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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 116

Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the BibleKretzmann's Commentary

Verses 1-19

Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Extreme Perils.

The psalmist proclaims the fact that he was saved from great dangers, celebrates his deliverance by giving praise to God alone, and pledges His public acknowledgment of his debt to Jehovah.

v. 1. I love the Lord because He hath heard my voice and my supplications, the fact that God attended to His prayer and delivered him fills his heart with grateful love.

v. 2. Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, in the attitude of willing attention, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live, in prayers both of thanksgiving and of further supplication. He now pictures the situation in which he found himself, from which he was delivered.

v. 3. The sorrows, literally, "the cords," of death compassed me, as in a net, and the pains, the oppressions, or straits, of hell, of the realm of death, gat hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow, experiencing both in full measure. Cf Psalms 18:4-5.

v. 4. Then called I upon the name of the Lord, depending upon the promises in His Word: O Lord, I beseech Thee, deliver my soul. The psalmist now pictures the manner in which the Lord delivered him.

v. 5. Gracious, full of merciful compassion, is the Lord and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. Cf Exodus 34:6-7.

v. 6. The Lord preserveth the simple, guarding them against evil designs of the enemies on every hand. I was brought low, thrown to the ground in utter helplessness, and He helped me.

v. 7. Return unto thy rest, O my soul, being quiet and satisfied in the relief afforded by the Lord; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee, showing kindness far beyond any man's merit. After this admonition to his own heart the poet turns back to his prayer.

v. 8. For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling, these three expressions representing all calamities which may befall a man, and the deliverance therefore being complete in every way.

v. 9. I will walk before the Lord, leading his whole life with the consciousness that he is in the presence of Jehovah and His omniscient eye, in the land of the living; instead of becoming a prey to death, he enjoys life and is able always to have his Savior before his eyes.

v. 10. I believed, therefore have I spoken, literally, "for [this] I speak," in speaking he exercised his faith, his speaking was a proof of his faith, 2 Corinthians 4:13. I was greatly afflicted, but in spite of his affliction his faith manifested itself in the free confession of his mouth.

v. 11. I said in my haste, in his trembling and terror, the result of his deep dejection, All men are liars. Forsaken by men, miserably neglected by those from whom he expected assistance in his troubles, he has learned to put all his trust in God alone, to depend upon Him in the midst of all calamities.

v. 12. What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? How repay His manifold expressions of love and goodness?

v. 13. I will take the cup of salvation, lifting up the cup of thanksgiving for his deliverance, the allusion probably being to this ceremony at the paschal meal, and call upon the name of the Lord, proclaiming Him and His attributes everywhere.

v. 14. I will pay my vows unto the Lord, the special offerings made to express his gratitude to Jehovah, now in the presence of all His people, he was willing and eager to do so in public, that all men might be witnesses of his sacrifice, Numbers 15:3-5.

v. 15. Precious in the sight of the Lord, esteemed very highly by Him, is the death of His saints, that is, He will not readily let death take them away from before Him.

v. 16. O Lord, truly I am Thy servant; I am Thy servant and the son of Thine handmaid, wherefore, as a home-born servant, he claims the privileges of God's covenant love toward His people. Thou hast loosed my bonds, giving him the freedom of the people of God. Hence he once more expresses his gratitude.

v. 17. I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call upon the name of the Lord.

v. 18. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people,

v. 19. in the courts of the Lord's house, where the congregation assembled for public worship, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord, all the believers of the New Testament joining in this hallelujah in honor of the God of their salvation and paying their vows to Him in cheerful service.

Bibliographical Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Psalms 116". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kpc/psalms-116.html. 1921-23.
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