Torchbearers for Christ
Friday, January 19, 2018
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GOD HEARS AND HELPS

 
Psalm 107 opens with a call for us to give thanks to a God who is good, who is merciful, and who hears the cry of the needy. We can certainly make this Psalm our own, in that it recounts the varied experiences and trials that come to us all and how the Lord is ready to hear and to help us. He is indeed the “help of the helpless”.
 
We are introduced to four successive pictures, each showing people in deep distress, to the point where they gave up every other hope of deliverance and cried to God. The first is a picture of travellers lost in a desert, suffering from “hunger and thirst”, who could find no city to dwell in. In their extremity they cried unto the Lord and He “led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city in which they could live”.
 
The next picture is of prisoners who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death because of their rebellion against God and there was none to help. These people, too, “cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress and freed them from their bonds”.
 
Then we have a picture of sick men who, in punishment for their sinfulness, were afflicted and were near death. We read how they “cried unto the Lord in their trouble and He saved them out of their distress, sending His Word and healing them, and saving them from destruction”.
 
The fourth picture is of sailors caught in a mighty tempest, tossed to and fro until they were “at their wit’s end”. Once more the cry to the Lord ascends and He “makes the storm a calm so that the waters are still”. Then to their relief and gladness, they are brought “to their desired haven”.
 
Then we have the concluding paragraph in which is outlined some of God’s principles in dealing with men and which ends with the challenge, “Who is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord”.
 
What message do these four pictures have for us today? I believe they illustrate what the gospel of Christ can do for sinners. Although each picture is different, and all conversions meet at the Cross of Christ, they are certainly not all alike and God has various means of bringing home to men their need and helplessness. 
 
As in the first picture, some come to realise they are wandering through life without any sense of direction or purpose. To such people, in their bewilderment, the Lord Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life” and “He that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life”.
 
To those represented in the second picture, in bondage to sin and to Satan, unable to free themselves and with “none to help”, the Lord’s message is found in Luke Chapter four, where He said “The spirit of the Lord is upon me because He hath anointed me to preach…deliverance to the captives…to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18)
 
Others, as represented in the third picture, feel themselves sick with the disease of sin, guilt and shame. These too “cry to the Lord in their trouble” and the Great Physician heals them, delivering them from destruction.
 
The fourth class find themselves crushed with the storms of life. They are “tossed to and fro” and in every sense “at their wit’s end”. Then with gratitude they come to Him who is the “anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast”, who “makes the storm a calm so that the waters thereof are still”.
 
All of these, like ourselves, can join together to “praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men” and one day, gathered out “of all nations, and kindreds and people and tongues” (Rev. 7:9) they, with us, will stand before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes and sing, “Salvation to our God, which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb”.
 
This article was written by Pastor Geoffrey Davies. He is a frequent contributor to this column. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he pastored a church for over twenty-five years.  Since 1983 he has travelled widely, continuing his ministry of encouragement and Bible teaching.