Thanking Him who Satisfies
our Hungry and Thirsty Souls
By Joey Fernandez
Defeated, scattered, and held captive under harsh conditions. When finally allowed to return to their country after many years, they went through all kinds of dangers and distresses through the desert, along with severe hunger and thirst. Hopelessly lost, some of them simply gave up. Some of them even weighed their options and thought that it might not be worth it to return home and so, just chose to stay in Babylon. Such was the harrowing experience of Israel. But then, history, as they say, repeats itself. Forgiveness and lovingkindness once
again overflowed from God’s gracious heart. Israel cried out to the Lord and they were delivered from all their troubles. The God of the Bible with His constant display of compassion and mercy led the Psalmist to write this beautiful Psalm of praise.
Psalm 107 (NASB) The LORD Delivers Men from Manifold Troubles.
 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.
 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.
 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses.
 He led them also by a straight way, To go to an inhabited city.
 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.
At the beginning of the passage, the Psalmist exhorts the people to give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness. The psalm speaks of God delivering Israel from all their troubles after they were conquered, scattered and exiled to Babylon. Their exile was a result of their turning their backs to God, and so the Jews suffered greatly in a foreign land. The holy God had to discipline them, but He did not forget His people. Israel also did not forget their God. They held tightly to their identity as God’s chosen people and the Lord was faithful in sending prophets who kept alive the hope of one day returning to their land. This is a song of thanksgiving that aims to magnify the Lord for delivering His people Israel from their troubles, and for pouring undeserved blessings upon them. It is also aimed at making the Lord’s works known to all the nations. Because the psalmist starts and ends this passage with thanksgiving, he lovingly teaches us that we, God’s children, should also develop an attitude of gratitude, because the Lord is worthy of it all.
The word “gratitude” comes from the Latin word gratia (grace) and means showing appreciation for what an individual receives. A soon as our kids began to talk, one of the first things we taught them, aside from Papa and Mama were the words “Thank you”. We recognize that these 2 powerful words help us develop into more decent human beings and it somehow brings happiness to peoples’ lives, whether you are the giver or the recipient of thanks. In fact, many researchers agree that gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness, with benefits lasting longer than any other medical intervention.
This psalm was sung by the redeemed children of Israel, but it also applies to Christians who have also been delivered from dangers and distresses. Perhaps the circumstances described in the psalm are unique to Israel, but similar or even greater troubles could be experienced by God’s children today. Are you in a situation where you feel you cannot break free? Do you feel that you are held captive by a cruel boss? Dragging your feet daily to that dead-end job? Then thank the Lord you have a job. Be thankful you are not part of the country’s unemployed who would rather make the sacrifice of walking several miles just to get to work. Perhaps your situation is much worse. Overwhelmed with debt and longing for financial freedom? Thank the Lord for getting you through the day. Stricken with a dreaded disease with no hope for the restoration of your health? Remember, we have been blessed with the free gift of salvation, and He deserves all the thanks. Scripture tells us to be thankful in everything, and all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Are you so overwhelmed with impossible difficulties and you cannot seem to find anything to thank the Lord for? Then thank the Lord for His promises that He knows all your cares and that He will not abandon His people. He does not fail to give His people hope. Remember the circumstances surrounding His people Israel under the Babylonian captivity for decades who thanked Him for the coming deliverance. Do you have a painful past? Do not dwell on the bad. Remember Isaiah’s encouragement as he spoke God’s words to the people in Isaiah 43:18-21:
 “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.
 “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.
 “The beasts of the field will glorify Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My chosen people.
 “The people whom I formed for Myself Will declare My praise.
We can thank God for who He is: The God who can make a roadway in the wilderness and rivers in the desert; The God who has promised to never leave us or forsake us. We have good reason to declare the Lord’s goodness, and dependence on our mighty God who knows our needs builds even more gratitude in our hearts. As we develop gratefulness, we recognize our weakness, and turn to Him even more, submitting to Him as He cultivates humility in our hearts.
In man’s pursuit of this elusive thing called joy, he does not know where to start. But the psalmist provides us with a clear and biblical starting point, which leads to certain victory if we follow his example. It starts with God as the source of joy, and thanking God, from our hearts, who alone can give us joy as He satisfies our hungry and thirsty souls. Cultivate a prayerful heart. Remember what the Lord has done and count your blessings every day. Reflect on all that we have been given and obey this command in 1 Chron 16:34 which says: “O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting”. If your prayers have not yet been answered, thank the Lord still, for His promises.
Extend your thankfulness to the people around you. Remember the people who helped you or did something to make you happy. Thank them personally or at the very least, send a message of appreciation and thank the Lord for him as you pray for him. Lift his spirits as you also lift yours. Be filled with joy and in the end, you can be assured that the Lord will completely “satisfy your hungry and thirsty souls”.