The psalmist’s encouragement to praise God for His goodness is repeated four times in Psalm 107. Each occurrence has to do with God’s mercy on behalf of needy people. One instance describes sailors who are caught in the midst of a storm on the high seas. With recent images of Hurricane Dorian fresh in our minds, we can well imagine this tumultuous scene. Such a violent storm gives occasion to praise God for His unchanging attributes.
We should certainly praise God for His awesome power revealed in the storm. The sailors did: “Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters, they see the works of the LORD, and His wonders in the deep. For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea” (verses 23-25). People often speak of an impersonal “Mother Nature,” when in fact they should speak of Father God who created the great seas and also controls them. We tend to take for granted God’s restraining power over the deep. At creation God commanded the vast oceans: “This far you may come, but no farther, and here your proud waves must stop” (Job 38:11). The psalmist states: “The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea” (Psalm 93:4). For such power we praise Him.
We ought to also praise God for His compassionate help in the storm. Psalm 107 describes God’s rescue of the endangered crew: “Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven” (verses 28-30). Although some perished in the wrath of Hurricane Dorian, thousands and perhaps millions of lives were spared by God’s mercy. For such goodness we praise Him.
There is a third and final reason for praising God in the storm. As fierce as Dorian was, there is a far more serious and ominous storm looming. The Bible refers to the coming day of God’s wrath upon this world as “the day of the LORD.” There is however good news. God has provided an escape from this certain judgment. He sent His Son Jesus to this world on a rescue mission to save sinners from future judgment and eternal punishment. To accomplish this rescue, Jesus died in the place of sinners and incurred the wrath of God upon sin. He then rose from the dead to prove He was God’s Son and that His sacrifice on the cross was sufficient for man’s salvation. That’s not all. God gave us the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit to explain His provision and to convince us of our urgent need to escape the coming judgment. For such grace we praise Him. Oh, that men would praise the LORD for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men!