Sunday, 14 May 2023
"What shall I render to the LORD For all His benefits toward me?
I will take up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the LORD." -Psalm 116:12,13
This is one of the Passover Psalms and is a thanksgiving for deliverance from death. The joy and excitement in the heart of the Psalmist is so overwhelming on the realization that God, the very Creator of the universe, heard the cry and answered the prayer and supplication of a feeble and distressed one. Therefore, he starts with a strong statement, "I love the Lord, because He has heard My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.” (Vs.1-2)
During the discourse the Psalmist delights in his situation saying, "Return to your rest, O my soul…" (V.7). Gone is the burning anxiety, the distressing fear, the tears and the pains of agony. His trust in the LORD has delivered him from great affliction. A great restfulness has healed him of all of his troubles; "The Lord had dealt bountifully" with him.
Then he makes a vow: "I will walk before Lord in the land of the living" (V.9). This is a pledge to walk "uprightly" before God out of gratitude for his gracious healing and deliverance from death. If this being appropriate for such a deliverance, how much more true it should be for the one who has been redeemed from "eternal death" in the forgiveness of his sins through our Lord Jesus Christ! Every Christian on earth should make this pledge his very own.
The Psalmist reaches the climax of the Psalm raising a question to himself: (V12) "What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me? He himself found the answer: “I will take up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord Now in the presence of all His people." At the Passover tradition of the Jews, this psalm was read after the meal immediately following the third cup of wine, called the “cup of salvation.” For us today, it points to Christ who has brought us salvation in the New Covenant of His shed blood which we celebrate at the Lord’s Table. The pledge of the healed psalmist here is that he shall engage in a ceremony of thanksgiving in the Temple before all the people. "I will offer You the sacrifice of thanksgiving" (V.17), a heart-felt sacrifice which is the real worship to the LORD who delivered him.
Note that the final statement of the psalmist is; "I am Your servant” (V16). Then there follows a group of "I will's: "I will offer ... I will call ... I will pay" (Vs.17-18)—his determination to be faithful to God.
Just like the Psalmist did can we ask ourselves: "Just what could be appropriate as a gift to God in appreciation for all He has done for me?" Isn’t it to love and serve Him? There are three great reasons why men should love and serve God:
· because of who we are, His servants, purchased with the blood of Christ;
· because of all the wonderful benefits that He has conferred upon us
· because we have promised so to do, in a sense, vowed to serve Him.
Prayer: Thank you Lord Jesus for hearing all my cries for help which has filled me with gratitude, to love You diligently. Help me to walk uprightly before You in the land of the living. Amen.