Bible Society of South Africa
Neville Turley

Gems from the Psalms – Day 3

Take heart

Bible text(s)

7Be confident, my heart,

because the LORD has been good to me.

8The LORD saved me from death;

he stopped my tears

and kept me from defeat.

9And so I walk in the presence of the LORD

in the world of the living.

Psalms 116:7-9GNBOpen in Bible reader

26Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

Mark 14:26GNBOpen in Bible reader

Our verse for the day is part of a prayer of gratitude to God for allowing the psalmist to survive a traumatic, near-death experience. Psalms 113–118 are known as the Egyptian Hallel because they commemorate Israel’s exodus from Egypt. In Psalm 114:1 we read, When the people of Israel left Egypt, …

These psalms were sung as two hymns of praise during the great annual festivals. During Passover, Psalms 113–114 were sung before the meal and Psalms 115–118 were sung after the meal.

Our Lord and his disciples most probably sang this hymn at the Passover meal, which we commemorate as the Last Supper. He then went to face the ordeal of his passion and death. Then they sung a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives. (Mark 14:26)

Unlike the psalmist, our Lord did not ask to escape the horrors of death. Instead, he gladly sacrificed his own life out of love for you and me.

It is said that we are all one heartbeat away from death. It is the price we pay for being alive. In our life’s walk, we will at one stage or another come close to death – a life-threatening illness, major surgery, malicious assault or a serious accident. None of us is exempt from life’s dangers. However, like the psalmist, we do have a Lord to whom we can appeal to with confidence.

He loves us and he has put us on this earth for a purpose. And until he is ready to call us home, he will protect us from death. He will keep us secure and enable us to serve him in accordance with his will and for his glory. Because of him, we can face this world with confidence.

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