1. A Call to Give Thanks (verses 1-3)
2. Four Testimonies of Deliverance (verses 4-32)
3. A Lesson of God’s Providence (verses 33-43)

On September 6th, 1620, our forefathers set sail for America upon the Mayflower. Sixty-five days later, after many adventures on the sea, they landed on Cape Cod. Upon arriving upon the land, William Bradford wrote of those who first went ashore. He wrote that “they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof.” [1]As William Bradford thought about their condition, he wrote, ...

I ... stand half amazed at this poor people’s present condition; ... Being thus passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation ..., they had now no friends to welcome them nor inns to entertain or refresh their weatherbeaten bodies; no houses or much less town to repair to, to seek for [help]. It is recorded in Scripture as a mercy to the Apostle and his shipwrecked company, that the barbarians showed them no small kindness in refreshing them, but these savage barbarians, when they met with them (as after will appear) were readier to fill their sides full of arrows than otherwise. And for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of that country know them to be sharp and violent, and subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search an unknown coast. Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, fall of wild beasts and wild men--and what multitudes there might be of them they knew not.

If they looked behind them, there was the mighty ocean which they had passed and was now as a main bar and gulf to separate them from all the civil parts of the world. ... What could now sustain them but the Spirit of God and His grace? May not and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: ‘Our fathers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness; but they cried unto the Lord, and He heard their voice and looked on their adversity’ (Deut. 26:5, 7). ‘Let them therefore praise the Lord, because he is good: and His mercies endure forever.’ ‘Yea, let them which have been redeemed of the Lord, show how He hath delivered them from the hand of the oppressor. When they wandered in the desert wilderness out of the way, and found no city to dwell in, both hungry and thirsty, their soul was overwhelmed in them. Let them confess before the Lord His lovingkindness and His wonderful works before the sons of men’ (Psalm 107:1-5, 8). [2]

These last words in this quote come straight from Psalm 107, which is our text this morning. How appropriate this Psalm is for us this morning, as we set our minds upon celebration our Thanksgiving holiday for days from now.

It’s really a pretty simple Psalm. It begins with three verses of introduction, in which the redeemed of the Lord are called to express their thanks to the Lord. Then, in the body of the Psalm, there are four testimonies of those who have been redeemed, giving thanks to the LORD. It concludes by an affirmation of the sovereign hand of God in all these things: He rescues the righteous and He torments the wicked. The grand conclusion comes in verse 43, “Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things, and consider the lovingkindnesses of the LORD.” This is my aim this morning: I want you to consider the lovingkindesses of the LORD. Indeed, “The lovingkindness of the LORD never ceases” (Lam. 3:23). I want to you trust in Him for all things. I want to see you express your thanks to God.

Let’s look at my first point:
1. A Call to Give Thanks (verses 1-3)

Consider the first three verses of this Psalm:

Psalm 107:1-3
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary
And gathered from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.”

We have here a call to give thanks to the LORD. The Psalmist points out two particular characteristics of the LORD that give us reason to give thanks to Him. The first is simply that He is good. Our God is not an evil God. He is a good God. All that is noble in us can affirm everything that He does. And this is a reason we have to give thanks to Him.

The second reason comes at the end of verse 1, “For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” God is patient with His people. Forever He will be known as one who extends His love to those who trust and follow Him.

In verse 2, we see those who are to give thanks to the LORD. It is the redeemed of the LORD. In other words, the Psalmist calls upon those who have tasted and seen of the goodness of God (Psalm 34:8) in delivering them from the hand of the adversary (verse 2b). The Psalmist isn’t calling those in the world who know nothing of God’s grace in their lives to give thanks to the LORD. He isn’t calling those who hate God and are His enemies to give thanks to the LORD. On the contrary, He is calling those who have been “redeemed” (as verse 2 says twice). It’s those who have seen their peril, have turned to the Lord for help, and have experienced His saving hand in their lives who should give thanks unto Him.

This call goes out to all who have experienced God’s redemption in their lives. Verse 3 indicates how far this call goes. It goes to all who have been “gathered from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south” (verse 3). God’s working among the sons of men hasn’t ever been localized to one geographic location. Oh, the people of Israel thought so, but the Biblical facts simply don’t support this. When God called Abraham, it was from the east, from Ur of the Chaldeans (Gen. 11:31). When God rescued His people from the hands of the Philistines, it was from the west. When God brought His people back from exile in Babylon, it was from the north. The Israelites were redeemed out of Egypt, they were redeemed out of the south.

