A Season of Psalms - Psalm 116:1-2
“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.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
What does love mean? Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once told the story of a contest he was judging in which the panel was searching for the most tender-hearted, affectionate child. The winner of the contest was a four-year old boy whose next door neighbor was an elderly man who had just recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the man’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When the child’s mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the boy replied, “Nothing. I just helped him cry.” That’s love!
When we love someone, we usually tell them why we love them. Psalm 116 does precisely that. Notice how he begins: “I love the Lord.” This is pure worship! We don’t need to approach God with grandiose language but rather the simple statement of our love for Him. The psalmist loves the Lord because God hears (v. 1-2); because He is gracious, righteous, and merciful (v. 5); He takes care of the simple (v. 6); He delivers from harm and death (v. 8); He accepts our praise (v. 12-19). When we love God, the expression of our love overflows in worship. Our mouths offer Him “the sacrifice of thanksgiving” and we “pay our vows to the Lord.” Our souls love Him because He first loved us. We can never repay Him, and attempting to do so would be an insult to His marvelous grace, but instead we can follow Paul’s exhortation in Romans 12:1: “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Presenting ourselves to Him, to be molded and used and filled, is perhaps the most reverent expression of our love.
Psalm 126:3: “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Are you joyful and thankful? Sing with me today: “I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You. O my soul, rejoice! Take joy, my King, in what You hear. Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.”
Further Reading: 1 John 3:16-18; Deuteronomy 7:6-11
Pray with me today:
Father, today we think about Your love. We think about Your goodness and grace that has brought us through. For as high as the heavens above, so great is the measure of our Father’s love. We praise You in Jesus’ name, Amen.