The Bible speaks of God’s “mercy enduring forever” countless times, especially in the Psalms. One of my favorite verses with this phrase in it is Psalm 107:1: “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” In this Psalm Israel is reminded of “their failures” and “God’s mercy.” What is mercy? One has said that mercy is “not receiving what we deserve.” When we fail, we deserve to be judged, but instead of judging us, God restores us! That’s the lesson in this precious Psalm which reveals, in 4 different ways, how God showed mercy to the nation of Israel when they failed. In each case they failed, they repented, they cried out to God, and God, in mercy, delivered them.

  1. In verses 4-9 we have Israel’s “wandering in the wilderness” before us. We read “They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them” (verse 4-5). If we were to read Exodus through Deuteronomy we see that during their wandering, Israel murmured and complained about having no food or water. But eventually they saw the evil of their ways and according to verse 6, “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses.” God’s never-ending mercy was shown to those who deserved judgment!
  1. In verses 10-16 we see Israel enslaved. Verse 10 speaks of them being “bound in affliction and irons” and it adds, in verse 11, “Because they rebelled against the words of God, and despised the counsel of the Most High.” This section refers to their time during the Babylonian captivity, as seen in the book of Daniel and in the history of the Kings. But God brought them to repentance, as we see in verses 12-13: “Therefore He brought down their heart with labor; They fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble.” What was the result? God’s mercy was manifested again, for we read in verses 13-14: “And He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains in pieces.” God’s mercy endures forever!
  1. Verses 17-20 may be referring (prophetically) to Israel’s condition of being bodily afflicted when the Lord came to them at His first Advent. Verse 17 declares; “Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, were afflicted.” When the Lord appeared to them multitudes came to Him for healing and verse 19 tells us “then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He sent His word and healed them.” They recognized it was their sins that brought them disease, so they repented and cried out to the One Who could heal them. In MERCY He healed them, for His mercy endures forever!
  1. We get the last picture in verses 23-32 where seamen are caught in a terrible storm. This may very well illustrate the coming “storm of judgment” in the Tribulation Period where Israel, in their rebellion, will worship the Antichrist. Because of their sin of idolatry we read in verses 25-27: “For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea…they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.” Scripture call this “the time of Jacob’s trouble” in Jeremiah 30:7. Daniel also referred to this in Daniel 12:1, “And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that time,” but he goes on to say “and at that time thy people shall be delivered.” Why are they delivered? Verse 28 of our Psalm provides the answer: “Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses.” Are we getting the picture? Israel fails, they repent, they cry out to the Lord, and He delivers them, for HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER!

In closing, we can take all of those examples from Psalm 107 and apply them to ourselves, for we, like Israel, often murmur and complain…we are in bondage to the world…we are physically afflicted because of some sin…or we are found worshipping something or someone other than our God. But He faithfully deals with us when we fail, causing us to repent, to cry out to Him, and then He delivers us! Why? Because “His mercy endures forever!” Praise God that we “don’t receive what we deserve.”  (217.7)  (DO)