This Bible study on Psalms contains outlines, extensive cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, lessons to learn, and applications.  Visit our inductive Bible studies for more studies on this and other books of the Bible.

Psalm 107 Inductive Bible Study With Discussion Questions – Thank the Lord for His goodness!

Outline

I. Thank the Lord for He is good (1-3)
II. Thank the Lord for His leading (4-9)
III. Thank the Lord for His deliverance (10-16)
IV. Thank the Lord for His healing (17-22)
V. Thank the Lord for protection from nature (23-32)
VI. Thank the Lord for His blessings (33-42)

I. Thank the Lord for He is good (1-3)

Discussion Questions

What theme does the psalmist introduce in the first three verses?
How can you make giving thanks active and intentional?
What do we learn about God’s character in these verses?
What should the redeemed do?
Who are we supposed to speak to about the things God has done for us?

Cross-References

Psalm 7:17 – I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

Ephesians 5:20 – Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 100:4 – Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Luke 8:39 – “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.

Teaching Points

1. Introduction – The psalmist starts right off introducing the main points for the passage. They are:

  • Giving thanks to God
  • Remembering God’s goodness
  • Speaking out about God’s deliverance (ie: sharing testimony)
  • Remembering God’s deliverance in Israel’s history

As we go through the passage, we will see these same points come up again and again.

2. Give thanks to the Lord – The psalmist himself is giving thanks for God’s goodness. At the same time, he is calling others to join him. In this psalm, he remembers history and lists out many specific things God has done for his people for which he and the nation should be grateful for. Giving thanks is something that believers need to be intentional about. From a young age, my parents taught me and my siblings to say “please” and “thank you.” That is polite. They couldn’t tolerate ungrateful behavior. Sometimes we would see children receive many gifts for a birthday or Christmas, but never stop to say, “thank you.” Instead they complained or rolled their eyes when they received gifts they didn’t like or weren’t exciting enough. My parents did not want us to be like that. We were trained to stop after every gift and say, “thank you” to the person who gave it to us.

We should practice the same habit toward God. Having a spirit of gratitude means we have to take initiative and be active. It doesn’t always come naturally. That brings us to the next point.

2. Remembering God’s goodness – We will see in this psalm that the writer lists out many things he has observed that God has done for His people. He lists these out one by one. Writing them down in an orderly fashion helped him and all the people to clearly recollect God’s many gifts in their history.

By nature, people have short term memories when it comes to blessings. It is easy to overlook and forget the many things God has done. Throughout the Bible, we see God commanding people to remember. He tells them to create memorials. He establishes festivals. They are to write Scriptures on the gates and doorposts. They are to memorize His words.

Deuteronomy 4:9 – Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.

Remembering God’s goodness is not just a good idea or a mere suggestion. It is a command. And it requires diligence. What are some practical ways you can be sure to remember God’s blessing in your life?

One thing my family does at Thanksgiving is to write down key blessings from the previous year we want to thank God for. After sharing them with each other we save them in a jar. The next year we bring out all the previous years’ reminders, first remembering and then thanking God for them again.

History is easy to forget. I am often astounded at how little I remember of certain things from my past. Try thinking back and remembering the first years of your marriage. Try remembering where you were and what you did each year for your birthday or holidays. Try writing a list of all of your previous co-workers, students, or friends who have come in and then out of your life. You will soon find that you remember much less than you realize!

Application: We should be sure to remember God’s blessings. Firstly, we should be observant and thank God for them as soon as they happen. Secondly, we should keep notes by making a memorial or a reminder of some type that we can come back to from time to time to refresh our memories. You can combine this with other traditions such as Christmas (make a thanksgiving tree) or Thanksgiving. Or you can make a scrap book with pictures and notes of God’s blessings.

3. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so – Believers should speak up! Throughout this chapter we will see many calls from the psalmist to share our testimonies. We should be actively seeking opportunities to tell other believers about God’s work in our lives in order to encourage them and build them up in the faith. And we should also talk about God’s blessings often with unbelievers to find bridges for sharing the good news.

What are some practical ways you can turn casual conversations with unbelievers to the Lord?

As we go through this chapter, we will see the psalmist sharing different things from Israel’s history that God has done for them. Be thinking about your own life and when we reach the end of this chapter be ready to share a testimony of God’s goodness in your own life.

