Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The Cup of Salvation (Psalm 116)

"I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD" (Ps. 116:13).

David asked in Psalm 116, “What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me?” (v. 12). David reflected on how God had delivered “my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling” (v. 8). As he remembered God’s grace and mercy in his salvation, he found himself overcome with the need to give back to the Lord for all He had done for him.

David responded, “I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows to the LORD now in the presence of all His people.… I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving.” David understood God’s grace was based on no merit within himself. Paul recognized this same grace when he told Timothy in his first letter that Christ had given Paul the ministry of the Gospel despite his former sinful ways, that he was a “blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man” in the midst of unbelief. Paul’s response to such mercy was praise. Likewise, David strengthened his faith, threw off doubt in the midst of affliction, and rendered God the praise and thanksgiving due Him.

David says he took the cup of salvation. “He refers to a custom which was prevalent under the Law,” Calvin explains. “For when they rendered solemn thanks to God, a feast was also appointed, at which, in token of their gladness, there was an holy libation. This being a symbol of their deliverance from Egyptian thraldom is for that reason here called the cup of salvation. The term to call upon. signifies to celebrate the name of God; and this he expresses more plainly, subsequently, by saying that he would pay his vows in the assembly of the faithful, the sanctuary alone being the place where sacrifices could be offered. The amount is that the faithful need not be greatly perplexed about the way of performing their duties, God not demanding from them a return which He knows they are unable to give, but being satisfied with a bare and simple acknowledgement. The proper return is to own our obligation to Him for everything.… The Holy Spirit, speaking of the true worship of God, very properly connects, by an indissoluble bond, these two parts of worship, ‘Call upon Me in the day of trouble;’ and, ‘after thy deliverance glorify Me’ ” (Psalm 50:15).

Think about how often you call on God to help you. Then think about how often you thank Him for all He has done for you. What does “after thy deliverance glorify Me” mean? In what practical and concrete ways can you take the cup of salvation and thank God today?