But, beyond the nation of Israel, God's saivng work has extended throughout the world. He has redeemed in Christ men from “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). The call of verse 2 goes throughout all the ends of the earth. Whoever has called upon the name of the Lord should give thanks to Him.

This shouldn’t be difficult to do. If you have experienced God’s redeeming hand in your life, it ought to be more difficult to remain silent than it is to give thanks to the LORD! As our family has recently read through several of the Gospel accounts (and now the Acts of the Apostles), I have been reminded afresh of how easy it is to give testimony of the Lord’s goodness for those who have been the recipients of God’s kindness toward them. Throughout the gospel narratives, you constantly find people giving spontaneous testimony of what God had done in their lives.

Consider the leper that came to Jesus and was healed of his leprosy. Jesus “sternly warned him ... ‘See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them’” (Mar. 1:43-44). It’s always seemed strange to me that Jesus would tell him to be quiet. But, the reason is really quite simple. If he would tell everyone of what happened, Jesus could no longer preach in the cities because of the crowds that would come upon Him, because the priority of Jesus was to preach, not merely to heal (Mar. 1:38). Anyhow, Mark tells us that this leper “went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news around, to such an extent that Jesus could no longer publicly enter a city, but stayed out in unpopulated areas” (Mark 1:45). Why didn’t this man obey Jesus? Because he couldn’t help, but to give testimony to all of what the Lord had done for him.

Consider also the time when Jesus healed the man who “was deaf and spoke with difficulty” (Mark 7:34). Jesus opened his ears and his bound tongue was loosed to talk! (Mark 7:35). Jesus gave him strict orders not to tell anyone. And Mark tells us that “the more [Jesus] ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it!” (Mark 7:36).

In the early church, the apostles couldn’t help themselves, but to proclaim what God had done for them. Perhaps you remember the time when Peter and John stood before the Sanhedrin. They were told by the authorities “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:18). The apostles replied, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). From their perspective, they couldn’t shut their own mouths, because of what they had seen and experienced of the goodness and kindness of the Lord.

This is what Psalm 107 is calling us to do. If you have been redeemed from your sins, if you know of the saving power of God in your life, if you have experienced the kindness of the Lord, then you are being called this morning to “give thanks to the Lord” (verse 1). This was the heart of John, "What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you" (1 John 1:3). This is what you are called to do: to tell of your experience of how God redeemed you.

Do you know why God saves anybody at all? He saves us that we might forever be those who give a witness to others of His kindness to us. This is exactly what Peter said in 1 Peter 2:9-10, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

Do you understand what Peter is saying? He is saying that God has shown you great mercy. God has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. God has chosen you to be His people, though you weren’t born that way. God has created you to be His own people. He does all of this, so that you might proclaim “His excellencies.” This is exactly what Psalm 107 is about. How appropriate is this call upon our lives this week, as we approach this wonderful holiday called, “Thanksgiving.”

I call you, Rock Valley Bible Church (as many of you as have been redeemed of the LORD) to give thanks unto His name.

Let’s proceed on to my second point, ...
2. Four Testimonies of Deliverance (verses 4-32)

Beginning with verse 4, we will hear of four testimonies given of those who were in darkness and distress and turmoil and trouble. They cried out to the LORD in their calamity. And God delivered them out of their peril. And thus, the Psalmist called upon them to give thanks to the LORD.

Each of these testimonies are very powerful. I remember hearing John MacArthur tell the story of the time in which merely reading through this Psalm, a man named Robert was converted.

Robert had been a part of the gay activist community in Los Angeles. He had lived in that lifestyle for many years. He was even involved in helping plan the gay pride parade in Los Angeles. Through that lifestyle, Robert became HIV positive and was only given a brief time to live. He knew that he was going to die and he was afraid to die. He asked a friend where he should go for help. This friend directed him to go to Grace Community Church. And so Robert attended a worship service at the church.

For those of you who have attended worship there in Los Angeles, you know that it is customary for John MacArthur to read through a portion of Scripture, usually a Psalm. After reading the Scripture, he then prays through the Psalm. When Robert came to church, John read Psalm 107. It was the reading of this Psalm that the Lord used in Robert’s life to convert him. A few weeks later, he was baptized at Grace Community Church, giving his testimony of how the Lord had saved him.

Robert gave testimony of how John read verse 7, which describes the Lord leading them “by a straight way.” He gave testimony to the power of verses 14 and 16, “He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke their bands apart. ... For He has shattered gates of bronze and cut bars of iron asunder.” In hearing these words, Robert knew that the Lord could save him from his lifestyle. It was only a few months later that HIV took his life, and he passed into glory. [3]This is a powerful Psalm with powerful testimonies of God’s saving work. Never underestimate the poer that the testimony of a redeemed child of God has on the heart on an unbeliever.

Each of these four testimonies are the same. To be sure, the circumstances were all different. The particulars of their deliverance was different. But, there was a pattern to their circumstances, which is always the same. Each testimony carries us through four stages, which can be represented by the following four words: Trouble, Cry, Deliverance, and Testimony. These people always encountered some type of trouble, that took these people to the point of desperation. Out of their desperation, they made a cry for Help to the LORD. After their cry, there was a deliverance. Finally, they were called upon to give a testimony of the Lord’s saving goodness.

Let’s see how this pattern works. We see trouble in verses 4 and 5, "They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region; They did not find a way to an inhabited city. They were hungry and thirsty; Their soul fainted within them." In verse 6a, we see their cry, "Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble." In verses 6b-7, we have the deliverance, "He delivered them out of their distresses. He led them also by a straight way, to go to an inhabited city." Finally, we see how they are called upon to a testimony of thanks to the LORD, "Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good."

Then, the pattern repeats itself, trouble comes in verses 10-12, "There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in misery and chains, because they had rebelled against the words of God and spurned the counsel of the Most High. Therefore He humbled their heart with labor; They stumbled and there was none to help." In verse 13, we see their cry, "Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble." In verses 13b-14, we have their deliverance, "He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke their bands apart. In verses 15 and 16, they are called to a testimony of thanks to the LORD. Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has shattered gates of bronze and cut bars of iron asunder."

The same exact thing comes in verses 17-22. Trouble is in verses 17-18. A cry comes in verse 19a. A deliverance takes place in verses 19b-20. In verses 21-22, those who were redeemed were called upon to give their testimony of thanks to the LORD. The same thing takes place in verses 23-32. You can easily track down the fourfold divisions without much difficulty at all.

So obvious is this pattern that several verses are exactly the same: verses 6, 13, 19, 28. Each of these verses say, "Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses.” In my Bible, I have drawn a box around these verses to form a physical structure for the divisions as I look at it and read it. Also, verses 8, 15, 21, and 31 are nearly identical as well, "Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men!”

Let’s turn our attention upon the first testimony.
Testimony #1 (verses 4-9)

Verses 4-5 describe the trouble that these people found themselves in, "They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region; They did not find a way to an inhabited city. They were hungry and thirsty; Their soul fainted within them." Perhaps these words draw us to think of Israel, wandering in the wilderness after their redemption from slavery in Egypt. On several occasions, they were hungry and thirsty, with nothing to eat, and with nothing to drink. And the LORD indeed delivered them out of all their distresses (verse 6b). Eventually, He led them into the promised land, where there was peace and safety, which is what all this talk about finding an inhabited city means (verse 4b, 7b). In the ancient world, the cities were places of safety, as there was safety in numbers inside a walled-in city. It was the countryside that was dangerous in those days.

But, there’s more going on here than merely the rescue of the Israelites from the wilderness. There was a spiritual rescue as well. We read in verse 9 that God “satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” This verse is talking about the thirsty “soul.” It’s talking about the soul that “hungers and thirsts for righteousness.” As Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6).

These words may also draw your mind to think of the Israelites who returned from Babylonian captivity to reestablish Jerusalem. Their goal was to establish the city in safety and prosperity. Perhaps that’s the sense of verse 7, that God was leading them into the inhabited city. We know of the difficulties that Ezra faced when he attempted to rebuild the temple. “The enemies of Judah ... discouraged the people of Judah, and frightened them from building, and hired counselors against them to frustrate their counsel all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia” (Ez4a 4:1, 4-5). They wrote letters to the king and actually stopped the work for a time. It was a great time of testing for the people of God. They had returned with the express purpose of building the temple, but they were being prohibited from doing so. Once the temple was built, it was even difficult to build the wall around the city. Sanballat and Tobiah “conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it” (Neh. 4:8). It caused the people of Israel to wander from their paths.

