August 19th Psalm 116
1: 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. 3: 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. 5: Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. 6: The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. 7: 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. 9: I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. 10: I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: 11: I said in my haste, All men are liars. 12: 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. 15: Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. 16: O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. 17: 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.
1: O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. 2: For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.
1: O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. 2: Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. 3: Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. 4: Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever. 5: I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. 6: The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? 7: The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. 8: It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. 9: It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. 10: All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them. 11: They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. 12: They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. 13: Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me. 14: The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. 15: The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. 16: The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. 17: I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. 18: The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death. 19: Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD: 20: This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter. 21: I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. 22: The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. 23: This is the LORD's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. 24: This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. 25: Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. 26: Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD. 27: God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. 28: Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. 29: O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Today we are reading Psalms 116, 117 & 118. Psalm 116 is a hymn of praise to the LORD for his deliverance. It has two verses and before the first, second and third verse and at the end of the psalm, the psalmist declares his resolve to praise the LORD. The first and second verse follow the same pattern speaking of the afflictions of life, the promises of the LORD, prayer and the LORDs goodness to others and to himself. He begins in a most beautiful way saying I love the LORD because he has heard my prayers and he has answered me and therefore I am resolved to pray all my life long. He says when fear of death overcame me and when the pains of the grave took hold of me, I was immersed in trouble and grief. Then I called on the LORD saying O LORD I plead with you to deliver my life. And I found the Lord was kind, righteous and merciful and he preserves those who come to him in simplicity. I was brought very low and he helped me. So I say to myself rest in the LORD because the Lord has given out of his abundant supply to you. The LORD delivered my life from death and my eyes from tears and my feet from slipping. Therefore I will walk confidently before the LORD in the land of the living. I have trusted in the Lord and therefore I can speak with confidence. I was greatly afflicted and I said in haste, that all men are liars. But that was not true. So what shall I give back to the LORD for all that he has given me? I will enjoy the deliverance of the LORD and call on his name and I will render my dues to the Lord in the presence of Israel. The Lord values the death (and life) of those who are holy before him. O LORD I want to be one of your servants, your faithful servants and I am the son of your handmaid that you have delivered. I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and I will call on your name. Then the Psalmist repeats himself and ends with - Praise the Lord. Psalm 117 is the shortest Psalm of only 17 words (in Hebrew). The Psalm begins and ends with Praise to the Lord and then between these statements the Psalmist speaks of his motives for praise, which are, the loving kindness and the truth of the Lord. It is a Psalm that possibly has a Messianic significance in which he calls on all nations and all ethnic groups, to praise the Lord. The reasons he gives are that the merciful kindness of the Lord is very great toward all men and the truth of the LORD will be eternal. Psalm 118 is another famous Psalm - oft repeated. And it is a hymn of praise to the LORD the deliverer of his people. At the beginning and the end the psalmist calls on all men to give thanks to the LORD - Jehovah. Then in between these phrases he gives us a hymn of three verses all of which begin with an acknowledgement of the Lord as, deliverer, strength and saviour. The Psalm is a Messianic Psalm because its focus is on Christ the Messiah of Israel. In the beginning the psalmist calls on all Israel, Aaron and those who fear the Lord, to bring thanksgiving, because the Lord is good and his mercy is eternal. Then in v5 he gives his personal testimony saying I called on the LORD in my time of distress and he answered me and set me in a place with plenty of room. And because the Lord is on my side – What can men do to me? The Lord is on my side and therefore I will see the destruction of my enemies who hate me. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put trust in the generals of the army. Then the Psalmist describes a coming day when the armies of all the earth will converge on Israel he says, all the nations surrounded me but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them all. They come around like a swarm of bees but the smoke of thorns will subdue them. The LORD is the one who gives me strength and he is the subject of my hymns of praise and he has delivered me. All Israel is rejoicing in victory. I will not perish but live to proclaim the works of the LORD. Even though the LORD chastened me sorely yet he delivered me from death. So, open up - gates of righteousness and I will go into Jerusalem and bring praise to the LORD. Then the Psalmist becomes clearer as to whom it is referring. He says the stone which the masons rejected has become the most important stone on the corner and all others are laid in relation to Him. And this is all of the Lords doing and it is marvellous to us. This is the day of rejoicing that the Lord has brought about and we will be glad in this day. Deliver us O LORD and send up prosperity. And may he be blessed who comes in the name of the Lord. This of course is what the crowds sang to Christ when he entered the city of Jerusalem to suffer and they will sing it again when he comes as King to reign. In that day the Lord will bring light to Israel and he will bring in the bullocks and hitch them to the horns of the altar, prior to sacrifice. He ends saying you are my God and I will praise you and exalt you. He calls on all men to join him in bringing thanksgiving to the Lord for his eternal goodness and mercy (Psa 23v6)