I love the Lord because he hears my voice, my pleas for mercy. I will call on him as long as I live because he turns his ear toward me.
The ropes of death became tangled around me. The horrors of the grave took hold of me. I experienced pain and agony.
But I kept calling on the name of the Lord: “Please, Lord, rescue me!” [vss 1-4]
The Lord is merciful and righteous. Our God is compassionate.
The Lord protects defenseless people. When I was weak, he saved me.
Be at peace again, my soul, because the Lord has been good to you.
You saved me from death. You saved my eyes from tears ⌊and⌋ my feet from stumbling.
I will walk in the Lord’s presence in this world of the living. [vss 5-9]
I kept my faith even when I said, “I am suffering terribly.” I also said when I was panic-stricken, “Everyone is undependable.”
How can I repay the Lord for all the good that he has done for me?
I will take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will keep my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones. [vss 10-15]
O Lord, I am indeed your servant. I am your servant, the son of your female servant. You have freed me from my chains.
I will bring a song of thanksgiving to you as a sacrifice. I will call on the name of the Lord.
I will keep my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courtyards of the Lord’s house, in the middle of Jerusalem. Hallelujah! [vss 9-19]
(Psalms 116:1-19 GW)
Loneliness is linked to death nearly as much as sorrow. When a loved one passes out of this life it leaves an empty place. This is especially true in the loss of a spouse, child, or parent but also with close friendships and other close family ties.
The space in our lives once filled by someone dear is not filled up by time or activity or someone else. It can't be filled with something or someone else but we can express this need to the Lord and ask Him to fill us with His goodness and presence.
The question of why often follows the death of someone close. A question directed towards God, as if is callous or indifferent to our loss.
But God does care. The death of those who trust in Him is especially precious to Him (vs 15). He doesn't delight in anyone's death.
But what about us left on earth with those empty places in our life?
Every funeral, memorial and burial service I lead is an opportunity to remind people of the value of life and how memories of loved ones are precious treasures.
As this psalm reminds us, the Lord is merciful, righteous, and compassionate (vs 5). He hears us when we cry out to Him. The psalmist reminds us we need to reflect on God's goodness and His precious gift of life to us.
We don't have to wait for some crisis or loss but each day remember His goodness.
How can we repay God for His goodness to us? We can't. But we can choose to trust in Him, think of Him, and commit our lives to Him each day we live on earth.
God's goodness and presence can fill the empty places in our hearts and set us free from loneliness.
Have you lost someone dear to you? Is there an empty place in your heart?
Let the Lord fill that empty place in your heart with His goodness and presence!
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?
I won't cover all 150 Psalms, but do selective devotionals through the rest of Psalms.
So if I skip one that you like... let me know and I'll try to cover it!