The Psalm of thanksgiving that is Ps 107 can be analysed as follows:
V1-3 - Introduction
Refrain (V1), "Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His loving devotion endures forever."
V4-9 - Stanza about Desert Wastelands
V8 has the refrain, "Let them give thanks to the LORD for His loving devotion and His wonders to the sons of men."
V10-16 - Stanza about "darkness and in the shadow of death"
V15 has the refrain, "Let them give thanks to the LORD for His loving devotion and His wonders to the sons of men."
V17-22 - Stanza about "Fools, in their rebellious ways"
V21 has the refrain, "Let them give thanks to the LORD for His loving devotion and His wonders to the sons of men."
V23-32 - Stanza about Those who go out to the sea in ships
V31 has the refrain, "Let them give thanks to the LORD for His loving devotion and His wonders to the sons of men."
V33-43 - Concluding Anthem of praise
In the Stanza about "Fools in their rebellious ways", we have a developmental sequence consisting of the following steps outlined in V17, 18:
- V17 - Fools, (1) in their rebellious ways, and (2) through their iniquities, (3) suffered affliction.
- V18 - They [ie, the fools] (4) loathed all food [because they had made themselves so sick] and (5) drew near to the gates of death.
Then in the next two verse we also have God's remedy, namely,
19 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. 20 He sent forth His word and healed
them; He rescued them from the Pit.
Ellicott comments on V18 as follows:
(18) Soul.—The Hebrew word for soul is very commonly used for strong
appetite (see Psalm 107:9), so that we might paraphrase,” their
appetite is turned to loathing.” Comp. this verse with Job 33:20.
Matthew Henry also observes:
107:17-22 If we knew no sin, we should know no sickness. Sinners are
fools. They hurt their bodily health by intemperance, and endanger
their lives by indulging their appetites. This their way is their
folly. The weakness of the body is the effect of sickness. It is by
the power and mercy of God that we are recovered from sickness, and it
is our duty to be thankful. All Christ's miraculous cures were emblems
of his healing diseases of the soul. It is also to be applied to the
spiritual cures which the Spirit of grace works. He sends his word,
and heals souls; convinces, converts them, makes them holy, and all by
the word. Even in common cases of recovery from sickness, God in his
providence speaks, and it is done; by his word and Spirit the soul is
restored to health and holiness.
Similarly, Gill observes:
Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat,.... Not only bread and common
food, but dainty meat, the most delicious fare, Job 33:20, in which
they most delighted in time of health, and too much indulged
themselves in; and by that means brought diseases upon them, which
caused this loathing in them, as is common. Thus to those who are
distempered with sin, whose taste is not changed, nor can it discern
perverse things, the word of God, the Gospel of Christ, which is
delicious food, is not relished by them; the doctrines of it are
insipid things, they loath them as light bread, as the Israelites did
Thus, "food" in V18 appears to be used quite literally.