Read: Psalm 116; Matthew 26:30
This Psalm continues the series from 113 – 118 called the Great Hallel and sung at the Passover meal; this Psalm was part of the group sung after the meal. The words of this Psalm were on Jesus’ lips before His passion.
Think About It: One way of interpreting Psalm 116 is to understand it prophetically; the speaker is the Messiah Jesus. How does Psalm 116 mesh with the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection?
Prayer: Praise the Lord for His willingness to suffer on my behalf.
Read: Psalm 116:3, 6, 10; 2 Corinthians 12:7
Psalm 116 is not presented chronologically, but may be reconstructed that way. A chronological reconstruction begins with the psalmist’s painful predicament, which he presented in general terms.
Think About It: How does the psalmist describe his predicament? What are some of the key descriptive terms he uses? Have I ever been in a predicament such as the psalmist describes?
Prayer: For deliverance from my troubles.
Read: Psalm 116:11; Psalm 73:2 – 3, 13, 17 – 18; Job 24:12; Ecclesiastes 7:15
The second stage in the chronology of Psalm 116 would be the response of the psalmist to his predicament. The first response he had was negative: v. 11 – he said in his haste, “All men are liars.” Perhaps he had always understood that things would always go well for the righteous, while only the wicked suffered. Psalm 73 explores this response of bitterness.
Think About It: How do the references in the suggested readings from Job and Ecclesiastes relate to the initial response of cynicism expressed in Psalm 116:11? Psalm 116 does not tell us how the psalmist’s heart was changed, but Psalm 73:17 – 18 explains what happened in that instance. What changed the psalmist’s heart in Psalm 73? Have I ever been bewildered or embittered by the suffering of the righteous and the prosperity of the wicked?
Prayer: Thank God for His justice and final judgment.
Read: Psalm 116:4; Psalm 91:15; Isaiah 30:19, 58:9; Jeremiah 33:3; Matthew 7:7
The psalmist didn’t get stuck in a bitter state. His second response to his predicament was to call upon the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I beseech Thee, deliver my soul.”
Think About It: According to the Scripture references in the suggested readings, what has God promised to do when we call upon Him? Do I remember to call upon the Lord when I am in difficult circumstances? How could I make this my first response in times of trouble?
Prayer: O Lord, I beseech Thee, deliver my soul.
Read: Psalm 116:1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 16; Hebrews 7:25; John 8:36
The psalmist described in detail how the Lord responded to his cry for deliverance.
Think About It: How exactly did the Lord respond to the psalmist’s prayer for deliverance, according to Psalm 116: 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 16? What does the phrase, “He inclined His ear” suggest about how God listens to my prayers? Does God just do the bare minimum in answer to prayer? How would I describe how God has answered my prayers?
Prayer: Thank God that He inclines His ear to hear my prayers.
Read: Psalm 116:1, 2 (also 13), 7, 9-10, 12, 13 (also 17), 14 (also 18, 19), 16
The psalmist devoted most of Psalm 116 to reflecting on how he intended to respond to God’s deliverance. The “cup of salvation” mentioned in v. 13 was the drink offering poured out as part of the “thank offering” (Numbers 15:3 – 5).
Think About It: Based on the Scripture references in the suggested readings, what exactly did the psalmist plan to do in response to the Lord’s saving action in his life? What does it mean to tell your soul to return to its rest (Philippians 4:6 – 7)? What have I resolved to do in response to God’s saving action in my life?
Prayer: For deeper love for God, more prayer, a better testimony to Christ in my life.
Read: Psalm 116:5, 6, 15
The psalmist expressed what he learned about God through his difficult predicament and God’s deliverance. In v. 6, the Hebrew word translated “simple” refers to the foolish or naive person. Verse 15 refers to God’s ordering of the death of His beloved saints so that even in death He will be glorified and all will be for the best (Philippians 1:20). God will visit retribution on those who shed the blood of His beloved (2 Thessalonians 2:5 – 10).
Think About It: According to today’s verses from Psalm 116, what did the psalmist learn about God? What did I learn about God from reflecting on this psalm?
Prayer: Thank God that He looks after the simple.