So, it’s difficult to pin this testimony down with any degree of accuracy at all. And I believe that such is the point. It’s a general testimony, which is applicable to all who have wandered aimlessly in life. Their may be some physical aspects to this wandering. There certainly is some spiritual aspects to this wandering. At some point, these people reached a point where there was nowhere left to turn, but to the LORD. And to the LORD they cried out in their distress, and God delivered them.

This morning, I have invited someone to come give testimony to the Lord of his wandering ways, and how he found mercy when he cried out to the Lord. It’s not one of us. It’s a man who lived four hundred years ago. His name is John Bunyan. I trust that you have heard of him. He lived in the 1600’s and was one of the world’s greatest preachers. He wrote the famous, Pilgrim’s Progress. His autobiography is entitled, “Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.” For pages and pages and pages, he describes of how he wandered in his life, never finding the Lord. This cast him into depression and anguish of soul. Listen to his testimony.

Bunyan writes, ...

Upon a time I was somewhat inclining to a consumption, wherewith, about the spring, I was suddenly and violently seized with much weakness in my outward man, insomuch that I thought I could not live. Now began I afresh to give myself up to a serious examination after my state and condition for the future, and of my evidences for that blessed world to come; ...

But I had no sooner began to recall to mind my former experience of the goodness of God to my soul, but there came flocking into my mind, an innumerable company of my sins and transgressions, amongst which these were at this time most to my affliction, namely, my deadness, dullness, and coldness in holy duties; my wanderings of heart, 'of' my wearisomeness in all good things, my want of love to God, his ways, and people, with this at the end of all, Are these the fruits of Christianity? are these the tokens of a blessed man?

At the apprehension of these things my sickness was doubled upon me, for now was I sick in my inward man, my soul was clogged with guilt; now also was my former experience of God's goodness to me quite taken out of my mind, and hid as if it had never been, nor seen. Now was my soul greatly pinched between these two considerations, Live I must not, Die I dare not; now I sunk and fell in my spirit, and was giving up all for lost; but as I was walking up and down in the house, as a man in a most woeful state, that word of God took hold of my heart, Ye are "justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom 3:24). 'But oh what a turn it made upon me!'

Now was I as one awakened out of some troublesome sleep and dream, and listening to this heavenly sentence, I was as if I had heard it thus expounded to me: “Sinner, thou thinkest that because of thy sins and infirmities I cannot save thy soul, but behold my Son is by me, and upon him I look, and not on thee, and will deal with thee according as I am pleased with him” At this I was greatly lightened in my mind, and made to understand that God could justify a sinner at any time; it was but 'his' looking upon Christ, and imputing of his benefits to us, and the work was forthwith done. [4]

Bunyan concludes this chapter with a brief praise to God, "Blessed be God for having mercy on me."

Perhaps this day finds you in a state of wandering and searching and agonizing and hunger and thirst of soul. Perhaps this day finds you in coldness and weariness, without love to God. Oh, do what John Bunyan did. He “cried out to the LORD in his trouble” (verse 6), and he was delivered from his wandering ways. Learn from the testimony of John Bunyan. Look to Jesus. He is the only way to satisfy your hungering and thirsting soul. His sacrifice alone is able to justify you before the Father. His sacrifice is the only way for God justify you. You will continue to wander in your ways. You will continue to feel a hungering and thirsting of your soul, until you look to Christ.

Certainly, the point of Psalm 107 is to call us to give thanks to the Lord! But, as the redeemed do so, it's a call to the unconverted to see of the ways of God, that He is faith to shoe who call upon Him in truth. We are to give testimony of His saving ways, that others might hear.

Let’s now turn to our second testimony.
Testimony #2 (verses 10-16)

In our first testimony, we saw those who were wandering. In this testimony, we find those who were “prisoners.” In verse 10 we find these people in their trouble, "There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in misery and chains, because they had rebelled against the words of God and spurned the counsel of the Most High. Therefore He humbled their heart with labor; they stumbled and there was none to help."

The picture here is of those who have committed wrong. Their sin has found them out. They have reached the bottom of their lives. They are bound physically in the dungeon (verse 10b). They are bound spiritual in their misery (verse 10b), all because of their rebellion. The LORD even afflicted them with difficulties, putting them to labor. He was watching them stumble in their paths, with none to come along and lend a helping hand. Though God humbled them, they continued to stumble in their ways. It was only when they cried out to the Lord in verse 13 that they found deliverance from their time of trouble.

"Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke their bands apart" (verses 13-14). Again, we see here that their affliction was more than physical. They were more than simple prisoners. Their souls were tormented in the “darkness” (verse 14). They were in the “shadow of death” (verse 14). But, God brought them out to see the light. In verses 15 and 16, they are called to give thanks to the LORD, "Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has shattered gates of bronze and cut bars of iron asunder."

Again, this might have allusions to Israel, when they were slaves in Egypt. It may also refer to the time when they were taken captive to Babylon. Some of them were taken in chains and held there are prisoners. But, it’s difficult to say that this testimony is the only reference to these verses. It appears to be far broader than that one particular episode. It appears to be applicable to all who find themselves bound in darkness. This stands a bit in contrast to our previous testimony, where they were wandering loose and aimless. This testimony is for those who have been bound and cloistered in their darkness.

Again, I want to bring another witness to visit us this morning. Rather than going back to the 1600’s, I want to go back to the 1800’s. I want you to hear the testimony of George Müller. He grew up in a religions home. But, before he was converted, he was a rascal. On one occasion, he went on “a pleasure excursion to Magdeburg, where [he] spent six days in much sin." [6] He continued on to Brunswick, where he “spent a week ... in an expensive hotel." [7] He went to Brunswick because of an attachment that he had formed eight.oneen months before with a young female who lived there. George Müller then gives the following testimony, ...

I then went, without money, to another hotel, in a village near Brunswick, where I spent another week in an expensive way of living. At last, the owner of the hotel, suspecting that I had no money, asked for payment, and I was obliged to leave my best clothes as a security, and could scarcely thus escape from being arrested.

I then walked about six miles, to Wolfenbüttel, went to an inn, and began again to live as if I had plenty of money. Here I stayed two days, looking out for an opportunity to run away; for I had now nothing remaining to leave as a pledge. But the window of my room was too high to allow of my escaping, by getting down at night. On the second or third morning I went quietly out of the yard, and then ran off; but being suspected and observed, and therefore seen to go off, I was immediately called after, and so had to return. I now confessed my case, but found no mercy. I was arrested and taken between two soldiers to a police officer. Being suspected by him to be a vagabond or thief, I was examined for about three hours, and then sent to [jail]. I now found myself, at the age of sixteen, an inmate of the same dwelling with thieves and murderers, and treated accordingly. My superior manners profited nothing. [8]

After a month in prison, he was finally released, when his father was able to pay his debt. After these things, he had an outward reformation of his character, but Müller still had a wicked heart. He goes on to say, ...

I had now grown so wicked, that I could habitually tell lies without blushing. And further to show how fearfully wicked I was, I will mention, out of many others, only one great sin, of which I was guilty, before I left this place. Through my dissipated life I had contracted debts, which I had no means of discharging; for my father could allow me only about as much as I needed for my regular maintenance. One day, after having received a sum of money from him, and having purposely shown it to some of my companions, I afterwards feigned that it was stolen, having myself by force injured the lock of my trunk, and having also designedly forced open my guitar case. I also feigned myself greatly frightened at what had happened, ran into the director’s room with my coat off, and told him that my money was stolen. I was greatly pitied. Some friends also gave me now as much money as I pretended to have lost, and the circumstance afforded me a ground upon which to ask my creditors to wait longer. But the matter turned out bitterly; for the director, having ground to suspect me, though he could not prove anything, never fully restored me to his confidence. [9]

Müller's way still were not changed. After this incident, through lies and trickery, he was able to secure enough funds (and the proper documents) to travel to Switzerland with his friend, Beta, to enjoy more earthly pleasure, which Müller considered to be wrong.

His testimony continues on, ...

The time was now come when God would have mercy upon me. His love had been set upon such a wretch as I was before the world was made. His love had sent His Son to bear punishment on account of my sins, and to fulfill the law which I had broken times without number. And now at a time when I was as careless about Him as ever, He sent His Spirit into my heart. I had no Bible, and had not read in it for years. I went to church but seldom; but, from custom, I took the Lord’s supper twice a year. ...

