(19 verses, 1:49 to read)
What I am about to READ
Psalm 116 should be very familiar to most of us. Parts of it are quoted by St. Paul, parts of it have a place in our liturgy, and this psalm is typically read at funerals.
MARK and LEARN
God himself is the deliverer from death and hell. If we experience a foretaste of these things through our sin in this world and call upon God for mercy, He will hear and deliver us. That is the beautiful promise of this psalm.
In verse seven the soul is called back to its rest. After the anxiety and pain over death and sin the Lord calls us to blessed rest, both in life and especially in death. Our rest is found in the cross of Jesus where He has delivered us from death and hell.
“I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living” vs. 9 – This shows clearly the resurrection of all flesh, not only some sort of spiritual repose, but a fleshly, corporal resurrection which will happen at the return of Christ.
Selections of verses 12-19 find a place in our communion liturgy. What can one do for God, for all his benefits to us? The answer is provided, receive his gifts. Lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. That is the praise that God wishes above all things, that we would use his gifts as he gives them to us. These gifts are also connected with a blessed death (vs.15) that we would not fear death because of God’s promises and gifts to us.
Lord, you have heard my pleas for mercy. I was in death, and you delivered me. My soul was anxious over my sin and you rescued me. You have made me so that I can walk upright and fearless once again in the knowledge that my sins are forgiven. I know that my time here is short, and that one day I will walk with you in the land of the living. Until that time, I will take up your Holy Sacrament and call upon your name that death and sin and hell may not overtake me. All praise to you for your wonderful gifts. Amen.
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