October 20, 2014
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
We are back to our original scripture for this series, Drinking The Cup Of Salvation – Psalm 116:12 through 15:
What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me? I will take
up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my
vows to the LORD now in the presence of all His people. Precious in the
sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.
We have been concentrating in the last four blogs on the first thing the psalmist would do to thank “…the LORD for all His benefits…,” that is, “I will take up the cup of salvation….” But there are two more actions he would “…render to the LORD….” Let’s consider them.
• Psalm 116:13 – “I will…call upon the name of the LORD.” In Hebrew thinking, the name of a person often reflected who that person was. So to “…call upon the name of the LORD…” means to call upon the Person of Jehovah God. And this Person who is God delivered His children – saved them – multiple times in their history.
▸ He saved them from starvation through the intervention of Joseph in Egypt (see Genesis 50:20; Psalm 105:16-24).
▸ He delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt through the Passover (see Deuteronomy 6:21 through 23).
▸ Time and again in the book of Judges, it is recorded that God delivered Israel out of the hands of its oppressors.
▸ By the time the psalmist had penned these lines of Psalm 116, the Lord had saved David many times out of the hand of Saul. And through David – and his godly successors – the Jewish kingdoms of Israel and Judah had experienced God’s salvation from their enemies time and again.
▸ Then there are the prophesies of the coming Messiah, who would deliver Israel from all who oppressed her, institute God’s kingdom upon earth, and save from sin “…all who call upon Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18 and 19).
In Jeremiah 33:3, God tells His people, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” And Paul was inspired to quote Joel 2:32 in Romans 10:13, “For, ‘whosoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.’ ”
So the writer of Psalm 116 tells us he will thank “…the LORD for all His benefits toward me…[by taking] up the cup of salvation, and…[calling] upon the name of the LORD.” As the cup of salvation is both initially received and then continually taken up and drunk, so one must call out initially to Jesus Christ to save him or her, and then continue to call upon the Lord concerning all the details of life – believing that only the Lord can provide proper guidance and resources. Such faith put into practice surely will “…render to the LORD [appropriate thanksgiving] for all His benefits toward…” that believing one.
• Psalm 116:14 – “I will pay my vows to the LORD now in the presence of all His people.” This implies public vowing, and so public paying of whatever promises this believer has made. And this paying of vows – fulfilling your promises to the Lord – is one more way to “…render [thanks] to the LORD for all His benefits….”
When my wife and I were married 46 years ago, she extracted four promises from me:
▸ “Will you read the Bible with me?”
▸ “Will you pray with me?”
▸ “Will you go to church with me?”
▸ “Will you tithe with me?”
I said “Yes!” to all four. They were my vows to my wife and my Lord. And I have kept those vows for 46 years! Also, when I agreed to these four things, I started right away to put them into practice. But doesn’t the psalmist say “I will pay my vows to the LORD now…”? Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 23:21, “When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you.” And Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 5:5, “It is better not to vow than to vow and not pay.” Jesus told us in Matthew 5:33 through 37 that it is better not to make vows at all, because we can’t control the variables that affect their outcome!
Finally, when all this life is over – if it has been a faithful life that reflects thanksgiving “…to the LORD for all His benefits…” – we have the testimony of Psalm 116:15 – “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” Are you living that kind of a Christian life that renders constant thanksgiving to Him? Will He reckon your death precious and welcome you home to heaven with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23)?
Think about it!