It’s finally October, which brings to my mind Autumn leaves, the harvest and thankfulness, particularly to our Lord for all that He does and supplies. “They were hungry and thirsty; Their souls felt weak within them. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them from their distresses. He also had them walk on a straight way, to go to an inhabited city. They shall give thanks to the Lord for His mercy, and for His wonders to the sons of mankind! For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and He has filled the hungry soul with what is good.” (Ps 107:5-9)
Throughout their history the nation of Israel passed through countless cycles of rebellion against God – followed by retribution, repentance and restoration. In the wake of Israel’s sin of unbelief and murmurings against Him, the Lord graciously chastened His people for a season, before responding to their cries and restoring them into sweet fellowship with Himself.
Throughout Scripture, we discover our faithful God restoring His people, and leading them by a straight way until they reached a city in which to dwell for, the Lord is good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon His name – and His love endures forever.
God’s faithfulness towards the Church (which is His body), is equally gracious as His faithfulness is towards Israel, (His chosen nation). Like them we too have been redeemed from the slavery of sin. Like them He remains faithful to us, even when we become faithless, and like them His loving-kindness towards us is new every morning. Great is His faithfulness toward all His children, both Jew and gentile – Israel and the Church.
“They shall give thanks to the Lord for His mercy, and for His wonders to the sons of mankind!” Although the Psalmist rehearses the many ways that God in His grace rescued His people from Egyptian bondage; supplied their need in their wilderness wanderings; opened the prison doors of the captives; healed those that were seriously ill; delivered His people from terrible storms and governed His people Israel with goodness and grace – this is a beautiful song of rejoicing that all the redeemed of the Lord are able to sing.
He is a God Who always hears and responds to all our cries for help. He satisfies our hunger, refreshes our soul, encourages our heart and leads us forth by the better way. “For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and He has filled the hungry soul with what is good.”
It is God Who puts a hunger in our heart, both for justification and sanctification. The unbeliever is drawn by the Father’s cords of love and convicted of their sinfulness and need of a Savior through the ministry of Holy Spirit. And when faith in Christ’s sacrificial work is finally received into the heart, that man or woman is born of the Spirit of God.. and a thirsty soul who aches for peace with God – is satisfied.
It is also God who instills a deep hunger in the heart of the Christian, and so like Paul we reach a point in our lives when we too cry out and are satisfied in our relationship with our Lord and Savior. “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them mere rubbish, so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil 3:8-10).
And the one who has been saved by grace through faith begins to learn that salvation is not only that exciting point of rebirth into the family of God, but is also a long and often difficult journey through life.. where faith is tried and tested – and God is proved to be faithful once again. We discover that this life is a day by day journey, where sweet fellowship with the Father can be realized.. and the lovely Lord Jesus becomes more real to us.. and so much more precious, than on the day we first believed. So let us “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy is everlasting” (Ps 107:1).