Let the Redeemed Say So

Let the Redeemed Say So

TEXT: Psalm 107:1-3

Happy New Year! As we ended last year we looked closely at the stories of Simeon and Anna. One feature of their stories, as well as that of the shepherds and Mary that we looked at last Sunday, was the urge to “go tell” what God had done. This is not a theme unique to the Christmas stories, but a feature of the Christian life. God is still moving and working in the world and in our lives and our part in that – perhaps our chief task – is to make known what God has done and is doing.

For the next number of weeks I am going to preach from Psalm 107, which is a lengthy Psalm exploring the different ways God acts in the lives of people. It also regularly tells out this story or calls on people of faith to tell out this story. The verse I am keying off of today is v. 3, which says “Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so.” That’s us: the Redeemed of the Lord! And it is our privilege to say so!

God’s Lovingkindness (Hesed) (v.1)

The starting and focal point for this Psalm is God. God is good and His lovingkindness is everlasting. ‘Lovingkindness’ is that Hebrew word Hesed that we’ve talked about before. It is one of the essential characteristics of God and is compassion, love, and faithfulness all bound up together. It is one of the most frequent descriptions of God in the scriptures. And Psalm is going to go on and give numerous examples of God’s goodness and God’s Hesed-lovingkindness, but God is already these things in and of Himself. And God is eternally so (it’s “everlasting”). Indeed it will probably take an eternity to begin to comprehend the breadth of that love!

This Psalm/Song is going to go through a long and in-depth list of ways God has been involved with humanity, but driving it all and worthy of thanks is God’s goodness and God’s lovingkindess.

It’s a great starting place for our own reflection, whether for the new year or any time:

How has God been good to you?

How have you experienced God’s lovingkindness, His compassion and faithfulness?

Redeemed from the Adversary (v.2)

“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!” Verse 2 is the exhortation to “say so,” to tell the story of who God is and what He’s done in your life. Who are the redeemed?

In the New Testament (which hadn’t been written yet), redemption primarily describes what Jesus accomplished on the cross. And we believe that IS God’s ultimate redemption. And it’s not like that is not in view here, it’s just still in a more basic form, less spiritual and more literal. God’s people, Israel, have been in Exile for generations. They were defeated by other nations and carried into captivity far from home. It felt like all had been lost. Babylon, Assyria, and Persia were all “the adversary” of verse 2. And this Psalm is celebrating being set free and returned home. Redemption is claiming back what was lost. The redeemed are those God has brought back home.

Now it is true that God never lost His people. There is plenty of scripture – God’s Word to His people – TO the people in Exile. God sees them, hears them, and promises to deliver. But they are separated from all the blessings God had for them: promised land, Kingdom, and Temple. Think about when the airline loses your luggage. It’s still your luggage. It has your name written on it (hopefully). But it’s separated from you. But you hold on to that ticket and when it’s found you can ‘redeem’ your lost luggage. That’s close to the Old Testament idea of ‘redeem.’ Israel was always God’s people, but they lost their way and were separated from God. But God has redeemed them and brought them home.

It doesn’t take much to see that literal history as a picture of our spiritual history. God created humanity and declared them very good. Through their disobedience they were separated spiritually from God. But God’s image was stamped on them, on us. And God never forgot us. When the time was right He sent His Son in to the world to redeem us from sin and death, from spiritual separation from God, and to make a way home. In Christ we are also “the redeemed of the Lord, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary.”

Verse 2 is clear: if you are among the redeemed, let us say so!

Breadth of Redemption (v.3)

Verse 3 describes the breadth of redemption. Again, in literal history, God redeemed his people who had been scattered in all directions: north, east, south, and west. God’s bringing them home and ending the separation was “gathering them from these lands.” (v.3)

But again this is a picture of our spiritual history. From the Garden of Eden, humanity spread all over the earth. The Tower of Babel story describes the forming of language groups and the further scattering of peoples. And God’s redemptive intent is to gather all nations back from the so-called four corners of the earth. The New Testament will make much of this with Paul’s mission to the Gentiles and the description of a salvation that includes every tribe, tongue, and nation. But it’s present in the Old Testament as well, from God’s words in the Garden to the covenant with Abraham, to many Psalms like this one. God intends to redeem from all the earth.

And this can be seen as an expression of where we started: God’s goodness and God’s lovingkindess. God’s hesed is shown in the breadth of redemption in Jesus Christ. As the angel said to the shepherds, “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people!”

Let’s Say So

So, God is good; God is compassionate and faithful. God’s redemption, God’s salvation, is big and broad. And if you have trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God has redeemed YOU. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!

How has God been good to you?

How have you experienced God’s lovingkindness, His compassion and faithfulness?

One of the beloved hymns of the faith – one of my most-loved hymns – is “Blessed Assurance.” Its refrain is “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long!” In addition to preaching through Psalm 107, which highlights many different ways God interacts with the human story, I am looking for different folks in the coming weeks to share your story and your song – literally. You may choose to share your coming to faith story or a story of how God has shown up at a certain point in your life. You may want to share about how God answered prayer or led you in a certain way. Let’s talk and I can help guide you toward a 3-5 minute mini-testimony of “saying so” about what God has done. You can do it live or we can record it on phone video (even folks at home can do this!). And if you have a special song that ties in to your story – and I hope you will – we’d like to try to incorporate it into the service in some way. Don’t wait for me to ask; reach out and let me know if you’d be willing to be a part of “saying so.”

I’m excited to hear the stories! I think they will remind us that God is with us, God is faithful, and God is good! Amen.

Some Music Used

  • Shout to the North
  • Forever (Give Thanks to the Lord)
  • Blessed Assurance