Friday, April 22, 2005

Let the Redeemed of the LORD Say—What?

Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
(Psalm 107:2)
Let the redeemed of the LORD say — what? Certainly the redeemed of the LORD should recognize that they are the redeemed of the Lord, although there are plenty of Christians who do not. They live, act and speak as if they have not been redeemed at all, or have only been partially redeemed. They don’t seem to realize that guidance, provision, restoration and satisfaction truly belong to them. They learn to live with bondage and sickness, as if deliverance and healing were not a part of God’s salvation. They believe more in the stress of their lives than in the peace of God that has been made available to them. These folks should certainly start declaring that they are the redeemed of the LORD.

But that is not primarily what the psalm writer is talking about here. No, he is going directly to the root of the matter. What the redeemed of the Lord should learn to say is foundational to everything in their redemption, and that is this:
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
(Psalm 107:1)
To give thanks is to acknowledge with gratitude. It is a knowing, a confession about something, an agreement with something. Whatever the circumstance, let the redeemed always acknowledge and agree with this:
The LORD is good, and His mercy endures forever.
This is a very powerful confession, and the gateway to the intimate experience of God’s glory and presence. In 2 Chronicles 5, when the temple Solomon built for the Lord was being dedicated, the priests and singers and musicians praised the Lord together in unison, and this was their song: “He is good, for His mercy endures forever.” At that very moment, “the house of the LORD was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God” (vv. 13-14).

This confession is also the pathway to victory. In 2 Chronicles 20, when three kings and their armies surrounded Judah, King Jehoshaphat prayed to the Lord, and God answered that the army of Judah would not need to fight this battle, but would stand back and see the salvation of the Lord. The next day, Jehoshaphat sent the worship team out ahead of the army, and this was their song: “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever” (v. 21) The Bible says, “Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated” (v. 22).

The angels sing, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:3). That is how they have experienced God, for they are the hosts of heaven, and so they sing with great intensity about the holiness of God. We, too, can experience the holiness of God along with the angels.

We can sing the song of the angels, but the angels cannot sing the song of the redeemed — it is beyond their personal understanding. That song belongs to the redeemed alone, for they are the only ones who have experienced it. Angels long to look into these things (1 Peter 1:12), but they can do it only from without, not from within.
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
  For His mercy endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
  Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
And gathered out of the lands,
  From the east and from the west,
  From the north and from the south.
(Psalm 107:1-3)
Let us confess together the song that only the redeemed have experienced firsthand: The LORD is good! His mercy endures forever. Sing it over every circumstance, problem, and need you may be facing. Then watch for His glory and expect the victory to come forth.