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Psalm 107:19-21 & meaning...


they cry to Yahweh in their trouble, he saves them out of their distresses. He sends his word, and heals them, and delivers them from their graves. Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness, for his wonderful deeds to the children of men!

Psalm 107:19-21


Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness,

   for his wonderful deeds to the children of men!

For he has broken the gates of brass,

   and cut through bars of iron.

Fools are afflicted because of their disobedience,

   and because of their iniquities.

Their soul abhors all kinds of food.

   They draw near to the gates of death.

Then they cry to Yahweh in their trouble,

   he saves them out of their distresses.

Psalm 107 [20.] He sends his word, and heals them,

   and delivers them from their graves.

Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness,

   for his wonderful deeds to the children of men!

Let them offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving,

   and declare his deeds with singing.


These verses offer a powerful message of divine intervention and healing. They reveal the heart of God in responding to human distress, the efficacy of His word in bringing about healing, and the appropriate response of gratitude and praise from those who have experienced His deliverance. 

Psalm 107 is a psalm of thanksgiving, celebrating God's steadfast love and mighty acts of deliverance. The psalm recounts various scenarios in which people find themselves in dire situations, cry out to God, and experience His saving intervention. Verses 19-21 focus on one such scenario, emphasizing God's response to human cries for help and the subsequent call to praise Him for His kindness and wonderful works.

  • Crying Out to Yahweh

Human Distress: “Then they cry to Yahweh in their trouble, he saves them out of their distresses.”

Recognition of Need: This verse highlights the moment when people, recognizing their desperate situation, cry out to God. It speaks to the universal human experience of facing trouble and the instinctive response to seek divine help.

God's Response: The immediate response of Yahweh to their cry underscores His readiness and willingness to save. It emphasizes that God is attentive to our prayers and responsive to our needs.

  • The Power of God's Word

Divine Healing and Deliverance: “He sends his word, and heals them, and delivers them from their graves.”

The Efficacy of God's Word: God’s word is powerful and effective. When He sends His word, it accomplishes His purposes. In this context, His word brings healing and deliverance. This reflects the creative and restorative power of God's word, as seen in Genesis 1 where God speaks creation into existence.

Healing and Resurrection: The healing referred to here can be both physical and spiritual. Moreover, "delivers them from their graves" suggests a rescue from death, which can be understood both literally and metaphorically. God’s intervention can bring people back from the brink of physical death, but it can also signify a spiritual resurrection, bringing new life to those who were spiritually dead.

  • Response of Praise

Gratitude and Worship: “Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness, for his wonderful deeds to the children of men!”

Recognition of God's Mercy: The appropriate response to God’s saving acts is praise. The psalmist calls people to acknowledge Yahweh’s loving kindness (chesed), a term that denotes His steadfast, covenantal love and mercy.

Celebrating God's Deeds: The “wonderful deeds” refer to the tangible acts of deliverance and healing experienced by those who cried out to Him. Praising God for these deeds helps to reinforce our awareness of His active presence and power in our lives.

  • Theological Implications

God's Readiness to Save: This passage affirms that God is always ready to respond to our cries for help. He is a compassionate and attentive Father who hears and acts when His children are in distress. This is a consistent theme throughout Scripture, seen in verses like Psalm 34:17, “The righteous cry, and Yahweh hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.”

The Healing Power of God's Word: God's word is not just informative but transformative. It has the power to heal, restore, and bring life. Hebrews 4:12 echoes this by describing the word of God as “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.”

The Importance of Gratitude: The response of praise and thanksgiving is crucial. Recognizing and celebrating God’s deeds in our lives helps to cultivate a heart of gratitude and reinforces our trust in His ongoing faithfulness.

Practical Applications

Turning to God in Trouble: These verses encourage us to turn to God in our times of trouble. Rather than relying solely on our own strength or other resources, we are reminded to cry out to Yahweh, trusting in His power to save and deliver.

Trusting in God's Word: We are called to trust in the power and efficacy of God's word. Engaging with Scripture through reading, meditation, and application allows us to experience its healing and restorative power in our lives.

Living a Life of Praise: Developing a habit of gratitude and praise is essential. We should regularly recount and celebrate God's acts of kindness and deliverance in our lives, fostering a deeper sense of appreciation and reliance on His steadfast love.


Psalm 30:2: “Yahweh, my God, I cried to you, and you have healed me.” This verse echoes the theme of crying out to God and experiencing His healing, reinforcing the message of Psalm 107:19-21.

Isaiah 55:11: “So is my word that goes out of my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” This reinforces the concept of the power and effectiveness of God’s word.

James 5:15: “The prayer of faith will heal him who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” This New Testament verse reflects the power of prayer and God’s response to cries for help, similar to the themes in Psalm 107:19-21.

Conclusion: Psalm 107:19-21 is a powerful testament to God's readiness to respond to our cries for help, the healing and delivering power of His word, and the importance of responding with gratitude and praise. These verses remind us of God's attentive and compassionate nature, His ability to bring about physical and spiritual healing, and our role in recognizing and celebrating His wonderful deeds. As we internalize these truths, we are encouraged to turn to God in our times of need, trust in His word, and live lives marked by continual praise and thanksgiving for His steadfast love and faithfulness.

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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