“Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters, they
see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. For He commands and
raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea. They mount up to
the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of
trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their
wits’ end” (Psalm 107:23-27).
In this psalm, the place referred to as “wits’ end” is a ship’s deck in a
storm-tossed sea. Giant waves carry the ship up to the heavens and then drop it
down to the depths. Powerful winds toss it back and forth so that none of the
sailors can find their “sea legs.” They stagger across the deck like drunken
The ship’s sails are tattered and ripped, and wave after powerful wave crashes
onto the deck. The sailors have to struggle just to hold on. It appears to be
all over for them, and they are in total despair. They are
helpless—vulnerable to the power of the elements, unable to stop the storm,
powerless to save themselves.
These sailors have come to a place called “wits’ end.” This condition
afflicts all Christians at one time or another. It simply means, “Having lost
or exhausted any possibility of perceiving or thinking of a way out.” In short,
there is no escape—no help, no deliverance—other than in God Himself!
“Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of
their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they
are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven”
When did the storm stop for the sailors in Psalm 107? When did God bring them
into their desired safe haven?
First, the sailors came to their wits’ end, giving up on all human hope or
help. They said, “There is no way we can save ourselves. Nobody on earth can
get us out of this!”
Second, they cried to the Lord in the midst of their trouble—turning