Daily Family Worship

Psalm 116: The Salvation Psalm

by | Jun 20, 2024

psalm 116

This is a Psalm of thanksgiving and rejoicing, in which the Psalmist renders the Lord gratitude after coming out of a heavy trial. He praises God for delivering him from the terrors of death, and from the pains of hell; for by such terms, he expresses deep and heavy spiritual temptations. He complains that he suffered these things, and was thus overwhelmed (and almost destroyed) by these heavy trials, because of his confession of his faith and the truth of God before the world. “I believed,” says he, “and therefore have I spoken” – but he was heavily afflicted for the Word’s sake. The Lord’s people confess and teach the righteousness of faith; and by so doing, they also expose and condemn all the so-called righteousness and wisdom and holiness of the world, and also all hypocrisy and external ritualism. And the world will by no means endure this! They always rage and roar against it; they load the Godly ones with every kind of persecution, because of their unpopular stand that they take. And hence arise all those terrors without and fears within, by which the Church of the Lord Jesus has always been afflicted from the kingdom of the devil – in the midst of which, their confession of faith is made.

However, amidst all these great and numerous afflictions of Satan and the world, the Psalmist has the firm consolation that his work and cause are right before God; and therefore, he comforts and encourages himself by relying upon and strengthening himself in the Word of God. “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord” (verses 12-13). See how he wisely leaves off fretting about man’s falsehood and persecution, and directs himself to his God! The Lord has rendered so much mercy to us; we ought to look around us and within us, and see what can be done to manifest our gratitude to Him. With holy ingenuity, we should endeavor to search out various ways by which we may render fresh praises unto our God. His benefits are so many that we cannot number them, and our ways of acknowledging His blessings ought to be varied and numerous in proportion. The Lord sends each of us a special benefit; let us enquire, “What shall I render? What form of service would be most becoming in me?”

But now take notice of the Psalmist’s answer to that inquiry, “What shall I render?” “I will take,” says he, “the cup of salvation.” Now the words “I will take” are a strange answer to the question! To ask what we shall render or give, and then to answer with a resolution to take – that is surprising, and yet it is the wisest re-ply that could possibly be given. To “take the cup of salvation” was, in itself, an act of worship; and it was accompanied with other forms of adoration. Hence the Psalmist adds the resolution to “call upon the name of the Lord.” By this, he means that he will utter blessings and thanksgivings and prayers, and then drink of the cup which the Lord had filled with His saving grace. What a cup this is! Upon the Communion-table of infinite Love, there stands the cup full of blessing. It is our privilege, by faith, to take it in our hand and partake of it; and then – with joyful hearts – to laud and magnify the gracious One Who has filled it for our sakes, so that we may drink and be refreshed. We do this figuratively every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper together, and we can do it spiritually every time we grasp the golden chalice of the Lord’s Covenant – realizing the fullness of blessing which it contains; and receiving, by faith, its Divine contents into our innermost soul! Dearly beloved brother or sister! Let us conclude our study of this Psalm here, and take a long and deep drink from the cup of salvation which Jesus filled; and then, with devout hearts, let us worship the God of our salvation!

Lord Jesus, we utter blessings and thanksgivings and prayers unto You for the blessedness that we enjoy by being permitted to drink of the cup which You have filled with Your saving grace! Amen.

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