Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Psalms
Book: Psalms
Chapter: 107

God's providential care of the children of men in distresses,
in banishment, and Dispersion. (1-9) In Captivity. (10-16) In
sickness. (17-22) Danger at Sea.(23-32) God's Hand is to be seen
By his own people. (33-43)

1-9 In these verses there is reference to the deliverance from
Egypt, and perhaps that from Babylon: but the circumstances of
travellers in those countries are also noted. It is scarcely
possible to conceive the horrors suffered By the hapless
traveller, when crossing the trackless sands, exposed to the
burning rays of the sum. The words describe their case whom the
Lord has redeemed from the Bondage of Satan; who pass through
the world as a dangerous and dreary Wilderness, often ready to
faint through troubles, fears, and temptations. Those who hunger
and thirst after Righteousness, after God, and Communion with
him, shall be filled with the Goodness of his House, both in
Grace and Glory.

10-16 This description of prisoners and captives intimates that
they are desolate and sorrowful. In the eastern prisons the
captives were and are treated with much severity. Afflicting
providences must be improved as humbling providences; and we
lose the benefit, if our hearts are unhumbled and unbroken under
them. This is a Shadow of the sinner's deliverance from a far
worse confinement. The awakened sinner discovers his guilt and
misery. Having struggled in vain for deliverance, he finds there
is No help for him but in the Mercy and Grace of God. His Sin is
forgiven By a merciful God, and his Pardon is accompanied By
deliverance from the power of Sin and Satan, and By the
sanctifying and comforting influences of God the Holy Spirit.

17-22 If we knew No Sin, we should know No sickness. Sinners
are fools. They hurt their bodily health By intemperance, and
endanger their lives By indulging their appetites. This their
way is their folly. The weakness of the body is the effect of
sickness. It is By the power and Mercy of God that we are
recovered from sickness, and it is our duty to be thankful. All
Christ's miraculous cures were emblems of his healing diseases
of the soul. It is also to be applied to the spiritual cures
which the Spirit of Grace Works. He sends his Word, and heals
souls; convinces, converts them, makes them holy, and all By the
Word. Even in common cases of recovery from sickness, God in his
Providence speaks, and it is done; By his Word and Spirit the
soul is restored to health and Holiness.

23-32 Let those who go to Sea, consider and Adore the Lord.
Mariners have their business upon the tempestuous ocean, and
there Witness deliverances of which others cannot form an idea.
How seasonable it is at such a time to pray! This may remind us
of the terrors and distress of Conscience many experience, and
of those Deep scenes of trouble which many pass through, in
their Christian course. Yet, in answer to their cries, the Lord
turns their storm into a calm, and causes their trials to End in

33-43 What surprising changes are often made in the affairs of
men! Let the present desolate state of Judea, and of other
countries, explain this. If we look abroad in the world, we see
many greatly increase, whose beginning was small. We see many
who have thus suddenly risen, as suddenly brought to nothing.
Worldly wealth is uncertain; often those who are filled with it,
ere they are aware, lose it again. God has many ways of making
men Poor. The righteous shall rejoice. It shall fully convince
all those who deny the Divine Providence. When sinners see how
justly God takes away the Gifts they have abused, they will not
have a Word to say. It is of great use to us to be fully assured
of God's Goodness, and duly affected with it. It is our Wisdom
to mind our duty, and to refer our comfort to him. A truly Wise
person will treasure in his Heart this delightful psalm. From
it, he will fully understand the weakness and wretchedness of
Man, and the power and loving-kindness of God, not for our
merit, but for his Mercy's sake.
- We may usefully select passages from different Psalms, as
here, Ps 57; 60, to help our devotions, and enliven our
gratitude. When the Heart is firm in Faith and Love, the tongue,
being employed in grateful praises, is our Glory. Every Gift of
the Lord honours and profits the possessor, as it is employed in
God's service and to his Glory. Believers may pray with assured
Faith and Hope, for all the blessings of Salvation; which are
secured to them By the Faithful promise and Covenant of God.
Then let them expect from him help in every trouble, and victory
in every conflict. Whatever we do, whatever we gain, God must
have all the Glory. Lord, visit all our souls with this
Salvation, with this favour which thou bearest to thy Chosen