Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 116-117

Psalm 116

1I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
2Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
3The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
4Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
5Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
6The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
7Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
8For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
9I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
10I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
11I said in my haste, All men are liars.
12What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
13I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
14I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
15Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
16O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.
17I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.
18I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.

19In the courts of the LORD's house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the

Psalm 117

1O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.

2For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

Chapter 116

I didn't live a life of being under God's wrath before I became a Christian, so I'll reflect on this chapter from the perspective of my darkest moment.

I was glad that He heard my voice when I cried to Him (v. 1). One is the reasons I love God is because He provides for me and because He's always there for me. I expressed my love and thanks to Him when my relationship with Him was a renewed as a result of His hearing my voice simply by saying that I loved Him and was thankful that He helped me out. I will continue to call upon Him (v. 2), which doesn't necessarily have to be in times of trouble. If I need help or guidance with an issue in life, more often than not, I will seek the Lord's help and ask Him about it. It kinda makes me imagine a situation where I'm starting to getting a know a (Christian) girl that I'm considering to be in a relationship with and how I would ask God about that and put it in prayer. I don't feel that would be a decision where I wouldn't consult the Lord because if I don't ask Him, I could be setting myself up for something that isn't fulfilling and for something that doesn't last long. God's guidance is unparalleled and I'd rather trust in Him than in myself or any man because He would (already) know whether or not the relationship would work out. I know that affection and the desire for it can draw me in, but I'd hate to go into a relationship with a godly lady without any foresight or whatever. Moving on, I remember feeling pain and sorrow in my darkest moment (v. 3). I imagine that was when the enemy was trying to get me to believe his lies and draw me away from God, which made me wanna hurt myself. In the midst of all that pain, I did call upon Him (v. 4) so He would deliver me. He did and His righteousness and grace were displayed by that (v. 5). What I mean by that is that I knew could rely on Him to help me even though I didn't do anything to deserve that. However, He helped me out as an expression of His love. "I was brought low" (v. 6) descibes how I felt before God helped me because I remember being in great need of His help, which He provided. Before my soul at rest (v. 7), it was chaotic as the enemy tried to get me over to his side, but God did work in me -- which I'm not sure how I'd describe -- in order for my soul to return to rest. As a result of that, I became at peace with Him and wanted to (continue) to do great things for His kingdom. I'm not sure if if I cried or if I fell during my darkest moment (v. 8), but do I know that by being freed from the enemy's grip, God helped me to avoid those things. I did end up walking in the land of the living afterwards (v. 9), which means to me that I was able to enjoy life with the enemy attacking me and that I was able to associate with others without feeling like they were gonna bring up my mistakes. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verses 10-11, but I do remember feeling afflicted. In the midst of my darkest moment, what caused me to turn to the Lord was His goodness and blessings towards me (vv. 12-13). I knew that since the Lord was good to me before, He wouldn't stop being good to me. He displayed His goodness to me by dealing with the enemy and bringing me back to Him. I knew that in order for the Lord to display His goodness to me by freeing me from my darkest moment, I had to call upon Him (v. 14). If I were to die, I would be with Him, which is what verse 15 means to me. Whenever God wants to take me, that would be fine with me because I'd be with Him. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 16, but what I will say is that since I am His servant, He will free me from any bonds I may be dealing with, which is encouraging. I don't have much to say about the last few verses, but I do like Matthew Henry's comments on them, "Doing good is sacrifice, with which God is well pleased; and this must accompany giving thanks to his name. Why should we offer that to the Lord which cost us nothing? The psalmist will pay his vows now; he will not delay the payment: publicly, not to make a boast, but to show he is not ashamed of God's service, and to invite others to join him. Such are true saints of God, in whose lives and deaths he will be glorified."

Chapter 117

Yeah, the shortest chapter in the Bible, so I'll reflect on it in terms of what I get out of it. What the chapter means to me as a whole is that it gives (God's) people the praise the Lord. His merciful kindness (or love) is unmatched and it's displayed when He works in the lives of His people by freeing them from addictions, providing them with a place to live, helping them overcome sin, and helping them to make crucial decisions just to name a few. And when I find out about what God has done in or is currently doing in the lives of fellow believers, I can take part in praising Him, which is cool. What "the truth of the LORD endureth for ever" means to me is that His truth will never go away. I find on a constant basis truth in His Word and I am thankful that I can use His truth as my foundation. It guides and directs me to where God wants me, which means I'll never end up feeling misled. And even though Bibles may be burned and all that, I take the time to memorize scripture so that I can use God's encouraging and enduring truth to help me out if there's ever an instance when I have my Bible taken away from me.

                                              Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 116". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

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