I. Read Psalm 116.
I love the Lord, because He hears
My voice and my supplications.
2 Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death encompassed me
And the terrors of Sheol came upon me;
I found distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I beseech You, save my life!”
5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
Yes, our God is compassionate.
6 The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.
7 Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
8 For You have rescued my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
My feet from stumbling.
9 I shall walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.
10 I believed when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted.”
11 I said in my alarm,
“All men are liars.”
12 What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me?
13 I shall lift up the cup of salvation
And call upon the name of the Lord.
14 I shall pay my vows to the Lord,
Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His godly ones.
16 O Lord, surely I am Your servant,
I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid,
You have loosed my bonds.
17 To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And call upon the name of the Lord.
18 I shall pay my vows to the Lord,
Oh may it be in the presence of all His people,
19 In the courts of the Lord’s house,
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!
Introduction – Psalm 116 is a deliverance Psalm which is cited in the New Testament in several places (2Cor. 4; Rom. 3). It’s shape is very Messianic. It pictures the righteous man who loves the Covenant Lord (Yahweh) and calls out to Him. This man is trapped, snared in death, but he calls for God to save him and deliverance comes. This Psalm includes a beautiful verse regarding the death of believers: “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones.” In light of his deliverance he asks, how can I repay the Lord? But of course there is no repayment of grace or else it is not grace at all, it is “works.” The answer shows the true nature of delighting in the Lord. He will delight in the cup of salvation. He will give thanks with joy in the presence of the people of God. Christ was encompassed by death and evil men, but was delivered through resurrection and lifted up the cup of salvation on the first day of the week. For the original setting, paying a vow with a thanksgiving sacrifice included an offering of an animal, then a sacrificial meal which was a way to celebrate God’s goodness. In this rite, the sacrificial animal(s) must be eaten on the same day (Lev. 7:15). This implies (given the amount of food) that it required family, friends, and even the poor, to participate in this celebratory meal. Christ began a meal of thanksgiving prior to his death and after he was raised he ate and drank with his disciples (Acts 10:41). The meal he established is often called the Eucharist (from the Greek word for “thanksgiving”). After God’s full and complete deliverance in Christ, we are to celebrate the feast with thanksgiving. How do we repay the Lord for our salvation? We cannot repay Him; we can only rejoice and give thanks in His presence, lifting with joy the cup of salvation. Deliverance leads to joy in celebration.
In your own words, respond to the questions:
- Consider the many occasions God has given you temporal deliverance, safety, healing, restoration, keeping you out of trouble, etc. Give thanks to the Lord for a few of these.
- Beyond temporal safety, meditate on the full deliverance you have in Christ. List some of the benefits of the work of Christ for you.
- When you realize the deliverance you have in Christ, what are some ways you can respond with joy and thanksgiving?
- This week how can you lift up the cup in joy in your daily walk? How can you “pay the vow” of a thanksgiving offering with your family, friends and the needy, extending the Table of thanksgiving?
II. Pray Psalm 116. Write out a short prayer expressing your response to this Psalm.
III. Sing Psalm 116. Worship by expressing your soul through music.