One Saturday afternoon, about the middle of November, 1825, I had taken a walk with my friend Beta. On our return he said to me that he was in the habit of going on Saturday evenings to the house of a Christian, where there was a meeting. On further enquiry he told me that they read the Bible, sang, prayed, and read a printer sermon. No sooner had I heard this, than it was to me as if I had found something after which I was seeking all my life long. I immediately wished to go with my friend, who was not at once willing to take me; for knowing me as a gay [i.e. wild] young man, he thought I should not like this meeting. At last, however, he said he would call for me. ...

We went together in the evening. As I did not know the manners of believers, and the joy they have in seeing poor sinners even in any measure caring about the things of God, I made an apology for coming. The kind answer of this dear brother I shall never forget. He said: "Come as often as you please; house and heart are open to you." We sat down and sang a hymn. Then brother Kayser, afterwards a Missionary in Africa in connection with the London Missionary Society, who was then living at Halle, fell on his knees, and asked a blessing on our meeting. This kneeling down made a deep impression upon me; for I had never either seen any one on his knees, nor had I ever prayed myself on my knees. He then read a chapter and a printed sermon; for no regular meetings for expounding the Scriptures were allowed in Prussia, except an ordained clergyman was present. At the close we sang another hymn, and then the master of the house prayed. Whilst he prayed, my feeling was something like this: I could not pray as well, though I am much more learned than this illiterate man. The whole made a deep impression on me. I was happy; though if I had been asked why I was happy, I could not have clearly explained it.

When we walked home, I said to Beta, "All we have seen on our journey to Switzerland, and all our former pleasures, are as nothing in comparison with this evening." Whether I fell on my knees when I returned home, I do not remember; but this I know that I lay peaceful and happy in my bed. This shows that the Lord may begin His work in different ways. For I have not the least doubt that on that evening He began a work of grace in me, though I obtained joy without any deep sorrow of heart, and scarcely any knowledge. That evening was the turning point in my life. ...

What all the exhortations and precepts of my father and others could not effect; what all my own resolutions could not bring about, even to renounce a life of sin and profligacy; I was enabled to do, constrained by the love of Jesus. The individual who desires to have his sins forgiven, must seek for it through the blood of Jesus. The individual who desires to get power over sin, must likewise seek it through the blood of Jesus. [10]

George Müller would go on to serve the Lord in a great capacity. His main work was caring for orphans in England. He cared for more than 10,000 orphans in his life. By 1870 he was able to house more than 2,000 children in five large homes. In his last Sunday that he ever lived upon the earth (March 6th, 1898), some 73 after his conversion described above, he preached a sermon in which he expressed his thankfulness to the Lord. He said, ...

How our hearts should go forth continually in the deepest and liveliest gratitude to the Lord Jesus Christ for laying down His life for us, for shedding His blood for the remission of our sins! And how full of gratitude our hearts should be that now, guilty, wicked transgressors that we are by nature, and numberless though our transgressions have been, by the power of the blood of Christ we have been made as clean, as spotless as if we had never in our whole life been guilty of one sinful action: as if we had never uttered in our whole life one single, unholy word, and as if there had never been found in us a thought contrary to the mind of God. This is the position into which we are brought through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, so sthat during the remainder of our life, and throughout eternity, never one single sin shall be brought against us. O the precious blood of Christ! [11]

George Müller captures the thrust of Psalm 107 very well. When you think about what God has done for your soul, you cannot but help to give thanks unto His name.

In response to this Psalm, and in light of our upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, perhaps it might be profitable fodder for you to share over your Thanksgiving meal. Perhaps it might be profitable for each of those in your family who have experienced the Lord's redeeming work to share of how He has redeemed each one of you.


This sermon was delivered to Rock Valley Bible Church on November 19, 2006 by Steve Brandon.
For more information see www.rvbc.cc.

[1] Of Plymouth Plantation, by William Bradford, p. 69.

[2] Ibid., pp. 69-71.

[3] Unknown to me, the message in which I heard John MacArthur give this testimony was aired on Grace to You the Monday after this message was preached. To read the transcript of this message, see http://gty.org/resources.php?section=transcripts&aid=231384.

[4] Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, by John Bunyan. These words are taken from paragraphs 255-258 of Bunyan's work. You can read it here: http://www.ccel.org/b/bunyan/abounding/grace01.htm.

[5] Ibid, found at the end of paragraph 264.

[6] Autobiography of George Müller, p. 3.

[7] Ibid., p. 3.

[8] Ibid., p. 4.

[9] Ibid., p. 6.

[10] Ibid., pp.9-10.

[11] Ibid., p. 698.