Context: The Lord is to be praised, proclaims the psalmist, because He has led the redeemed from the privation of their desert wanderings to live in a city; because He has delivered the prisoners, who had rebelled against Him, from the bondage of their gloom; because He has healed those who called to Him when they were beset with illness and fear of death; and because He has calmed the stormy waters that imperil the seamen. The stanza describing the sea illustrates the strength of this poem of praise:
They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up and the waves thereof.
They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.
Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.