II. Thank the Lord for His leading (4-9)

Discussion Questions

What biblical period or event is described in these verses? Is the psalmist talking about a specific event or something more general?
Can you share about a time in your life when God has led you (verse 7)? How did you experience His leading?
Who is the “them” in verse 8?
What wonderful deeds has God done for you?
What do we learn about God’s character in verse 9?

Cross-References

Numbers 14 – Joshua 2 – These chapters detail the Israelites years of wandering the wilderness.

Deuteronomy 9:1 – Hear, O Israel! You are crossing over the Jordan today to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, great cities fortified to heaven.

Exodus 6:8 – ‘I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the LORD.'””

John 6:35 – Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Teaching Points

1. Some wandered in the desert – It is likely that the psalmist was thinking about the forty years of wilderness wanderings. During this time, they could not enter the Promised Land.

2. Finding no way to a city to dwell in – They could not go to dwell in the land promised to them because they refused to obey Gods’ command and timing. Moses sent twelve spies to spy out the land. Out of the twelve, only Joshua and Caleb encouraged the people to go in and take possession. The other ten incited the people of Israel to rebel against God’s command, lacking faith that He would give them victory. Because of their disobedience, God disciplined them with forty years in the wilderness. When they heard that they would not be allowed in, they decided to try anyway and many died in battle.

It is a story which clearly reveals the depraved condition of man. When God told the people to go in they would not. Immediately afterward, when He told them not to go in, they disobeyed. Because of their rebellion they faced decades of difficulty in the wilderness, including hunger and thirst.

Application: By our own effort, there is no way to accomplish God’s will for our lives. The Israelites tried to go fight their way in by their own strength, but failed miserably. If you want to be successful, you must depend on God.

3. Sin has consequences – Here we see clearly that sin has consequences. Those consequences cannot always be instantly reversed. Sometimes they last for a long time, even a lifetime. Every single one of the people who rebelled died in the wilderness, locked out of God’s blessings that they could have received.

3. Then they cried to the Lord – “They” does not refer to the individuals who sinned, but to the nation. By this time the older generation had died and the younger generation was willing to obey and do it God’s way.

Application: Perhaps you have tried to achieve something on your own. Maybe you have tried over and over again, and yet failed. Now is the time to cry out to the Lord. Confess that you have been relying on your own strength. Seek His forgiveness and make up your mind to humbly depend on Him for success and do it His way.

4. He delivered them – We will see this and similar refrains throughout this passage. This is the comforting thing about God. He is patient and forgiving and He answers when we call to Him.

Application: No matter what you have done in the past, God is willing and ready to forgive you and deliver you if you will turn to Him. Is there something you need to confess to Him? Is there some area of your life, you need deliverance?

5. He led them by a straight way – God’s leading is normally clear and simple. Things get complicated and messy when we take matters into our hands or leave the path He has laid out for us. The road into the Promised Land was simple. It was when the people disobeyed that they began wandering in the wilderness.

God does not want us to be lost. He does not want us to go forward with no sense of direction, meaning, or purpose. All of these He gives to us in His Word, if we will only look.

6. Thank the Lord for His steadfast love – This principle is repeated throughout the passage. You know what it means. It is simple. It is clear. The key is to do it.

Activity: You can play a game in your small group. Split into two groups. Use three minutes for each person on each team to write down as many things as he can that he is thankful for. Combine the answers with other people from your team and read through them. Whichever team gets the highest score, wins!

III. Thank the Lord for His deliverance (10-16)

Discussion Questions

Who might the psalmist be describing in this section? Is the psalmist talking about a specific event or something more general?
Are there any biblical examples of what he is describing?
Why were the people in darkness and gloom?
What does this teach us about one reason we may find ourselves in trouble?
What did God do when they rebelled? Why did He do this? Does He still discipline today?
Is there a time when you felt like you were in darkness? What did you do?
When did He move to help them?
What are those who are delivered from the consequences of their sin encouraged to do?

Cross-References

2 Kings 25:4-7, Jeremiah 39:4-8 – These passages describe the punishment and discipline which King Zedekiah faced, including being bound and imprisoned.

Psalm 34:4 – I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

Galatians 5:1 – For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Isaiah 61:1-3 – The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

Teaching Points

1. Verses 10-12 – It is not clear what time period the writer had in mind here. Perhaps he is referring to the time of the judges. During this time period, the people of Israel were often subjugated and forced into heavy labor by their conquerors. This possibility fits also with verse eleven, which lists their rebellion against God as the reason for their plight. Another possibility is that it refers to King Zedekiah and the exile to Babylon period.

