One of the most effective tools in the advertising industry is the personal testimonial. Marketers will often utilize this strategy to create interest in a particular product that they want the public to try. One reason why it is so effective is because it relates in a very personal way in which an item has changed someone’s life—in some cases dramatically and often irrefutably. Just as the testimonial is very effective in the world of advertising, the personal testimony is very effective in communicating how God has changed us. We are reminded in 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”. We should always be ready to tell others why there is a difference in our lives. The reason why the Queen of Sheba embarked on her long and arduous journey across the wilderness was because she had heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord. (1 Kings 10) Someone had been talking! It was someone testimony about this great king that heightened her interest to check the veracity of these claims. When she did, she came back a different person, personally enriched by this great king. When someone hears the testimony of how our King has changed their lives, – Someone who is “greater than Solomon” (Matt. 12:42), the result can be the same.
In Psalm 107, we find a psalm that describes the testimony of the redeemed. Actually, it is four different testimonies of redemption – four general ways depicting the way in which the Lord rescues His people from their distresses and redirects their path. Although it has a primary application to the nation of Israel whose history is outlined in these scenarios, it also has a secondary application to all who have been redeemed by God. The Psalm divides easily into three sections: The Praise of the Redeemed (vv. 1-3), the pictures of Redemption (vv. 4-32), and the Power of the Redeemer (vv. 33-43). In the first section, the redeemed of the Lord are encouraged to speak up and not be silent in their testimony. They are exhorted to give thanks for two reasons: God is good and His mercy endures forever. (v. 1) This goodness and mercy will be the recurring theme throughout the Psalm. This opening verse links this Psalm with the previous two, 105 and 106, but the difference between them is this: in this Psalm God’s faithfulness is highlighted in contrast to Israel’s unfaithfulness in the other Psalms. Further, the prayer offered in Psalm 106:47 asking the Lord to save and gather His people from among the nations is answered in verses 2-3 of Psalm 107, a fitting introduction to Book Five of the Psalms. Enemies have always surrounded Israel on every side – enemies from which Israel has been delivered in the past and will likewise be delivered in time to come. Similarly, God’s people have also been redeemed from the hand of the enemy—an enemy that at one time held us captive at his will (2 Tim. 2:26) until the goodness and mercy of God rescued us in our distress. In a very real sense all believers have also been redeemed from the hand of the enemy and gathered from every corner of the globe—from east, west, north, and south and from every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation. (Rev. 5:9) No wonder the redeemed of the Lord are encouraged to “say so”!
Pictures of Redemption
The body of the Psalm, (verses 4-32) portrays four different ways in which the Lord extricates His people from the path of destruction to a life of praise. Each redemption scenario has four components: a problem, a prayer, provision and praise. Not only does it outline Israel’s history through the centuries, but its also provides a snapshot of God’s dealings from among the “children of men”, a specific reference to fallen humanity.