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Psalm 107:1-9 1
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, 3 those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. 4 Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. 5 They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. 6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 7 He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. 8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, 9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

Background 2

The psalmist celebrates the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, in his dealings with his church in particular, in psalms 105 and 106. Here, the psalmist observes some of the instances of God’s providential care of the children of men in general, especially in their distresses; for He is not only King of saints, but King of nations, not only the God of Israel, but the God of the whole earth, and a common Father to all mankind. Though this may especially refer to Israelites in their personal capacity, there also those who were not part of the commonwealth of Israel and yet were worshippers of the one true God. Even those who worshipped images had some knowledge of a supreme “Numen,’’ to whom, when they were in earnest, they looked above all their false gods. And of these, when they prayed in their distresses, God took a particular care:

The psalmist specifies some of the most common calamities of human life, and shows how God succours those that labor under them, in answer to their prayers.

  • Banishment and dispersion (v. 2-9). Captivity and imprisonment (v. 10-16). Sickness and distemper of body (v. 17-22). Danger and distress at sea (v. 23-32). These are put for all similar perils, in which those that cry unto God have ever found him a very present help.
  • He specifies the varieties and changes of fortunes concerning nations and families, in all which God’s hand is to be eyed by his own people, with joyful acknowledgments of his goodness (v. 33-43).

When we are in any of these or the like distresses, this psalm brings comfort to us in its application.

Bible Truths and Theology

Verses 1 – 3 We are to thank the LORD for what he has done.

Verses 4 – 9 The LORD gave help to people who were coming home to HIM.

Items for Discussion

  • What is it that you give thanks to God for?
  • In today’s world, what kinds of things does mankind take credit for that probably should be given to God?
  • Why do you think that when safety is a major concern, we are drawn closer to God?
  • This psalm says that when the people cried out for relief, God answered – Why do we have such short memories and forget God’s providence so often?
  • Who else in our lives do we give thanks to? In what ways are these people similar to this story in Psalm 107?

2 Timothy 1:3-10
3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Luke 17:11-19
11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Background 3

At the end of the book of Acts, the apostle Paul was still in prison in Rome. When he came out of prison, he went to Macedonia (1 Timothy 1:3). After that, he travelled to other places. While on these journeys, he wrote the first letter to Timothy. Timothy was then in the city of Ephesus. Timothy was the leader of the church there. Later Paul was again in prison in Rome. It was from there that he wrote this second letter to Timothy. Timothy was still in Ephesus.

Timothy was the son of a Gentile father and a Jewish mother. His mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, both believed the gospel of Christ (2 Timothy 1:5). They and Timothy probably became Christians when Paul first went to the town of Lystra (Acts 14). All the Christians in Lystra and in the church in the town of Iconium said good things about Timothy. When Paul came the second time to Lystra, he asked Timothy to join his team (Acts 16:1-3). Timothy became a close friend and helper of Paul. He went with Paul as he travelled to many places. Then Paul appointed Timothy to lead and look after the church at Ephesus.

In chapter 17 of Luke 4, we have:

  • Some particular discussions which Christ had with his disciples, in which he teaches them to take heed of giving offence, and to forgive the injuries done them (v. 1-4), encourages them to pray for the increase of their faith (v. 5, v. 6), and then teaches them humility, whatever service they had done for God (v. 7-10).
  • His cleansing ten lepers, and the thanks he had from one of them only, and he a Samaritan (v. 11-19).
  • His discussion with his disciples about an enquiry of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should appear (v. 20-37).

Bible Truths and Theology

2 Timothy 1:3-10

When Paul writes a letter, he usually starts by giving thanks to God. Here he expresses his thanks as he thinks of Timothy. Perhaps he is remembering how Timothy had first come to believe in Jesus Christ. He is grateful to God for all that Timothy has meant to him from that time until now. Paul served and worshipped God. In this, he followed what his ancestors had done, as Jews, they had worshipped and served the one true God. He does not regard the worship of God by the Jews as bad, just incomplete because they do not believe in the Lord Jesus.

It was Paul’s habit to always pray to the Lord at night and in the morning for Timothy. Most likely, when Paul last parted from him, Timothy was sad.  As Paul thought about it, he had a strong desire to see Timothy again. It would be a great joy to Paul if they could meet again.

Something had reminded Paul about the kind of faith that Timothy had in the Lord. It was so sincere and real. Paul thanked God that he had given such faith to Timothy. Paul thanked God for all that he had done in Timothy’s life. The thought of Timothy’s faith reminds Paul of Timothy’s family. Both Timothy’s grandmother (Lois) and his mother (Eunice) had the same real faith in God. They put their trust in the Lord before Timothy did. Paul could see that Timothy believed in the Lord Jesus. He believed just as they did. His faith is as genuine as theirs was.

