Meditations on the Psalms #259

Psalm 116 Part 4

It was only a little while after the 4 cups of the Passover that Jesus, in Gethsemane, spoke of another cup which He consented to drink. That was the cup of sorrows, of bitterness, of the curse of sin. Having emptied it, He filled it with joy, sweetness, and blessing. When we take that chalice let us never forget the cost at which He filled it for us.

Have you ever wondered at the words of v15? God is particularly close to his people when they stand at death’s door. God watches over his people when they are sick or dying, coming close to them and making his presence known so that they have comfort in death’s hour. How is it that martyrs remain strong in the face of death?

Though death is a curse and an enemy, (the last one to be destroyed says Paul,) it is still precious because it removes the remaining barriers between God and His faithful ones, and is the doorway to an eternity of perfect fellowship. Death to God’s people is not a penalty, it is not destruction, it is not even a loss. It is but a moment of sleep until the resurrection. Death is a cure; it is the best medicine, for they who die are healed forever!

 As Jesus sang these words with His disciples on the night before His own death the words were powerful and prophetic. Jesus was the ultimate holy one and His death ‘precious’ beyond all reckoning. How moving it was for Jesus to sing the words of v17 when He Himself was about to become that sacrifice! Once again (c.f.v14) we find ourselves at the altar of sacrifice with the poet. He was happy to proclaim his gratitude to God and to ‘call upon’ Him alone. The repetition of this phrase keeps us at the altar with a public sacrifice of thanksgiving (v18). There, ‘in the courts of the LORD’s house,’ the psalmist would proclaim his praise and gratitude toward God. We suffer and struggle for the most part alone. Grief is a hermit, but Joy is sociable; praise and thankfulness desire listeners. Hallelujah! 

No Comments

Post A Comment