Psalms 116:1



The Bible says in Psalm 116:1-2, “I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.[2] Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.” One of the great benefits of being a Christian is that the Lord promises to answer our prayers. Jesus said in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” Of course, there are many promises of answered prayer in the Bible. One of the good ones from the Old Testament is Jeremiah 33:3 that says, “Call on me and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things that thou knowest not.” It is so wonderful that God answers our prayers that the Psalmist says, “I love the Lord.” One of the reasons to love the Lord, and there are many reasons, is because He hears and answers out prayers. Notice that it says in verse two that God “hath inclined his ear unto me.” God listens more than we pray. He is always listening. Is ear is bent towards us waiting for more words to go from our heart to His ear. Do not disappoint Him. Hopefully, you are just as determined as the Psalmist who said, “I call upon him as long as I live.”


The Bible says in Psalm 116:3-4, “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.[4] Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.” Life can be hard, very hard. There are sorrows, heartaches, troubles, dangers, sicknesses, enemies, and much more that can afflict anyone at any time. Remember Job. In verse three the Psalmist mentions four negative things: “The sorrows of death,” “the pains of hell,” “trouble,” and “sorrow.” When faced with the worse things in life, what should we do? Some people get angry, some people try to buy their way out or find a way to escape, and some people get a hard heart and blame the Lord and turn away from Him. The Christian does the same thing as the Psalmist: turns to the Lord and Jesus and prays, “O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.”


The Bible says in Psalm 116:5, “Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.” There are three words used to describe God in this verse, and therefore these words describe Jesus also. He is gracious, righteous, and merciful. The word “gracious” refers to the fact that God is a giver. He gives life, He gives eternal life, and He gives all good things. And He gives us His gifts even when we do not deserve them. Salvation is a free gift. Ephesians 2:89 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Knowing this verse and many others like it, how can anyone think that their own good works will help to get them into heaven? It is entirely a free gift. God is a great giver of good things. Concerning your life on this earth, as you look to the future, what do you think is going to happen to you? A lot of good things are going to happen to you because God is gracious. He gives us good things continually even when we do not deserve them, and we usually do not. You can expect that because of who God is.


God is gracious, and He is also righteous. That means that God always does the right thing. He has a plan. He knows the end from the beginning. Whatever happens, that is God doing and allowing the right thing. It all fits into His plan, and His plan is a good plan. That is why Romans 8:28 is true: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God and to them that are the called according to His purpose.” It may be difficult to see that now, but we will see it one day, when we know even as now we are known.


God is good, but we are not good. We are sinners. How will the righteous God deal with us? He is a righteous Judge, and a righteous judge must punish sin. God is not only righteous, but He is also “merciful.” That is why Jesus came to the earth: to die for sin, so that He could be both righteous and merciful. Mercy means that you do not get what you deserve. Whatever sins you have, Jesus can forgive. Turn to Him while there is opportunity to know His mercy. The judgment is coming.


The Bible says in Psalm 116:6, “The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.” The word “simple” refers to those who are naοve, but naοve in the good way. The good way of being naοve means that you are straightforward, unsophisticated and ready to believe what you hear. Of course, we mean that you are ready to believe what you hear from God, but not necessarily from man. The Psalmist said, “I was brought low, and he helped me.” If we are brought low because of what happens to us in life, it is God that does it. One reason this can happen is that some people will only look up when they find themselves far enough down or even flat on their backs. Also, God has His reasons that we do not know or understand. One thing is for sure, God will always help us no matter what situation we are in or how we got there, whether our own fault or someone else’s fault.


The Bible says in Psalm 116:7-8, “Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.[8] For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” In verse seven the Psalmist calls the Lord his  “rest.” Jesus is the only true rest that you will ever find for your soul. Jesus said, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” People live in turmoil and worry and trouble and guilt. What is the only lasting solution for anyone: Jesus. Jesus can give you rest, and bountifully. He is the great Giver. He is the Prince of Peace. Notice the three things that the Psalmist says that he is delivered from: death, tears, and falling. Death is the greatest enemy of mankind. Life is so very short. No matter how well things work out for you in this life, your life is going to end, and you will take nothing with you. That is a problem. Who can deliver you from such a terrible future event that you cannot avoid: only Jesus. But until the day that you leave the earth comes upon you, you have a life to live, and one of the realities of life is “tears.” You will have your sorrows and disappointments. You will have your share of heartaches. Everyone does. What do you do with your tears? Hopefully, you take them to Jesus. He can comfort any sorrow. That is one of the many benefits of being a Christian. Put your faith in the Lord because He has a reason for everything.


The Lord can also keep you from falling. The goal of life is to trust ion Jesus as your Savior and then to grow in Christ and to continue a life of faith in Him. Some people fall away from a life of faith. It might be more accurate to say that many people fall away from a life of faith. That would be a disaster. The Apostle Paul came to the end of his life and he said in Second Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” The greatest goal of life is to be able to say that at the end of your life. Trust in Jesus each day and you be at the same place as Paul one day and will be able to say the same thing.  


The Bible says in Psalm 116:9, “I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.” It will help to be determined to keep serving the Lord Jesus in this life. Walk with God on your mind. Walk with Jesus at your side. Walk with a heart open to the leading of the Spirit. To do that, you must be determined to do it.


The Bible says in Psalm 116:10, “I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:” This is the normal order of events for people who get saved through faith in Christ. First you believe, and then you start talking about your belief in Christ Jesus, and then you suffer some persecution or affliction or spiritual attack because of your belief and because of speaking about your belief.


Be careful. Do not interpret the attacks against you in the wrong way. People are not your enemies. The goal is to reach them. Pray for them because they are in darkness. But do not focus on people and their issues and their sins against you. It says in Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”


The Psalmist had the wrong reaction initially to what he was suffering for being a Christian. He said in Psalm 116:11, “I said in my haste, All men are liars.” If you focus on people, you will see all their sins and errors, and it can be ugly. The answer to that is: do not focus on people, focus on the Lord; and that is what the Psalmist did starting in the next verse.


The Bible says in Psalm 116:12-14, “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?[13] I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.[14] I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.” You can look at all the bad things that people do, or you can look at all the good things that God does. In verse twelve the Psalmist mentions “benefits” from the Lord. How many benefits are there for believing in Christ? There are too many to count or to mention. The most important benefit of knowing Christ as Savior is found in verse thirteen: “salvation.” There is nothing more important than going to heaven. The alternative place will be very hot and unpleasant to say the least, and we are talking forever.


Once you have salvation, you can start enjoying another benefit of being a believer in Jesus: prayer. You can now “call upon the name of the LORD.” You have the power of prayer at your disposal. Also, there may be some people in this world who do not want to hear what you have to say, but other believers want to hear it and need to hear it. And so the Psalmist says in verse fourteen, “I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.” Another benefit of being a believer is that you can go to church and have fellowship with other Christians. That can be a little precursor to being in heaven.


The Bible says in Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Many people will say that death is a terrible thing, and from a human standpoint maybe that is true. Why would God view “the death of his saints” as something that is precious? If you love someone, you cannot wait until they are home. Death is a home-coming for a believer. God loves us so much that He is looking forward to when we come home. Right now we are on a mission: the mission that God has given to each of us on this earth. But God really wants us in heaven, and if you know Jesus as Savior, God is looking forward to taking you to heaven.    


The Bible says in Psalm 116:16, “O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.” Twice the Psalmist says, “I am thy servant.” And then at the end of the verse he says to God, “thou hast loosed my bonds.” We are servants to sin up until we come to know Christ as our Savior, then we become servants to the Lord. Everyone serves someone or some thing. Whom will you serve? Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Notice in verse sixteen the Psalmist identifies himself as “the son of thine handmaid.” He mentions his mother as a servant of God. Part of the reason that the Psalmist came to know the Lord is due tp his mother. Just as in the case with Joshua, parents can have a great influence on their children’s beliefs. If the parents are filled with the Spirit, and if the parents have wisdom on how to teach the scriptures, their children can benefit immensely. There was a time when even unbelieving parents knew the value of Bible teaching for their children, and they would send their children to church to hear the Word and the Gospel. That time is fast departing. May God have mercy on the next generations.


The Bible says in Psalm 116:17-19, “I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.[18] I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people,[19] In the courts of the LORD's house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.” In these verses the Psalmist mentions thanksgiving before “calling upon the name of the LORD.” It is ok to pray, and all of your prayer simply being thanksgiving to God for what He has already done. In verse eighteen the Psalmist said, “I will pay my vows unto the LORD.” We can look at a vow as a promise and a commitment. Do people make promises to God and then break those promises? Maybe some people do, but not this Psalmist. He was determined to do what he had committed himself to do. He did want to be a quitter. He did want to go back. He did not want to be a failure, spiritually speaking. He wanted to finish the job. He wanted to be a man of his word.


In verse seventeen the Psalmist mentioned “the presence of all his people,” and in verse eighteen he mentioned “the courts of the LORD's house.” Seek out God’s people and where they meet. It is called a church, a Bible believing church. It says in Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”    




Copyright; 2020 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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