Rev. Johnny C. Smith,
Pastor – Mount Moriah
Missionary Baptist Church
As you recall, Psalms 116 and 117 are a part of the Hallel psalms (Psalms 113-118). The Hallel psalms were sung at three important feasts of Israel: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacle. Psalm 116 is praising God for His mighty deliverance; and Psalm 117 is praising Him for His awesome mercy. What are you praising Him for right now? God is worthy of all of our adoration and praise, and we should praise Him continually, for Psalm 113:2 says: From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.”
In verses 1-2 of Psalm 116, the psalmist expresses his love for the Lord because the Lord answers his prayer and he resolves to call on Him for as long as he lives – “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 psalmist tells us of his experiences in trouble in verse 3 – “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.”
As trouble erupts in our lives, we need to know that the Lord is our only source of help, for Psalm 115:9 states: “O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: He is their help and their shield.”
Experiencing God’s great deliverance in prayer (v. 4), the psalmist speaks of God’s goodness in verses 5-6 that read: “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous, yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and He helped me.” As a result of God’s deliverance in verses 7-11, the psalmist declares that one can experience a life of complete rest in the Lord when one places his or her confidence in the Lord. Even confronted with death, the psalmist’s confidence was in God; therefore, he cried out to Him in complete confidence. Because of God’s deliverance, the psalmist was determined to praise the Lord in the congregation (v. 12). As a way of repayment (vv. 13-14), the psalmist said: “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.”
The psalmist declares that the Lord cares greatly for His saints (v. 15). The psalmist was a servant of the Lord and he declares that he would praise the Lord publicly (vv. 16-19). He vows in verses 17-18 as follows: “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.” This great psalm ends with a wonderful expression – “Praise ye the Lord.”
With Psalm 117:1-2, we are summoned to praise the Lord for two tremendous reasons: for His awesome love; and for His awesome faithfulness toward us. These verses read – “O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise Him, all ye people. For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.”
The Lord is indeed good unto us, and we should praise His name.
May God Bless!