The last half of this psalm (vv. 12-19) asks, "How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?" How can we repay the Lord for his goodness? What can we give him? He needs nothing. There is nothing we can give to enrich God. In Romans 11 Paul asks this very question rhetorically; “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him" (v. 35)? The obvious answer is no one, of course. No one can give God anything. Why? "For from him and through him and to him are all things" (v. 36). Every good gift comes from God. It is never the other way around. 

The experience of his having been sick, of having prayed and of having God answer him so clearly and powerfully left such an impression on the psalmist that he spent some time reflecting on it. In yesterday's study, we looked at three reflections, which are presented in random order: 1) “The LORD is gracious and righteous ...full of compassion” (v. 5); 2) “The LORD protects the simplehearted” (v. 6); and 3) “Be at rest once more, O my soul” (v. 7). Today we look at two more reflections from this second part of the psalm. 

As we noted in yesterday's study, verses 10 and 11 are hard to understand, and the result has been somewhat different translations in the versions. Roy Clements spells out four possible translations before settling finally on the NIV rendering. We looked at the first two possible translations yesterday, and continue with the second two in today's study. 

In general, the first eleven (or nine) verses of the psalm tell what God did for the psalmist: God delivered him from the threshold of the grave. He speaks of this in a number of verses.

Psalm 116 is a hymn by an individual celebrating God's deliverance from a sickness so severe he thought he was going to die. But more than that, it is a poem about prayer and thanksgiving. It begins by stating the writer's love for God because God heard his cry for mercy. This means that he prayed or "called” on God and God heard him. Because of this, he says, “I will call on him as long as I live” (v. 2). The two statements, “I called” and “I will call," are repeated throughout the psalm, being found in verses 2, 4, 13 and 17. They teach that God cares for those who are helpless, that he hears their prayers and saves them when they cannot save themselves.