Psalm 116 depicts the believer’s walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
This morning I noticed my notes from previous devotions in this chapter:
You deliver from danger
You preserve, save, and deal bountifully with us
I walk before You alive
I believe, celebrate Your grace and Person
I serve and am Your servant till death joins us.
That last line really stuck out to me this morning. It comes from “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”
Friends, we walk before the Lord in this life in the land of the “living”. But, we walk a walk that should reflect where our ultimate home is. Remember Pilgrim from Pilgrim’s Progress? CLICK LINK TO READ
Christian walked a road of sorrow and hardship, leading the way for his family to follow him in due course. I believe men and women now in this era and in this region have the opportunity to do the same.
Our prayers alone with God on the path of life and our community prayers springing up all over the county are prayers God hears. He’s not nervous about what we might ask for, nor is He unavailable to us. “I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because He inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.”
We feel overwhelmed as we walk through this life. “THe snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.” Who isn’t encouraged to join David in this prayer and cry out to God in raw honestly both in private and with our family and friends. How constant are our prayers? As constant as our distresses, let’s hope. May our prayers in community be reflective of our prayers in private, rather than being the showy street-corners style thanking God we’re not like the “sinners” we encounter day to day. We are those sinners, friends! We are the tax collector begging God to have mercy on us! We cannot experience lasting change in our community if we do not start and finish this Word of God and Spirit of God defined earthly life. The more we think we are supposed to find our earthly happiness as our defining point for self-fulfillment, we are the most to be pittied. As a God-oriented people, we can find our definition as God-dependent and God-defined. He is gracious and righteous, merciful, and preserving of the simple. Let’s call our souls to return to the Lord as our REST, for He will deal bountifully with us.
“Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful. The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, He saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.”
What’s the climax of this chapter that is most often quoted? “I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.” What about the context? The reason we can walk aright before the Lord, confident of His saving and sustaining grace is that He saved us from the destruction and wrath, the death we deserve!
“For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”
My all of our good deeds be a humble, steady, gentle response to the great salvation work of Christ on the cross. His death has given us not only life here and now that is purified and washed in the water of His Word, but we have hope of our eternal REST in Christ for eternity, always to praise and magnify His worth and excellence!
So what can we take to the bank from all of this? We are great sinners and we have a great Savior. May we live in a constant state of grateful prayer and gentle behavior toward one another. As we do this, we will more and more be drawn to worship together with God’s people and lift up His worth together, crying out “Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb Who was slain for us, to receive power and glory and praise from now on into eternity!”
“I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in Your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!”