The Cup of Salvation

October 28, 2010

What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me?

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.‘ – Psalm 116:12-14


God is good! More than that he is good to us. His goodness is incomparable and indescribable, because he defines what is good. We don’t define God as good but rather what is good is defined by who God is. God is good. He is the very essence of goodness and ‘apart from [him] [we] have no good thing. (Ps. 16:2)


I encourage you to go read the whole of Psalm 116, it really sums up well God’s heart for us and even guides us in our response to the great love of this good God. I want to focus on these 3 verses in addition to highlighting some others preceding them. The first (v. 12) asks the very important question, ‘What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me?‘ What do we give to this God who has given to us so much? What could we possibly offer to this awesome God?


First lets look at what the Psalm says leading up to this question.

The snares of death encompassed me‘ (v. 3) This is where we were before God intervened. Because of our sin and our human nature we were sentenced to eternal death. We were separated from God and this is where we justly belong and what we rightly deserve.

But, ‘Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful.‘ (v. 5) God is so full of grace and mercy that he desires that we be forgiven and spend eternity with him. However, he is also righteous which is why he sent his son Jesus to justify us and pay our death penalty.

For you have delivered my soul from death,… I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.‘ (v. 8a, 9) Jesus has set us free and death has lost it’s sting (1 Cor. 15:55-57), we have victory through Christ and have been rescued from darkness to walk with God in the land of the living.


So again we come back to this question, what could we possibly do in response to this incredible goodness God has so lovingly lavished on us?

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.‘ (v. 13-14)

Firstly we lift up the cup of salvation that has been given to us. We have been saved and now we can drink from the living water. However, to lift up our cup is also to propose a toast. We toast to the greatness of our God, thanking him for every sip as we recall the cost of our salvation and the boundless love behind it. We toast to others and invite them to ‘taste and see that the LORD is good‘ (Ps. 34:8).

Secondly we call on his name because he loves to hear his people. We call on him in times of trouble, in times of grief, in times of need, but most of all we call on him at all other times. Let not our pain be all that drives us to him but also our joy.

Lastly we pay our vows to the LORD. This is not driven by a desire to repay God for what he’s done, for that would be insanity at it’s worst. We simply can’t afford it. We pay our vows as a loving response to what God has given us. Our love for God drives us to serve in his church and worship with his people. We offer up our lives to him because they aren’t ours anyway.


Our lives have nothing to do with us and everything to do with Jesus.


The Lord’s Servant

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