1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. 2 Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies. 3 For he has gathered the exiles from many lands, from east and west, from north and south.
Thanksgiving Day is over yet God is still delivering and the cry of what He has done still needs to go out. As we continue to look at the last two groups of people we again see that their difficulties were different but their deliverer was the same.
- The 3rd Group ‘Rebels’ (Need Doctor)
17 Some were fools; they rebelled and suffered for their sins. 18 They couldn’t stand the thought of food, and they were knocking on death’s door.
Here is another self-made group, those who walk through life with a rebellious attitude. Because of their rebellious ways they suffer, they are sick and dying. Sin takes control of the rebel’s life like a disease takes over the body of a healthy person, eating them from the inside out. We rebel against the truth, feeling like we have it all handled because “we can do better and God isn’t doing it, so I will”. Even as we feel our life fading away we continue in our sin, pride, arrogance, and ignorance. Rebellion turns us completely away from our basic need to survive because He is all we need. We loathed all food and it’s not until we are at a point that nothing can satisfy and death is knocking on our door that we CRY out! 19“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. 20 He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.
God hears the rebels cry and personally speaks life into them, His word saves. The second part of the rebels cry is a cry of revival. 21 Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. 22 Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.
The difference in this “give thanks” compared to the last two, is now there is agiving back. It’s not enough to just give praise with words; there is a greater praise, one through actions. Rebel, is it time to offer sacrifices of thanksgiving?
- The 4th Group ‘Workers’ (Need Rest)
23 Some went off to sea in ships, plying the trade routes of the world. 24 They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action, his impressive works on the deepest seas. 25 He spoke, and the winds rose, stirring up the waves. 26 Their ships were tossed to the heavens and plunged again to the depths; the sailors cringed in terror. 27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits’ end.
Those that went to sea did it for business not pleasure, and it was there that they experienced God’s power. We can also experience God’s power taking care of business as we work for his kingdom. Yet even here we can experience the testing storms that melt our courage and cause us to stagger around wanting to give up. In this life we will see both the wonderful deeds and the worrying storms. Are the ups and downs of life causing you to stagger and give up? Drunken people don’t see clearly because their eye sight is distorted, in the middle of the storm our perception can become distorted, we can lose sight of His wonderful deeds. Storms don’t necessarily mean we have done anything wrong, sometimes tests come. We strive to live a good life, to follow His words, and still we are faced with tragedy.
Charles Spurgeon writes:
The Lord sends some of his saints to the sea of soul trouble, and there they see, as others do not, the wonders of divine grace. Sailing over the deeps of inward depravity, the waste waters of poverty, the billows of persecution, and the rough waves of temptation, they need God above all others, and they find him.
As we come to the end of our power, at our very wits end we can cry out to be rescued and experience the beginning of His power. Do you hear the deep cry of a heart at its wits’ end….28 Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. 29 He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. 30 What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor! The second part of the workers cry is a cry of rest, the waves are hushed, the storm is stilled, and He guides us into the harbor of peace. Has God calmed the storms of your life, is He your refuge, will you give Him thanks? 31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. 32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.
Where are you at:
- If you are wandering through life aimless, tired, hungry for more but don’t know which way to go, Cry Out to Him the cry of homecoming.
- If you are in the prison of bondage, blinded by the dark circumstances that surround you and feeling alone and hopeless Cry Out to Him the cry of freedom.
- If in rebellion you have turned away from Him and you are dying on the inside Cry Out to Him the cry of revival.
- If you have lost your courage, and your hope is dwindling as the waves swamp your boat then Cry Out to Him the cry of rest.
As we Cry out to Him, admitting our utter dependence on Him, power is released, direction is given, eyes are open, chains are broken and storms are calmed. Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out, is it time to stop right now and give thanks?