Psalm 116:1-19 A Psalm Of Thanksgiving By Anonymous
Psalm 116:1-19 Immersed In The Lord
Psalm 116 is another Hallel psalm. It was probably recited after a meal as opposed to Psalms 113-115 which were probably sung before meals.
I love verse 1 so much that I set it to music. I’ve sung it in church. I’ve even taught it to the congregation and we’ve sung it in rounds. It’s perfect for that.
I stopped singing it because in my church start a lady said it sounded weird. I don’t think she had heard medieval music before because I think it sounded kind of ancient. Then I told her that I wrote it. Well, I wrote the music. I obviously had a Librettist. She was embarrassed. But I never sang it again. Some Christians can be very hurtful.
It is a great verse. We should love the Lord because He is the Lord but our fondness definitely increases when He answers our prayers (v. 1)!
We won’t always get answers to prayer that we like but God always answers prayers. Sometimes He says, “Yes.” We like that. Sometimes He says, “No.” We don’t usually like that but we should. He usually answers “no” for our own good and for His glory. Sometimes we just have to wait to get an answer (cf. Ps. 27:14).
Verse 3 echoes Jonah 2:2-5 when he was entangled in seaweed inside the huge fish. It also sounds like Psalm 18:4-6 and Psalm 71:20-21. Just like Jonah, the psalmist cries out to God in his anguish. It’s a shame we wait till we are in agony sometimes to call on the Lord. We should do it everyday.
Many trust the Lord in co-called “foxhole conversions” (v. 5). Those types of conversions are better than not being saved at all. But everything we know about God and His ways is found in the Bible. Those who are truly converted in foxhole-type situations need to go on and learn their Bibles. Sometimes it is much later that they actually seek the things of God. God looks after the “simple,” though (v. 6). We need to understand that when we are “brought low” that it is God Who rescues us (v. 6). It is from God that we truly find rest (v. 7). Saint Augustine said that we really only find rest when we find it in God. (We are all just as much a saint as Augustine was, cf. 1 Cor. 1:2).
We would all be going astray if God didn’t seek us out (v. 8, cf. Isa. 53:6). After we are saved, we need to live a life that reflects what God has done for us (v. 9, cf. Rom. 6:4; 7:6, see Getting Off Square One on three phases of salvation).
When we get to the end of our rope, we cry out to God (v. 10). God will give us a better prognosis than men will (v. 11). I just got news that an acquaintance got a job at the Pentagon. He was told his life was basically over after a routine operation left him without basic functions. Good thing he didn’t listen. I was told that I would have to live basically as a zombie after my six bypasses. I keep fighting and after ten years have a lot of my energy back. Sometimes God just wants us to fight!
What should we give back to the Lord for all He has done for us (v. 12)? We can tell others what He has done and “lift up the cup of salvation” (v. 13)!
Old Testament vows were a thing unto themselves (v. 14, 18). There are all kinds of rules in the OT about them. Don’t believe the televangelists’ theology on them. Research it your own self! Today we should owe no one anything but love (cf. Rom. 13:8). If you want to fulfill a vow to the Lord today, obey Him (cf. 1 John 2:3-4). Those around you will notice if you are obeying the Lord and it will give Him glory (v. 14b).
A person who dies in the Lord has a life that is a witness to Him at their funeral (v. 15). God is glad to be getting them back.
When we serve the Lord, then we are truly free. Notice in John 8:32 that the truth will set us free but that is dependent upon us “continuing” in His Word (John 8:31)!
Obedience to the Lord is better than sacrifice (v. 17, cf. 1 Sam. 15:22). But we can always sacrifice by praising and thanking the Lord (cf. Heb. 13:15).
The psalmist enjoyed giving God glory in the public place of worship (v. 19). You can do that today by just showing up in church. But there are other ways as well. Baptism is one. The purpose of baptism by immersion is to make a public witness of your faith in Christ. It does not save you. It does help to sanctify you. Have you been baptized (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38, 41)? More importantly, are you immersed in the Lord?
Proverbs 15:20-21 A Ma That’s A Barker
A wise son makes his father proud (v. 20a). So does a good daughter but this is Hebrew parallelism so it’s implied.
A dumb son embarrasses his mother unless she’s Ma Barker (v. 20b). Something got really twisted there.
Some kids just ain’t got no sense and they like it (v. 21a). Astute children get good things accomplished in life (v. 21b).