For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord In the land of the living. Psalm 116:8, 9
Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death
Psalm 116, a messianic psalm, is one of the Passover psalms (Ps. 113-118). This psalm most likely was recited by Jesus on the night of His arrest, the night He celebrated Passover with His disciples (Luke 22:15). The psalmist announces his intent to praise God and reports his rescue from a life-threatening situation. In repayment for God’s goodness to him, the psalmist vows to praise God for His compassionate concern for the life and death of His saints.
116:1, 2 The wording of I love the Lord in Hebrew suggests deep excitement and emotion. He has inclined His ear to me: As in 40:1, these words speak of the love of God: He bends from His place of glory to meet the needs of His people.
116:3 Pains of death describes the psalmist’s harrowing experience of suffering that brought him seemingly to the brink of death. These words point prophetically to the Savior’s anguish on the cross (Matt. 27:27-35).
3 The pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow.
116:6 In this context, simple means innocent, clean, or untarnished. In the book of Proverbs, the word usually means naïve or untested (Prov. 1:22).
6 The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.
116:9, 10 Paul quotes the words I believed, therefore I spoke in 2 Cor. 4:13, 14 as proof of the scriptural hope of the resurrection of the Savior Jesus. The belief in v. 10 is the hope, articulated in v. 9, that the psalmist would walk in the land of the living.
116:12, 13 With the phrase what shall I render, the psalmist vows to praise God in an audible and public manner among the people of faith. At Passover this psalm is read after the meal, immediately following the third cup of wine, called the cup of salvation. How appropriate that this Passover psalm would call to mind God’s cup of salvation the very night that the Savior was betrayed (Matt. 26:27; Luke 22:14-22).
116:16, 17 The psalmist declares that he is God’s servant. As Jesus demonstrated in the Upper Room celebration of the Passover, every true follower of Christ must become a servant. Just as Jesus the Son of God became a servant to His disciples and washed their feet, so every believer needs to serve others (John 13:1-17). The words of the psalm were prophetically fulfilled when they were sung by Jesus on the night before He was crucified. The term thanksgiving basically means “public acknowledgement.”
16 O Lord, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have loosed my bonds. 17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the Lord.
116:18 I will pay my vows: These words are evidently the concluding words of the psalmist, declaring his intention to make good on his promise to bring his offering of praise to the temple court.
I will pay my vows to the Lord Now in the presence of all His people, 19 In the courts of the Lord’s house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!
** God inclines His ear to us. He is warm and approachable. He let us put our troubled heads upon His bosom. He takes care of “all” of our troubles including bondage and death. Truly nothing left for us to do other than be glad and say thank you.
116 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.” 12 What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me? 13 I will take up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the Lord. 14 I will pay my vows to the Lord Now 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 loosed my bonds. 17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the Lord. 18 I will pay my vows to the Lord Now in the presence of all His people, 19 In the courts of the Lord’s house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!
Source: Richards’ Complete Bible Handbook by Lawrence O. Richards and NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson