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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

December 23 2023


Saturday, December 23

“As Long as I Live”

 

Psalm 116:1-11

1 I love the LORD, because He has heard My voice and my supplications.

2 Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.

3 The pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow.

4 Then I called upon the name of the LORD: "O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul!"

5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful.

6 The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.

7 Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

8 For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling.

9 I will walk before the LORD In the land of the living.

10 I believed, therefore I spoke, "I am greatly afflicted."

11 I said in my haste, "All men are liars."

 

Psalm 116 is not only one of the “Hallel” psalms (Psalms 113-118), it is one of those “me, my, I,” psalms! You can’t help but get the idea that the psalmist is on an emotional roller coaster. You might be feeling that way yourself during this Christmas season with so many personal, relational and emotional issues that we have to deal with and face. It seems like this is the time of the year that brings back so many memories both good and bad.

 

One minute we might feel very close to the Lord and have sweet communion with Him and within a few minutes or hours we are overwhelmed with emotional baggage from the past, or a stressful confrontation that drains us, and we feel like God is a million miles away. We can’t seem to pray, and we don’t know who to trust. We say things that we really don’t mean, and we feel very discouraged! As you read this entire psalm, it appears that this is what this inspired psalmist is experiencing! But notice what he decides to do!

 

In verse 1, the first thing the psalmist does is to reaffirm his love for the LORD! “I love the LORD….”.  Remember what Jesus asked Peter three times when he was so discouraged with his failure to follow the Lord. “Peter, do you love me?” (John 21:15-17). This is the big question! Then the psalmist reminds himself that he could not trust in himself for deliverance (v. 3), nor could he trust the people around him, some of whom were liars (v. 11), but he knew he could trust in the Lord and call on Him for help (vv. 2, 13, 17).

 

“We love Him because He first loved us!” (1 John 4:19). God proved His loved to us when He sent His only begotten Son to die on a rugged cross in our place for our sins. (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10). And when we called on His name to save us from our sins, He heard our voice and our cry, and He delivered us from the “pains of death and Sheol”. 

 

The God of the universe “inclined His ear to us” (v. 2). To "incline" one's ear is to pay attention and concentrate on what is being said (Psalms 113:5-6; 17:6). Only a God as great as Jehovah can hear the voices of millions of His children who are praying to Him at the same time. The writer was in deep trouble and sorrow, like a man drowning who is so entangled in a net that death seems inevitable (vv. 3, 8, 15; see 18:4-6). That’s when we finally get so desperate that we genuinely and sincerely turn to the LORD for help! (v. 4).

 

The name of the Lord represents all that God is and does, and to call on His name is to trust Him to work on our behalf. (vv. 4, 13, 17.) Like Peter sinking in the sea during the storm, he prayed, "Lord, save me!" (Matt. 14:29-31) and the Lord rescued him. When through no fault of our own we find ourselves in great danger, we can call on the Lord for His help. “And they that know His name will put their trust in Him” (Psalm 9:10).

 

It is interesting to note that Peter referred to verse 3 in his sermon at Pentecost (Acts 2:24, "loosed the pains of death") and applied it to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Today, if we can believe that God raised Jesus from the dead by His mighty power, we can trust Him to save and help us in our time of need! (Ephesians 1:19-21). “Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live” (v. 2b).   

 

God bless!

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