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The Moody Bible Commentary Psalms 113–118: The Hallel Psalms
In very early Jewish tradition these six psalms are known collectively as Hallel psalms (“The Praise”), because of the Hallelujah! (“Praise the Lord”) endings… .
This Hallel reading tradition was already established by the NT period as a fixed part of the Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles celebrations.
These were probably the hymns Messiah Jesus and His disciples sang after their Passover seder … The author of these psalms is unknown, but thematically they form a unit of thought in Book Five of Psalms.
They share common themes of the exodus/Passover events; the Lord’s covenants with Israel; and they emphasize the obligation and desire to offer God praise and thanksgiving for His lovingkindness and sovereignty.
Those twin attributes of God are demonstrated by His protection and restoration of Israel to their Land (Pss 113–15), His provision of all their most intimate needs (Ps 116), and in recalling the provision of the Abrahamic covenant of blessing through Israel to all other nations of the world (Pss 117–118… .)
Psalm 116 … God providing for our intimate needs!
Difficult times… Life tragedies… Confronting death… Sorrows, fear, and hopelessness!
We all have encountered or will encounter these in our lifetime, some on a regular basis.
These are potential times for us to feel most alone
These are seasons where our perspective is skewed by the situation we are in
The psalmist here draws us into his situation some (who can really relate anyway) and records for us his intimate reaction to his troubles as he reflects on the LORD through this time.
The harder the difficulty or trial, the closer we become with those we go through it with.
Do you acknowledge that God is there during these times, and if so do you allow yourself to draw near or do you distance yourself?
Psalm 116 is a very personal psalm.
Over 30 times he uses personal pronouns.
So amazed with God’s intimate care he burst into public praise of God multiple times… Listen as we hear the words of this Hallelujah Psalm Psalm 116:1-19
Loving God Because...
This Psalm begins in such a powerful yet simple way… “I love the Lord...”
Do you love the Lord?
Have you told Him so?
Have you declared to God why you love Him, have you given thought to why you love Him?
1 John 4:19 states why we love...
If you are struggling to think of reasons why you can love Him the psalmist give several good reasons… Verses 1-2
He hears his voice...
He hears the need for mercy… (NOT getting what we deserve)
Grace ( getting what we don’t deserve…) Bending down to listen
We have the ear of the busiest individual in the universe
Getting down so we know He is listening… for our benefit
This understanding creates a desire to stay in constant communication with Him!!!
Look at what it took to bring the psalmist to a point in his relationship with God to stay in close communication… Verses 3-4
Difficult times draw us to God… we have to look to One greater than ourselves.
“Please Lord save me!” simple, direct, needed.
Praise of God’s Love
He deserves the credit… the psalmist gives his praises to God… Verses 5-9
HIS… kindness, goodness, mercy not our own.
the closer we draw to God the more we see that we are not deserving of the things He gives us!
Childlike faith… fully trusting in Him.
No ability of our own.
Has God brought you to the point you realize you need Him?
What will it take?
We have rest in the midst of troubles
Death is no longer feared
Sorrow is taken and carried by Him
He clears the way and path before us
Verse 9 is such a beautiful mindset Psalm 116:9
A constant intimate relationship here and now… Do we live a life that reflects this? or better yet, do you want to have a daily life that you can say this?
Being Real With God
Verses 10-14 is a very real way of speaking to God… why hide behind articulate words, impressive fronts, lack of expressing true feelings… he is God! you cant fool Him!!!
Our belief… our relationship will determine how we allow life’s difficulties to impact us.
I believe so I speak with you… “I am troubled LORD”
Our faith allows us to speak to the God of the universe!!
And God can handle our human perspective…
In my anxiety I cried out… panic worry do horrible things for perspective consider verse 11
These people are ALL liars… Elijah would cry out no one but me follows you Lord only I am left etc.
Don’t allow your possible exaggeration to hinder you from sharing with God how you feel
Oh God how can I repay YOU!? … notice the psalmist conclusion verses 13-14
Public praise, credit to God, affection
Cup of salvation raised up… lifting Him up before others… the cup was pored out as a sacrifice…
What are you willing to sacrifice?
Then a promise is given… have you promised God ever before?
Have you ever done it in public?
James 5:12 says that are yes should mean yes and no mean no… in other words we should be people of our word!
Consider this… Psalm 116 was to be sung by the people… these things, qualities of God, and responses to God were lifted up in song!
What have you sung this morning?
Did you mean the words you sang to God?
We are closing with a song that makes a statement to God… “As the deer pants for the water so my soul longs after you...” Really?
Careful, you are stating these things in front of other people, more importantly before God!
Commitment To Service
Verses 15-19 summarize a commitment by the psalmist and those who would sing this before the LORD!
God cares for His loved ones living or even when they die… His love and care does not end!
There is a joy here for the one serving… A BOND SERVANT from desire and gratitude
In this close relationship there is an overwhelming thanksgiving, a desire to worship and sacrifice!
Difficult times… Life tragedies… Confronting death… Sorrows, fear, and hopelessness!
What an amazing thing when they bring a person to a place in his or her life where the response is… PRAISE THE LORD! HALLELUJAH!!!
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