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 upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. 4 Then I called on the name of the LORD: “O LORD, save me!” 5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. 6 The LORD protects the simple-hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. 7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.
8 For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul 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 believed; therefore I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” 11 And in my dismay I said, “All men are liars.”
12 How can I repay 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 fulfil 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 saints. 16 O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; 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 fulfil 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, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.
Psalm 116 – God hears ‘my cry for mercy’
(Verses 1-2) The LORD has answered the psalmist’s ‘cry for mercy’. He always does! That is what the gospel is all about. As I saw how sinful I was and my need to be forgiven, I cast myself on God’s mercy. I turned from sin to receive Christ as my Lord and Saviour. He died on the cross for me, bearing my sins and their judgment. He rose again and now lives in my heart. Two results follow: ‘I love the LORD’ and ‘I will call on Him as long as I live’. Those are marks of conversion for anyone who trusts in Jesus. The rest of this psalm tells what to expect if we trust in Jesus to save us.
(Verses 3-7) God saves us from fear of death. He is with us in trouble and sorrow. He continues to save and protect us when we are in great need. He is compassionate, gracious, righteous and good. He gives us rest in our souls, even in hard times.
(Verses 8-11) He stops us focusing on other sinners who are liars, and delivers us from death, tears, and stumbling. We now want to walk with Him.
(Verses 12-14) The ‘cup of salvation’ speaks of the satisfaction of being saved. We now call on God in prayer and honour and keep our promises to Him along with others who know Him. That is His church.
(Verses 15-17) Every saved person is what the Bible calls a ‘saint’, which means being set apart to live for Christ each day. Our death is precious to God because we will then share Heaven with Him and others. If you are a true ‘servant’ of the LORD, He sets you free! That makes you thank Him.
(Verses 18-19) The psalmist obviously greatly values meeting together with others who know God, in Zion’s temple in Jerusalem. It is there that he will praise the Lord and renew his vows to serve, honour, follow and worship God. That is also why Christians meet together, especially on Sunday (the Lord’s day) to praise our triune God, whom we know in our lives as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is all because Jesus is the Saviour of all who cast themselves on His mercy.