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News for Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sunday School Lesson: Bible Studies for Life - March 25
Mar. 25: I Thank You!
By Gale R. Hartley

Focal Passages: Psalm 107:1-43

The appropriate response to the kindness of another individual is thankfulness, and rightly so. When is the last time someone has expressed kindness to you? Do you recall how you responded? Recently my dear wife fixed me my favorite meal and I said, “Thank you.” When someone does something for us, our response should be one of appreciation and thankfulness.

When it comes to God’s goodness to us, how could we not be thankful? Yet, the world is filled with unthankful people. The result of not being thankful to God leads to spiritual blindness (Romans 1:21). This Psalm gives us a great declaration of thanks to the Lord. There are numerous reasons mentioned here for which an attitude of thankfulness should arise in our heart.

The redeemed are called upon to give thanks (v. 2). Particularly, this is a reference to those who returned from the Babylonian captivity. Yet, the redeemed of the Lord are all who have indeed been purchased by God. Redemption is the basis of all thanks. “Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb,” are words expressed by any soul that has experienced God’s salvation. It is the basis of all other thanks that one may give. Oh, yes we ought to sing, “Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul, thank you Lord, for making me whole, thank you Lord, for giving to me, thy great salvation so rich and free.”

Prior to the captivity were the wanderings. God’s people went through the wilderness and they learned the protection and care of their God. Yet, today many of God’s people wander. They go through life without clear direction and the sense of God’s leadership. Truly another reason for us to give thanks to our Lord is His care as we wander. “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love,” are words that express the heart of many a Christian. Thank the Lord for His care and compassion.

Again, the Psalmist notes another group who should give thanks. It is those who get close to death and God spares their physical life (vv. 16-20). Yes, our physical life has meaning for God and He does give it to us for His purpose. He raises many a person from death’s door. For health and life we should give God thanks.

Persons involved in business (shipping industry) have reason to give thanks to God (vv. 22-30). They go up and down on the waves of the sea. The Lord spares their lives as they go into stormy waters.

He calms the storm and brings peaceful waters. One is reminded of the Lord Jesus on the sea of Galilee with the disciples.

The congregating people of God are admonished to exalt and praise the Lord. Our expression of thanks will lead us to exaltation and praise of the Lord. All due to what God is doing in our lives we will come to the place of lifting Him up with our words and with our lives. Yet, it does not stop here. The lifestyle of thanks leads one to an understanding of the lovingkindness of the Lord that will not come any other way.

Notice a recurring verse (vv. 8, 15, 21, and 31). Four times there is a calling for men to praise the Lord for His goodness and wonderful works. This admonition is intertwined with the identification to those whom God has been so good.

This Psalm is focused on God who is so good to us. Is there any reason why we should not be thankful? 

— Hartley is pastor of First Baptist Church, Jamestown.


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