The Word Made Fresh
1I love the LORD, who has heard my voice and my prayers.
2The LORD has listened to me,
and I know I can call whenever I need and as long as I live.
3I was surrounded by death’s snares.
The fear of the grave threatened me
and I was in deep anguish and distress.
4I called on the LORD:
“LORD,” I prayed, “rescue me!”
5The LORD is gracious and good and merciful.
6The LORD protects the innocent,
and rescued me when I was brought low.
7Be at peace, my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
8You rescued my life from death, LORD,
and dried my tears and held me up.
9I can now walk before the LORD, alive and well.
10I remained faithful even when I was in dire straits;
11even when I said in my suffering, “Everybody is lying to me!”
12What then should I give back to the LORD
for all the good things the LORD has done for me?
13I will raise thanksgiving for my salvation
and call on the LORD’s name.
14I will keep my promises to the LORD
in full view of the people.
15When people of faith die,
we can be sure they are precious to the LORD.
16I am your servant, LORD.
I am your servant, the son of your servant girl.
You have loosened my bonds.
17So, I will make a sacrifice to you in thanksgiving,
and call on your sacred name.
18I will keep my promises to the LORD
in the presence of the people.
19I will bring my sacrifice to the LORD’s courts
in your midst, Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD!
1-4: A story of deliverance. The nature of the troubles is not specified, just a general “distress and anguish” from which the author was rescued.
5-7: In any case the troubles are over, and the author is grateful to God.
8-11: Although many commentators speculate that the author has recovered from a severe illness, the psalm really doesn’t say that has been the case. In fact, the exclamation, “everyone is a liar,” seems to indicate that his distress may have had to do with legal problems.
12-19: The last part of the psalm is the author’s promised response to God’s goodness. Verse 16 hints that the author has been released from some sort of bondage; whether it was an illness or an imprisonment or some other form of bondage we cannot say, but the lesson for us is that God can rescue the faithful when they cry out.
When we are in trouble our usual response is to look for an escape. But suppose our trouble is a Godsend, or at least something God has allowed. It is through the difficult days that we learn faithfulness. An easy life is untested and unenriched by struggle. We should face our problems by first thanking God for the opportunity they give us to grow in faith.