The psalmist declares his love to the Lord. (1-9) His desire to be thankful. (10-19)
Verses 1-9 We have many reasons for loving the Lord, but are most affected by his loving-kindness when relieved out of deep distress. When a poor sinner is awakened to a sense of his state, and fears that he must soon sink under the just wrath of God, then he finds trouble and sorrow. But let all such call upon the Lord to deliver their souls, and they will find him gracious and true to his promise. Neither ignorance nor guilt will hinder their salvation, when they put their trust in the Lord. Let us all speak of God as we have found him; and have we ever found him otherwise than just and good? It is of his mercies that we are not consumed. Let those who labour and are heavy laden come to him, that they may find rest to their souls; and if at all drawn from their rest, let them haste to return, remembering how bountifully the Lord has dealt with them. We should deem ourselves bound to walk as in his presence. It is a great mercy to be kept from being swallowed up with over-much sorrow. It is a great mercy for God to hold us by the right hand, so that we are not overcome and overthrown by a temptation. But when we enter the heavenly rest, deliverance from sin and sorrow will be complete; we shall behold the glory of the Lord, and walk in his presence with delight we cannot now conceive.
Verses 10-19 When troubled, we do best to hold our peace, for we are apt to speak unadvisedly. Yet there may be true faith where there are workings of unbelief; but then faith will prevail; and being humbled for our distrust of God's word, we shall experience his faithfulness to it. What can the pardoned sinner, or what can those who have been delivered from trouble or distress, render to the Lord for his benefits? We cannot in any way profit him. Our best is unworthy of his acceptance; yet we ought to devote ourselves and all we have to his service. I will take the cup of salvation; I will offer the drink-offerings appointed by the law, in token of thankfulness to God, and rejoice in God's goodness to me. I will receive the cup of affliction; that cup, that bitter cup, which is sanctified to the saints, so that to them it is a cup of salvation; it is a means of spiritual health. The cup of consolation; I will receive the benefits God bestows upon me, as from his hand, and taste his love in them, as the portion not only of mine inheritance in the other world, but of my cup in this. Let others serve what masters they will, truly I am thy servant. Two ways men came to be servants. By birth. Lord, I was born in thy house; I am the son of thine handmaid, and therefore thine. It is a great mercy to be children of godly parents. By redemption. Lord, thou hast loosed my bonds, thou hast discharged me from them, therefore I am thy servant. The bonds thou hast loosed shall tie me faster unto thee. Doing good is sacrifice, with which God is well pleased; and this must accompany giving thanks to his name. Why should we offer that to the Lord which cost us nothing? The psalmist will pay his vows now; he will not delay the payment: publicly, not to make a boast, but to show he is not ashamed of God's service, and to invite others to join him. Such are true saints of God, in whose lives and deaths he will be glorified.
Psalms 116:1-19 . The writer celebrates the deliverance from extreme perils by which he was favored, and pledges grateful and pious public acknowledgments.
1, 2. A truly grateful love will be evinced by acts of worship, which calling on God expresses ( Psalms 116:13 , Psalms 55:16 , 86:7 ; compare Psalms 17:6 , 31:2 ).
3, 4. For similar figures for distress see Psalms 18:4 Psalms 18:5 .
gat hold upon me--Another sense ("found") of the same word follows, as we speak of disease finding us, and of our finding or catching disease.
5-8. The relief which he asked is the result not of his merit, but of God's known pity and tenderness, which is acknowledged in assuring himself (his "soul," Psalms 11:1 , 16:10 ) of rest and peace. All calamities ( Psalms 116:8 ) are represented by death, tears, and falling of the feet ( Psalms 56:13 ).
9. walk before the Lord--act, or live under His favor and guidance ( Genesis 17:1 , Psalms 61:7 ).
land of the living--( Psalms 27:13 ).
10, 11. Confidence in God opposed to distrust of men, as not reliable ( Psalms 68:8 Psalms 68:9 ). He speaks from an experience of the result of his faith.
11. in my haste--literally, "terror," or "agitation," produced by his affliction (compare Psalms 31:22 ).
12-14. These are modes of expressing acts of worship (compare Psalms 116:4 , Psalms 50:14 , Jonah 2:9 ).
13. the cup of salvation--the drink offering which was part of the thank offering ( Numbers 15:3-5 ).
14. now--(compare Psalms 115:2 ). "Oh, that (I may do it)" in the presence, &c.
15, 16. By the plea of being a homeborn servant, he intimates his claim on God's covenant love to His people.
17-19. An ampler declaration of his purpose, designating the place, the Lord's house, or earthly residence in Jerusalem.