Psalm 116:1-2 (NIV)
I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.
We have another Psalm to engage our thoughts today…. This Psalm was written by a faithful follower facing death (Verse 3). He explains his thought processes on how to deal with this situation. First of all, he affirms his love of God and why he loves Him. “I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy.” And then the Psalmist affirms his faith: “Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.” Let’s look at the larger context:
Psalm 116 (NIV)
1 I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!”
5 The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
6 The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, He saved me.
7 Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
8 For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
10 I trusted in the Lord when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”; 11 in my alarm I said, “Everyone is a liar.”
12 What shall I return to the Lord for all His goodness to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, Lord; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.
17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord— in your midst, Jerusalem. Praise the Lord.
The inspired writer was in great distress and sorrow as he faced the thought and reality of the grave. I think there is something here for us to ponder as we face our own mortality and the challenging days ahead of us. When we feel overwhelmed, fearful, and anxious … when we come into circumstances and situations where we despair of life … this Psalm reminds us that the Lord hears our cries for help and mercy. The Psalmist affirms The Lord is gracious and righteous and full of compassion. The Lord protects us even from the unknown. We can rest completely in Him! He delivers us from the fears of death … from the sorrows of life … from the paths of sin. So what shall we return to the Lord for all His goodness to us?
Lift up the cup of salvation He has given us in Christ Jesus.
Call upon the name of the Lord.
Fulfill our oaths and promises to the Lord.
Serve the Lord with all of our hearts.
Offer the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving.
Heavenly Father, we thank you this morning that you hear our voices … that you hear our cries for help … when we become overwhelmed in our thoughts, anxieties, and fears. We love you because you listen and move to quiet our souls and to give us assurance that you are ever present in times of trouble. So we call on you for deliverance and strength when we become weary. We thank you because you are gracious, righteous, and full of love and compassion for us. You are our song! You are our praise! And we shall call upon your name all the days of our lives! So we shall serve you with all of our hearts. We will fulfill our desires to live according to your Word. These are our offerings to you, O God. In the name of our Savior Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.