- Psalm 107; 116; 118; 125
For today’s devotional we will consider the great truths revealed in Psalm 116. Psalm 116 is a psalm of praise to GOD because of His great goodness, and it is certainly fitting for this time period in history. Israel had sinned, was punished severely, and is now in a restored relationship with GOD. As such, this psalm expresses the joy the people feel as a result of the blessings of GOD.
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.
(Psalm 116:1-19 NIV)
The psalmist expresses great joy because GOD heard them and answered favorably. GOD is full of compassion and cares greatly what we are dealing with each day. GOD considers the death of righteous people a precious thing. Considering death is a punishment for sins, this is quite a curious thought. But then, when we think about the fact that, for the righteous, death is just the door by which we enter eternal life, we can better see why GOD considers this scary event as precious.
The last line of the psalm, “Praise the LORD,” is actually the word Hallelujah. This word is very interesting. It’s actually the combination of two Hebrew words: hallel, which means “to proclaim,” and “Yah,” which is the short form of Yahweh, GOD’s personal name. So, the word Hallelujah literally means “proclaim the name of the LORD,” Thus we need to be very careful how we use this word as it is a form of GOD’s name. Use it respectfully and not to refer to secular things or in sarcasm.