June 12, 2017


Psalm 107:23–43

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23   Some went down to the sea in ships,
    doing business on the great waters;
24   they saw the deeds of the LORD,
    his wondrous works in the deep.
25   For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
    which lifted up the waves of the sea.
26   They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
    their courage melted away in their evil plight;
27   they reeled and staggered like drunken men
    and were at their wits' end.1
28   Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
29   He made the storm be still,
    and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30   Then they were glad that the waters2 were quiet,
    and he brought them to their desired haven.
31   Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
32   Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
    and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
33   He turns rivers into a desert,
    springs of water into thirsty ground,
34   a fruitful land into a salty waste,
    because of the evil of its inhabitants.
35   He turns a desert into pools of water,
    a parched land into springs of water.
36   And there he lets the hungry dwell,
    and they establish a city to live in;
37   they sow fields and plant vineyards
    and get a fruitful yield.
38   By his blessing they multiply greatly,
    and he does not let their livestock diminish.
39   When they are diminished and brought low
    through oppression, evil, and sorrow,
40   he pours contempt on princes
    and makes them wander in trackless wastes;
41   but he raises up the needy out of affliction
    and makes their families like flocks.
42   The upright see it and are glad,
    and all wickedness shuts its mouth.
43   Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
    let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.


[1] 107:27 Hebrew and all their wisdom was swallowed up
[2] 107:30 Hebrew they


Key Verse | Psalm 107:43

Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord.
(Psalm 107:43)

Central Truth

Hardships, trials, and suffering are all guaranteed in this life. God is good, He can be trusted, and He loves you. 

Devotional | Psalm 107:23–43

The first section of this passage of Scripture describes what I would call "the plight of a sailor." Going to sea thousands of years ago must have been a feeling of absolute helplessness. The sea is unpredictable,...

The first section of this passage of Scripture describes what I would call "the plight of a sailor." Going to sea thousands of years ago must have been a feeling of absolute helplessness. The sea is unpredictable, unforgiving, and has no mercy on ships that would dare set sail. Isn't this how our world is? Or maybe the circumstances of your own personal life? John 16:33b says, "In the world you will have tribulation," which may look like distress, suffering, death, hardship, or broken relationships. 

Last year, I lost two babies to miscarriage, and my 37-year-old sister, who has four young children, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadness and sorrow can only begin to describe the depth of feelings that I had to endure. In the darkness you ask yourself, "WHY GOD? WHY DID YOU ALLOW THIS? AREN'T YOU IN CONTROL?"  Elisabeth Elliot, a missionary who was no stranger to suffering, stated in her book, Secure in the Everlasting Arms, "The real question we need to face is exactly what a Christian is supposed to do when terrible things happen. There are two choices, and only two: We can trust God or we can defy Him. We believe that God is God, He's still got the whole world in His hands and knows exactly what He's doing, or we must believe that He is not God, and we are at the awful mercy of mere chance."

Psalm 107:28 says, "Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress." When circumstances of this world seem impossible and I have no clue why God is allowing them to happen, I always have to return to the character of God. He is good. He can be trusted. He loves us. He has a dependable track record and plan that we can read about in His Word. The psalmist says in summary that a wise person considers the steadfast love of the Lord (verse 43). It is in his steadfast love we can rest and experience a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

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Bio | Meredith Ratliff

My name is Meredith Ratliff.  I've been married to Steve for 11 years, and we have a five-year-old daughter, Hannah, and three-year-old son, Jonathan. Having children has been the most personally refining and challenging time in my life, which is why I love to serve on the hospitality team at the NEST, Watermark's ministry for parents of young children. I'm thankful for all the truth, wisdom, and encouragement I've gleaned from it. One of my favorite things is a good cup of coffee (or two). I also have a dry sense of humor—if you haven't checked out BabylonBee.com yet, you are missing out!

Discussion Questions

1. Hardships are ever-present. Are you abiding in God's Word daily so that you know Him and are reminded of His character? If you need help with this, check out discipleship classes, like Equipped Disciple at Watermark, where you can learn to read, study, memorize, and meditate on God's Word. 

2. It's helpful to continually meditate on who God is. Here is an exhaustive list of the names, titles, and character traits of Jesus: https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/parallel/paral19.cfm. Is there one that resonates with you? Why?

3. What is another verse in this passage that stuck out to you? Why?

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