Paul knows that Timothy has a sincere faith. So Paul reminds him to use the gift that God gave him. He thinks about this gift as a fire inside Timothy. He wants Timothy to fan that fire into a flame. Timothy had not used that gift enough. Paul is urging him to be more eager to use it.

When God calls a person to do a task, he makes that person able to do it. Timothy was a quiet and shy man. But God had appointed him to lead the church at Ephesus. So, God gave him all that he needed to do the task. The gift of the Holy Spirit of God would not cause him to be afraid. Instead, it would make him bold. He need not be shy or afraid to use his authority in the church. Paul also says that the gift of the Spirit brings with it the control of our minds. He makes us able to control our thoughts and actions.

God gave to Timothy a gift of power and love and control of the mind like that. So he should tell other people about the Lord. He should not be shy or afraid to do this. Paul does not suggest that Timothy was not doing this. But he wants to encourage him to be bold. He must not be ashamed to confess that he belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ.

He must not be ashamed to say that he is a friend of Paul. Paul calls himself the prisoner of the Lord. He was in prison because he believed in Christ. He was in prison because he served Christ. He was there because God allowed it. Paul served the Lord Jesus and preached the gospel. That is the reason that he suffered.

Timothy must be ready to suffer, as Paul did, for the gospel. In this, he would share with Paul and other Christians and with Christ himself. He can take his share of suffering by the power that God will give him. All who suffer for Christ can depend on God to give them strength. He will give them the strength that they need.

God did not save us because of what we had done. We can do nothing that could earn for us this salvation. God did not choose us because we were good. And he did not choose us because we had done the right things. He saved us because he decided to do so. God in his grace blesses those who do not deserve it. God uses his power on behalf of those who trust in him.

He gave us the benefits of his grace in Christ Jesus. By the Lord Jesus, we can receive the grace of God. It comes to us as we are in union with Christ by faith.

The grace of God, the remedy for our sin, was there in Christ before time began. But until the Lord Jesus came, we failed to see it. Now Christ Jesus has come. He lived on earth as a human being. He died to take away our sins. God raised him from the dead. He has shown us the grace of God. He saves all who will believe in him from their sins. When God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he defeated death for us. This is the good news that Paul and Timothy preached. Those who receive this gospel and give themselves to the Lord will know the grace of God. They will know that God forgives and removes their sins. They will have that new life and be sure of the future life beyond death.

Luke 17:11-19

We have here an account of the cure of ten lepers, which we had not in any other of the apostles. The leprosy was a disease which the Jews supposed to be inflicted for the punishment of some particular sin, and to be, more than other diseases, a mark of God’s displeasure; and therefore Christ, who came to take away sin, and turn away wrath, took particular care to cleanse the lepers that fell in his way. Christ was now in his way to Jerusalem, about the midway, where he had little acquaintance in comparison with what he had either at Jerusalem or in Galilee. He was now in the frontier-country, the marches that lay between Samaria and Galilee. He went that road to find out these lepers, and to cure them.

Observe how the lepers addressed Christ.

Now observe:

They met Christ as he entered into a certain village. They did not stay till he had refreshed himself for some time after the fatigue of his journey, but met him as he entered the town, weary as he was; and yet he did not put them off, nor adjourn their cause.

They stood afar off, knowing that by the law their disease obliged them to keep their distance. A sense of our spiritual leprosy should make us very humble in all our approaches to Christ. Who are we, that we should draw near to him that is infinitely pure? We are impure.

Their request was unanimous, and very importunate (v. 13): They lifted up their voices, being at a distance, and cried, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. those that expect help from Christ must take him for their Master, and be at his command. If he be Master, he will be Jesus, a Savior.

Christ sent them to the priest, to be inspected by him, who was the judge of the leprosy. He did not tell them positively that they should be cured, but said to them go show themselves to the priests, v. 14. This was a trial of their obedience.

Christ took care that it should be observed and the due honour paid to the priests in things pertaining to their function.

As they went, they were cleansed, and so became fit to be looked upon by the priest, and to have a certificate from him that they were clean.

Observe, then we may expect God to meet us with mercy when we are found in the way of duty. If we do what we can, God will not be wanting to do that for us which we cannot.

One of them returned to give thanks, v. 15. When he saw that he was healed, instead of going forward to the priest, to be by him declared clean, and so discharged from his confinement, which was all that the rest aimed at, he turned back towards him who was the Author of his cure, whom he wished to have the glory of it, even before he received the benefit of it.

Items for Discussion

  • What are the benefits of giving thanks to someone about something good that has happened?
  • Who benefits most from giving thanks, you, the provider of the benefit or those who might observe the benefit to you? What are the differences within each group?
  • What is the impact on children when they grow up in a thankful household?
  • What do you think the significance was that a Samaritan was the only one to thank Christ? What would the risks today be within the modern church as told by this example?
  • So what do you see as the relationship between faithfulness and thankfulness?

Discussion Challenge

  • If the gift of eternal life is granted through Christ, then why aren’t more people setting examples of thankfulness?