Either the way the lesson is the same. Disobedience to God comes with serious consequences. We can see through the author’s perspective of history that their sins are what caused their suffering.

Unfortunately, people who are suffering for their sins often don’t realize it at the time. Many times they will blame others or circumstances rather than look at themselves as a possible cause. Of course, suffering is not always the result of one’s own sin. Jesus suffered more than anyone and He was sinless. But it sometimes it.

Application: If you are facing trials and suffering, you should evaluate the situation and consider if some of those issues might be either self-inflicted or discipline.

2. They cried out and God answered – This is the story of the Israelite nation. The cycle is repeated over and over. It is still not finished. Even now, the Jews are living in rebellion against God, refusing to accept His Son as the Messiah. Eventually they will once again cry out to God and He will deliver them from.

It is easy to look at the history of Israel and see this cycle. But if you take a moment and consider your own life, you will probably see the same cycle. We need God’s deliverance and forgiveness just as much as they did.

3. Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love – In which verse do you see God’s love for them? Most people will likely point to verse 13 and 14. But actually in verse 12 we already see God’s love. Because He loves them, He disciplines them. It is this discipline, lovingly enforced, which leads them finally back to the Lord.

Application: When we thank the Lord, we will often list out things that we perceive as positive: our work, health, materials, financial blessings, etc. We should not forget to thank the Lord for His love in discipline or in allowing us to go through trials for sanctifying us. What is something difficult you have experienced in your life which you thankful for?

IV. Thank the Lord for His healing (17-22)

Discussion Questions

What event might the psalmist be describing here?
What lesson do we learn about contentment?
What is a thank offering?
What is a method the psalmist mentions by which they can share their story?

Cross-References

Numbers 21:4-9 – They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

Numbers 11 – This chapter describes the Israelites when they complained about not having enough food and then they receive so much they at until they were sick. God judged them for their ungrateful attitudes toward what He had given them.

Psalm 71:15-18 – My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone. O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.

Psalm 66″16 – Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.

Teaching Points

1. This is likely a reference to the Israelites in the wilderness – We see similar accounts in Numbers 11 and 24. In Numbers 24 the people complained about eating the same food all the time (manna). The psalmist said it is foolish behavior. God provided easy-to-access, free, nutritious food for them for forty years. In return, they complained and whined and asked to go back to Egypt.

Parents with children likely know something about how God viewed this ingratitude. When Mom spends an afternoon cooking a nice meal and the kids see it and start complaining, “We don’t like this. We want pizza.” watch out!

God was not happy with their ungrateful spirit either. The author says that they almost died because of it. This did take place both in Numbers 11 and 24. In both cases, God was merciful and spared most of them.

Application: God is serious about gratitude. The people barely avoided a death sentence because of their bad attitudes. Is there something in your life you have been having a bad attitude about? Is there something which has caused you to complain? Confess it to God before you face discipline!

2. Verse 22 – Here are two others ways a person can show gratitude. Firstly, we can offer a thanksgiving sacrifice. In Old Testament times, that would mean giving an offering at the tabernacle (Leviticus 7:11-15).

How could a person do something like that now?

One way could be to give an offering, to a church or ministry.

The second way that people were to tell of their gratitude was through “songs of joy.” One good way is to write a song. If you are not a talented writer or music composer, you can also change the lyrics of a song, to put in what you are thankful for. Or you can offer songs others have written which express your feelings.

V. Thank the Lord for protection from nature (23-32)

Discussion Questions

Who are the “others” in verse 23? Do they appear elsewhere in the Biblical account?
How can you be sure to see the works of the Lord?
Why might God have “stirred up” the storm to begin with?
How did they feel?
What might they have turned to before turning to God?
What do we learn about God in this passage?
Finish the following sentence. “God sometimes uses nature to….”
What do we learn from verse 32 about the importance of testimony?

Cross-References

Jonah 1 – The events in Jonah are similar to what the psalmist describes here.

Mark 4:39 – He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

2 Peter 2:9 – Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.

1 John 5:10 – Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.

Teaching Points

1. Verses 23-27 – It is unclear what the psalmist is referring to. The only biblical account that sounds similar is that of Jonah, where we do see God showing His wonders by calming the sea and delivering the crew of the ship who were in distress. It is also possible that the writer is referring to something not in the biblical account. What we read in the Bible is only a small fraction of God’s deeds. On this point, John would later right that the heavens themselves could not contain all of the books necessary to write down all of Jesus’ deeds.

