The Cup of Salvation

Psalm 116:1-13

I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, save my life!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful. The Lord protects the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.

I walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I kept my faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”; I said in my consternation, “Everyone is a liar.”

What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,

While the official way to offer thanks to God was to offer a thanksgiving sacrifice in the Temple, most people were not able to do so unless they traveled to Jerusalem, usually for one of the high holy days on the Jewish calendar. However, they could “lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord” any time they wished, especially when they gathered as a family to celebrate the beginning of the Sabbath.

The Psalmist lists many things to be thankful for. We can be thankful that God has heard our prayers, that God is gracious, righteous and merciful, that God has “delivered [our souls] from death.” God “has dealt bountifully with” us, has “delivered [our souls] from death, [our] eyes from tears, [our] feet from stumbling.”

There is so much for which to be thankful, so we “lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.” The cup of salvation is also the cup of thanksgiving. When we recognize the salvation we have from God, we cannot help but be thankful.