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Bible Reading: Psalm 116

Psalm 116
I love the Lord, because He hears My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live. The cords of death encompassed me And the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I beseech You, save my life!”  Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate. The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have rescued my soul from death, My eyes from tears, My feet from stumbling. I shall walk before the Lord In the land of the living. I believed when I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” I said in my alarm, “All men are liars.”  What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me? I shall lift up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of the Lord. I shall pay my vows to the Lord, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people. Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones. O Lord, surely I am Your servant, I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid, You have loosed my bonds. To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And call upon the name of the Lord. I shall pay my vows to the Lord, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people, In the courts of the Lord’s house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!

Death is an enemy.  I remember as a young boy being a afraid of death and hell.  I would have vivid dreams of dying and the consequence of hell.  I remember one night at a retreat that our church was on being awaken in the early morning hours by a dream of me dangling on a rope over fire.  God definitely used those dreams to waken my soul to my need of salvation.

The psalmist was evidently very close to death as he pictured it as reaching out to him with cords and almost trapping him much like a hunter snares an animal.  We he found himself in this fearful circumstance he called out to the Lord for salvation.  The Lord answered him.  Therefore, the psalmist praises the Lord for His grace and righteousness.  The psalmist declares that he loves the Lord for God hears his voice and requests.  As a result, the psalmist will continue to call on the name of the Lord for deliverance and help.

The psalmist praises God thanking Him throughout the psalm, but I love verse 7 as he preaches to himself.  I think this is a great discipline.  We should be speaking the truth of God in love to ourselves.  The psalmist tells his soul “to rest” because of God’s gracious dealings with him in rescuing his soul from death, his eyes from tears and his feet from stumbling.  As a result of God’s grace, the psalmist will walk in obedience (v. 9) and continue to thank the Lord for His salvation (vv.12-19).

God saves people from physical death at times, but He ultimately desires that all men be saved from the second death which is eternal death in hell.  We need deliverance from this enemy.  The psalmist declares, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.”  This is so, because truly for the godly, the Christian, it is not death to die.  Instead it is truly freedom as we are ushered into the presence of our Savior forever.  Do you know such deliverance?  If so, thank the Lord praising Him for His salvation and walk in obedience.  If not, trust in Jesus as your Savior for He alone saves (Romans 10.9; 2 Corinthians 5.21).

Weekly Memory Verse:  Praise the Lord, all nations; laud Him, all peoples! For His lovingkindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord! Psalm 117.1-2