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Sunday, 15 September 2019

Psalms 116

"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.” (Psa 116:1-2)

During the discourse the Psalmist delights in his situation saying, "Return to your rest, O my soul…" (Psa 116:7). Gone is the burning anxiety, the distressing fear, the tears and the pains of agony. 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" (Psa 116:9). 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! There is not a Christian on earth who should fail to make this pledge his very own.

The Psalmist reaches the climax of the Psalm raising a question to himself: (Psa 116:12) ""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." Here the rescued psalmist asks, "Just what could be appropriate as a gift to God in appreciation for all he has done for me?" It would be well indeed for every Christian to ask himself the same question.

At Passover this psalm is read after the meal immediately following the third cup of wine, called the cup of salvation—a tradition that is followed by Jews. 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" (Psa 116:17), a heart-felt sacrifice which is the real worship. 

Note that the final statement of the psalmist is; "I am Your servant” (Psa 116:16). Then there follows a group of "I will's: "I will offer ... I will call ... I will pay" (Psa 166:17-18). 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.


Thank you Lord Jesus for hearing all my cries

for help which has filled me with gratitude, to love You diligently.

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