Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So

By Shelly Duffer Published on January 12, 2017

Do you ever read something in scripture, and see yourself? Do you ever read a passage, a chapter, a verse, a story, a Psalm and think, “This writing is autobiographical — this is me”? I am struck that way tonight by Psalm 107.

Oh, we do have to be careful in those moments. We cannot lose sight of context or original audience. To do so would be foolish and wrong.

However, the Scriptures were given to us, and meant to do all the things we read in 2 Timothy 3:16: to teach us, to convict us, to train us and to correct us.

And, I think they were also given to us to remind us of what God has done. Because in remembering all that He has done, we learn deeper who He is.

That’s where I am today, with Psalm 107.

Reading it, I feel as if I could have written it; as if I am looking over the shoulder of the Psalmist, who is penning the truth of what I have experienced. In one sense it is a bit unnerving. In another sense it is incredibly comforting.

The Psalm is long, so I’ll not share all that I wrote this morning in the wee early hours of the day. But I would like to share some of it, in hopes that you, too, may see yourself in these words of Psalm 107. And that you, too, can be one of the redeemed to say so.

His Steadfast Love Endures

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble

God, you are good. You are the God whose steadfast love endures forever. I did not see that before, in my early life.

I did not see that You are good. And I did not trust that your steadfast love would endure. And, for many years, I did not believe that you were real.

But now, O God, I know. I know, because I am redeemed.

You are good. Let the redeemed — let me! — say so.

Redeemed is such a beautiful word. It means “to gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment.” You redeemed me from my sins. You paid the price that I should have paid, in the sacrifice of your son. How beautiful is that dreadful scandal that took place on the cross, where Jesus died for me.

He Guides Through the Deserts

You are good. Let the redeemed — let me — say so.

Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.

I know those desert wastes, God. Those vast empty stretches of years where the hunger and the thirst was so strong, that I tried to satisfy it in destructive ways. I tried to slake that hunger and thirst in ways that would never, ever let me reach the end of the hunger or thirst, in ways that only deepened the thirst.

And my soul fainted within me, into a hopeless heap of dry, cynical, angry dust.

He Satisfies

To this day, I remember the thirst, and at times it returns. But You, oh God — I know You are the only One who satisfies. Verse 9 tells us this, undeniably:

For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

You, alone, are my only hope. You fill my soul with good things. Joy. Peace. Compassion. Settledness. The only living water that will quench the thirst and revive my soul when those dark days come.

He Redeems the Rebellious

You are good. Let the redeemed — let me — say so.

Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
prisoners in affliction and in irons,
for they had rebelled against the words of God,
and spurned the counsel of the Most High.

This, too, have I known.

I have known utter darkness. I have sat in the shadow of death and longed for it to come. I have been imprisoned by my own sin — the sin of despair, the sin of cynicism, the sin of unbelief, the sin of addiction.

Each of those sins — and all sin — ultimately stem from pride, the highest form of rebellion against Your almightiness. Against Your holiness. And against the very core of who You are: Your love.

I ran far from You, because I did not think that You were good.

I was wrong.

And in the moment — or, rather, moments, for the shattering of my darkness did not happen in an instance because my soul often turned back to the familiarity of rebellion — in those moments of recognizing repentfully the deep wrongness I was mired in, I cried to You.

And you “delivered me from my distress and brought me out of darkness and the shadow of death.”

Truly, you “burst my bonds apart.”

You are good. Let the redeemed — let me! — say so.

You make my storms be still. You say “Shh” and hush the waves of the middle-of-the-night seas that threaten to swamp me. And I am glad when the waters are quieted.

He Quenches the Deepest Thirst

And today?

Today you are turning my desert into a pool of water and the parched land of my soul into a spring of water.

There are still days, God. There are still days, when I am “diminished and brought low through oppression, evil and sorrow.”

But you raise me out of those dreadful moments. And you make my family safe, secure, and joyful. And that makes other things pale and become distant shadows, to see my children standing fast — the ones that are, and the ones that I pray will too, some day.

Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.

Cause me to be wise, God. Remind me to attend to these things. Help me to consider your steadfast, non-abandoning love, because…

You are good.

Let me, who has been redeemed, say so.

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