkindness is His kindness that springs forth from His love for sinners. He loves sinners and, therefore is kind to them even though we never deserve it. We knew God was merciful but this Psalm will take us to new depths and a better understanding of God’s Loving kindness.

When you read the first few verses of the psalm you see that he is speaking of the redeemed of the Lord, and then he gives a few pictures of redemption, to illustrate his operation of Lovingkindness toward those that he redeems. In vs. 4-9, he paints a picture of people wandering through the desert, dry and thirsty, fainting and God satisfies them. In Verses 10-16, he paints a picture of men locked in a prison cell and God comes and sets them free from the bonds of darkness. In verses 17-22, he paints a picture of idolaters sacrificing to false gods until God delivers them and now they give sacrifices of praise to the one true God. In Verse 23-30 he takes us to the depths of the sea where storms come to take sailors up into the heavens on the tops of waves and in a moment they descend into the depths of the sea, then the Lord delivers them, calms the seas and brings them to the desired destination. Lastly, in verses 33-38, he shows us a barren land made fruitful again by the Loving-kindness of the Lord. 

I’d encourage you to read this psalm for yourself, when you do you will notice that all these pictures have many of the same features. The people brought the afflictions upon themselves, through sinfulness. Then God is the one who brings the judgment, this may be the most surprising element of God’s lovingkindness, that it involves bringing men low. Notice carefully what the Psalm says, “Therefore he brought down their heart with labour,” “ For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind” “He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness.” We need to understand that God’s mercy works not only on the saving side of redemption but also on the condemning side of redemption, as the Songwriter Bro. Newton said, “Twas grace that thought my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved. In every instance in this Psalm God brings the people to a point of utter hopelessness. This takes us to the next similarity in every instance when from their troubles the people cry unto him. God is the one who raises the storm, dries the rivers, locks up the sinner but it is his lovingkindness that has set the bands of iron around the heart, to the end that they may repent and trust upon the Lord. Bro. Newton gave his testimony of the writing of those lines in Amazing Grace. He had become a wretch of a sinner, an atheist, but had picked up a book that presented the gospel, after reading it his heart was locked up in conviction, he was convinced of the realities of the Gospel message, yet would not call on the Lord to Save him, he went to bed determined to sleep off the heaviness he felt in his soul. He awoke that night to sounds of men screaming, boards cracking, and the rising and falling of the ship, tossed about in a terrible storm and water filling the room where he was. That evening before bed, when the seas were calm, his heart was still so hard it wouldn’t call on the Lord even though he was convinced of the truth of the gospel. Not now, God had raised a storm to cast down Mr. Newton's heart, he fell to his knees and called upon the name of the Lord and was saved, several days later the ship limped into port in Lough Swilly of Ireland. What was it that raised this storm of horrors and tremendous dangers? It was the lovingkindness of God. I remember as well a time of backsliding in my teenage years, at the end of about 16 months of running from God he brought a horrible storm of circumstances and my life fell to a million pieces until through the tragedies of life, I called upon the Lord to once again forgive and restore me. I thank God for his lovingkindness that evicted me from my home, shut off my power, severed my relationship with the closest of people, and brought me low, so low that my hard heart called on the Name of the LORD. Truly it was love that chastened me and it was love that wrapped his arms around me and set me back on the right path. When we pray for those who are on the negative side of redemption, let us pray that God’s lovingkindness would send a storm, dry the rivers of pleasure they are drowning in, and lock up their souls in convictions, until the point that the same hand that has brought them low through his lovingkindness redeems them and sets them on high to sing His Praises. 

Our Psalm opens and closes with us rejoicing in the Goodness of God. Have you seen yourself in this psalm? Perhaps you remember the day that his grace taught you to fear and then his grace relieved those fears. Do you remember when locked up in sin's chains and under the condemnation of sin you cried to Jesus to set you free and all at once the righteous God that you feared as the judge of your sinful soul opened the prison doors and he became the redeemer of your soul? If you do, then “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so! Thank God for his lovingkindness toward us! 

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