“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.”
This is a great hymn of redemption. Simply stated redemption means “to buy back and bring back that which was lost.” It’s like the word “rehabilitation” which in its Latin root means “to invest again with dignity.” The theme of this great psalm is that the great loving heart of God has a passionate desire to redeem and rehabilitate His people. They were once in His possession but He has temporarily lost them.
The people God is redeeming are a global people. They come from every point on the compass. The exhortation of this psalm, which is repeated many times, is that those who have been redeemed of the Lord should step up and say so. This initial exhortation is followed by five stanzas which describe different levels of redemption. After each level is eloquently and graphically described, the theme exhortation of the psalm is repeated like a refrain that the redeemed should thank the Lord for his goodness and His wonderful works in their lives.
As I begin the 80th year of my life I look back over my journey and see in the five stanzas of this hymn a summary of the way God has worked in my life. They fill me with grateful worship. I pray that as you become acquainted with these five graphic descriptions of redemption you will meet yourself in this psalm and then step up and say so.