Regardless of the specific event referred to, we see that God uses nature to show people His power. At the beginning the people may not have looked to God. They were focused on doing business. They were likely experienced sailors and knew what they were doing. We see in verse 26 that they were courageous. But God used the very thing they though they had mastered to teach them who the real Master is.

We can envision a group of people who set sail with all of the confidence in the world in their own plans and skills, barely even thinking about God. But when they return, it is another story. They will never forget their encounter on the seas or who controls those seas.

Application: Has God ever used something you believed you were very good at to humble you? Have you ever failed in something you thought you could not fail in?

The example from my life that I remember most vividly is a bike ride in a village in China. I was a teenager. I was setting off with a group on a bike ride of about ten miles. As I was about to leave my mother said, “Be careful!” I thought, “sure mom, no problem.” I was a very confident bike rider. In my younger days I would ride without holding the handlebars. Nothing could happen, right. Well, on that journey something happened. I was a single file line with other riders and wanted to go to the back of the line to talk with someone. So I did a u-turn in the middle of the highway. I had thought I looked both ways, but missed a minivan which was barreling toward me. But it didn’t miss me. Crashing straight into me, it hurled me to the ground and the windshield broke on my neck. Two nearby family members thought I was likely dead. The good news is I wasn’t. The driver acted very quickly and came to almost a complete stop right as he hit me, rather than plowing through. My life was spared. And I learned a lesson to be humble in everything, even things I am very good at.

2. He calmed the storm – I was listening to a sermon by Paul Washer recently. He said, “I see Jesus everywhere in the Old Testament.” And there are many things in the Old Testament that foreshadow aspects of Jesus and His ministry in the new. And this is one. Just as God calmed the storm in this story, so Jesus would calm the storm (twice) for the disciples. It was the same God did both.

Application: Are you facing a storm you need help with? Is there turmoil or uncertainty in your life? Spend a moment right now and take it to God, asking Him to calm that storm and deliver you from it.

3. Verse 32 – Believers should be sharing testimonies publicly. Giving thanks and praising God is good to do privately, but not only privately. Telling others of God’s work in your life is one of the best ways you can glorify Him. We should do this so often that it becomes natural.

Application: When you get together with other believers these two phrases (or some variation) should often be on your lips:

  • I want to tell you what God has been doing in my life.
  • What has God been doing in your life lately?

If people ask you this kind of question and you can’t think of anything, then there is likely a problem. What is the problem? Here are some possibilities.

  • He hasn’t been doing anything in your life because you are not growing.
  • He has been doing things, but you have not been observing those things.
  • You think incorrectly that “religion is a private thing.
  • You think that what God is doing in your life is small and not worth mentioning. Everything God does is worth mentioning.

VI. Thank the Lord for His blessings (33-42)

Discussion Questions

What biblical period or event is described in these verses? Is the psalmist talking about a specific event or something more general?
Has God turned any “deserts” in your life into pools of water?
How has God providentially blessed you and the work of your hands?
In verse 39, why did these things happen?
What does it mean that the wicked “shut their mouths” in verse 42?
What action would a wise person take who “heeds” these things (43)?

Cross-References

Psalm 65:11 – You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.

Deuteronomy 28:12 – The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.

Teaching Points

1. God is in complete control of nature, using it to bless the righteous and afflict the wicked – It is not clear what specific event or person the psalmist is referring to. At times God did pronounce a curse of judgment on wicked cities (such as Sodom and Gomorrah and Tyre).

God showers His people with providential blessings and sets His face against those who rebel against Him. Can you share an example of God’s providence in your life?

2. The wise should consider the steadfast love of the Lord (43) – Here is a good application to end on! We have seen in this chapter that God is active. He is active in the world. He is active in nature. He is active in the lives of His people. He pours out blessings. He answers prayers. He disciplines the rebellious, but forgives the penitent. Everywhere we look, there are stories of God’s goodness. But many people do not see these things. Instead they label good things that happen to them as good luck or chance. We need to spend time meditating on God’s wondrous deeds, in us and in the world around us. We need to write them down so as not to forget. We need to share them to inspire and encourage others (and to help us not forget!) God’s goodness should be ever present in our minds. I hope that next time someone asks you, “What is God doing in your life lately?” that you will be ready to share some good testimonies!

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