#48 It Must Be Love, Love, Love


Passage – Psalm 107

I can guarantee that as soon as some of you saw the title of this week’s Pep Talk, you immediately started humming or singing the song by Madness from 1981 (or perhaps the Labi Siffre original from 1972). ‘As soon as I wake up every night, every day. I know that it’s you I need to take the blues away……It must be love, love, love. It must be love, love, love. Nothing more, nothing less. Love is the best.’ In this week leading up to Valentine’s Day, when love is on the front burner, I thought we’d spend some time thinking about the love that will never let us down. That is God’s love for his people. To help us do this, we’re looking at Psalm 107. Whilst there are undoubtedly links throughout the Psalm to Israel’s turbulent relationship with God, I’d like to apply it to the life of the Christian who’s experienced redemption through Christ. The Psalm begins with a note of praise- “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love endures forever.” (v1) As we go through the Psalm we’ll see several repetitions, notably cries from God’s people in various predicaments, deliverance by the Lord, and a call to God’s people- “Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love.” Let’s dig in!

Love that brings us home (v4-9)

The first picture is that of people who are lost- “Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle.” (v4) Such lostness in barren surroundings brought unwelcome results- “They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away.” (v5) In their distress the people had only one place to turn- “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble” (v6a) and the LORD heard their cry, “and he delivered them from their distress.” (v6b) The LORD didn’t just make life bearable but had great plans- “He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.” (v7) There’s only one proper response- “Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love” (v8a) At the end of the story of Zacchaeus, Jesus declares that salvation has come to this tax collectors house, and adds- “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10) Lostness, in relation to God, is the natural condition of all of us, but Jesus lovingly seeks us out and brings us home. If I am a Christian I belong to the most loving home. “I was lost but Jesus found me, found the sheep that went astray; Threw his loving arms around me, drew me back into his way.”

Love that makes us free (v10-16)

The second picture is that of people who are in captivity- “Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains” (v10). Then we discover the reason for their dire circumstances- “for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High.” (v11) Their captivity was because of their rejection of God and they experienced his judgment- “So he subjected them to bitter labour; they stumbled, and there was no-one to help.” (v12). In their distress the captives had only one place to turn and cried to the LORD and he delivered them (v13). He didn’t simply make their captivity more bearable but “brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.” (v14) When Peter describes our salvation in Christ he uses similar language- “that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (2:9) If I am a Christian, then I have been set free! ‘Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night; Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; my chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.’

Love that makes us whole (v17-22)

The third picture is that of a people who are sick- “Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.” (v17) This downward spiral of rebellion and sickness continued- “They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death.” (v18) Once again, at their greatest point of need they cried out to the only one who could save them from almost certain death, and he delivered them. “He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.” (v20) God doesn’t just make us better in Christ, he makes us new- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor 5:17) If I am a Christian then I’ve been completely forgiven of my sin and born again of God’s Spirit. ‘Praise, my soul, the king of heaven: to his feet thy tribute bring. Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, who like thee his praise should sing?’

Love that brings us peace (v23-32)

The fourth picture is that of a people facing a storm- “For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits end.” (v25-27) Devoid of strength they cried out to the only one who could save and he delivered them. “He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” (v29-30) Much like the disciples in the boat with Jesus sleeping. The storm hit and they accused Jesus of not caring. But he spoke to the storm and it was immediately calm. We face many storms in life, including the pandemic. If I am a Christian, then I know the One who is Lord over every one of them. ‘When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows, like sea-billows, roll, whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.’

Love that can be counted on (v33-43)

The pattern changes in the final verses, but the message stays the same. We can trust the providential caring love of God in any and every situation we face- “Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD.” (v43)


Dear Lord God, thank you for your unfailing love that you’ve shown to me in and through your Son. Help me to look to you and trust you whatever I am facing and help me to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Amen