Wednesday, September 28, 2016
“I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.” (Psalm 116:1-6)
God’s love is described in I John 4:10. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. He loved us, even though we did not love him, and were in fact his enemies. His love is the ultimate love, as Romans 5:7-10 shows us. “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
Our love is comparatively small and weak, only occasionally approaching the same level. I John 4:19 says, “We love him, because he first loved us.” Our love is selfish, based on what he has done for us, while his love is completely unselfish. When a person describes themselves as loving someone just like God does, it demonstrates their pride and their lack of understanding of God’s love. The psalmist, probably David, understood that God loved him so much he was willing to do almost anything for him, and loved God in return. Assured of God’s love he had no hesitation about sharing his fears and insecurities with God, knowing god would not be upset about them. He could count on God to help him with the problems as he had done many times before.
“Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: I said in my haste, All men are liars.” (Psalm 116:7-11)
Assured of God’s love and knowing he would take care of the problems, David was able to sleep peacefully, confident everything would be okay. He made a commitment to walk with the Lord throughout his life, recognizing that even the best human beings would fail , but that God would not. It was this confidence and faith that made him speak.
“What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:12-15)
What can we offer God in return for his love for us? First, we can accept the gift of salvation he offers, and worship him. We can keep our commitments to him, demonstrating our love by obeying his commands, as John 14:23-24 says. “ Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.”
In Matthew 10:29-31 Jesus illustrated how important we are to God. “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” If he is concerned about the death of a sparrow, think how much he must care about the death of one of his children.
Many times we are upset about the death of a loved one. Isaiah 57:1-2 tells us, “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.” Those who believe in God enter into peace for eternity. Their death ensures they will not have to deal with the world’s evil any longer. They are like Enoch in Genesis 5:24. “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” It ought to be time of rejoicing, even though we will miss them.
“O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the Lord's house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 116:16-19)
David was determined to show his love and appreciation in any way he could, serving God whole heartedly, and thanking him for what he had done. He would publicly praise God everywhere he went I hopes of causing those around him to serve God as well.