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"WHAT SHALL I RENDER UNTO THE LORD?

"
"What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward
me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of
the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the
presence of all his people" (Psa. 116: 12-14) .
WE PRAY FOR ALL God's dear people everywhere, as the sum
of our new year's wishes, abundant supplies of mercy, grace
and truth. Psa. 116: 12-14 is a passage that will help us to
secure these supplies.
GOD'S GREAT BENEFITS TO US
V. 12 refers in part to God's great benefits toward us. These
are sevenfold: creative, providential, redemptive, instructional,
justifying, sanctifying and delivering blessings.
(1) It was a great benefit to us that we were created as human
beings, in the mental, moral and religious image of God, rather
than as beasts, fowl, fish or creeping things, and have been
given a heredity predisposing us to God and the things of God
(Gen. 1: 26, 27; 2: 7; 5: 1, 2; 9: 6; Deut. 4: 32; Job 4: 17; 10: 3,
8, 9; 31: 15; 33: 4; 34: 19; 35: 10; Psa. 8: 4-8; 100: 3; 119: 73;
138: 8; 139: 14; Eccles. 7: 29; Isa. 17: 7; 42: 5; 43: 7; 45: 12;
64: 8; Jer. 27: 5; Zech. 12: 1; Mal. 2: 10; Mark 10: 6; 1 Cor. 11:
7; Heb. 2: 6-9; Jas. 3: 9).
(2) It is a blessing that God's people have from Him the
providential good things, consisting of the benefits of each of
the seven features of His providential care:
(a) He arranges for the supply of their needs, and then
supplies them (Psa. 65: 9-13;
104: 10-19, 24-30; 136: 25; 145: 15, 16; 147: 8, 9; Isa. 33: 16;
Acts 14:17).
(b) He preserves them by shielding them from the attacks of
too strong evils (Psa. 34: 17, 19, 20; 91: 1-12; Isa. 4: 5, 6; 32:
2; 1 Cor. 10: 13; 2 Pet. 2: 9; Rev. 3: 10) and by strengthening
them to meet such evils as by His grace they are enabled to
meet (Psa. 34: 7; 44: 1-3; 105: 14-21; 127: 1, 2; 146: 7-9; 2 Cor.
12: 7-9).
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(c) He directs their course in life, both collectively and


individually (Psa. 37: 17, 23, 24, 28, 32; 91: 11, 12; Prov. 20:
22; 24: 16; Isa. 26: 7; 30: 21; 31: 4, 5; 40:11; 52: 11
53: 12; 58: 11; Jer. 2: 6; 3: 4; Rom. 8: 28; 2 Thes. 3: 3; 1 Pet. 2:
12).
(d) He works all their experiences for their spiritual good (Gen.
50: 20; 1 Sam. 2: 6-9; Ezra 6: 22; Rom. 8: 28; 2 Cor. 4: 16-18;
Phil. 1: 12-14).
(e) He restrains them from evil and unprofitable works by
hindrances that He brings into their lives (Acts 8: 1, 4-8; 16: 6,
7, 9; 2 Cor. 12: 7-9; Phil. 1: 12-14).
(f) He trains them by disciplines, hardships and persecutions
(for many pertinent passages, please see the preceding point;
additionally, note the following: Psa. 66: 10; 119: 71; Eccles. 7:
14; Isa. 1: 25; Mic. 6: 9; Mal. 3: 3; John 11: 4; 15: 2; 1 Cor. 11:
32; 2 Cor. 4: 11, 17; Heb. 2: 10, 17, 18; 5: 8; 1 Pet. 5: 10; Rev.
2: 10).
(g) God stripes them for wrongdoing (Psa. 50: 21; Zech. 1: 6;
Matt. 5: 19; Luke 12: 45-48; Rom. 11: 17-21; Col. 3: 25; Heb.
2:3; 4:1; 10: 30; 12: 25).
All seven of these forms of God's providence are exercised by
Him primarily through the ministry of Jesus Christ (Gen. 48:
15, 16; Psa. 34: 6, 7; Mal. 3: 2, 3; Matt. 28: 18, 20; Mark 16:
20; 1 Cor. 1: 30; 8: 6; Eph. 1: 22; 5: 29; Rev. 2: 23; 3: 7, 19) and
secondarily through the ministry of the angels (Psa. 91: 11, 12;
Matt. 18: 10; Acts 5: 19, 20; 12: 5-11, 23; 27: 23; Heb. 1: 13,
14). The experiences of all God's elect by innumerable cases
prove that He has exercised toward them all seven of these
Biblically taught forms of providential care.
(3) It is a glorious benefit to have God's redemptive love, which
gave on our behalf Jesus the Ransomer who died for us (Psa.
49: 7, 8; Isa. 53: 7-12; Dan. 9: 26; Hos. 13: 14; Matt. 16: 21;
17: 22, 23; 20: 18, 19, 28; 21: 37-39; 26: 2, 28, 31; 27: 50;
Mark 8: 31; 9: 31; 10: 33, 34; 15: 37; Luke 9: 22; 18: 33; 23:
46; John 3: 16; 6: 51; 10: 11, 15, 17, 18; 12: 23, 24, 31-33; 15:
13; Acts 5: 30; 20: 28; 26: 23; Rom. 5: 6-8, 10; 6: 10; 8: 3, 34;
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14: 9, 15; 1Cor. 1: 17, 18, 23; 2: 2; 5: 7; 15: 3; 2 Cor. 5: 14, 15,
21; Gal. 1: 4; 3: 13; 4: 4, 5; Eph. 1: 7; 2: 13, 16; 5: 2, 25; Col. 1:
14, 20, 22; 2: 14; 1 Thes. 4: 14; 5: 9; 1 Tim. 2: 6; Titus 2: 14;
Heb. 1: 3; 2: 9, 14; 7: 27; 9: 14, 15, 26, 28; 10: 10, 12, 14; 12:
2; 13: 12; 1 Pet. 1: 18, 19; 3: 18; 1 John 1: 7; 2: 2; 3: 16; 4: 9,
10; Rev. 1: 5; 5: 6, 9, 12; 13: 8).
(4) God instructs His people. It is a wonderful favor that He
through Jesus has taught us the doctrines, precepts, promises,
exhortations, prophecies, histories and types of His Word as
due (Job 36: 22; Psa. 25: 8, 9, 14; 32: 8; 51: 6; 73: 24; 86: 11;
94: 12; 111:10; Prov. 1: 23; 2: 1-7; 3: 13-18; 4: 4-13, 18, 20-22;
9: 8-10; Eccles. 2: 26; Isa. 11: 2, 3; 48: 17; 50: 4; 54: 13; Jer. 9:
23, 24; Dan. 1: 17; 2: 20-23; Matt. 11: 25; 13: 11, 54; 16: 17;
Luke 1: 76-79; 21: 15; 24: 32, 45; John 6: 45; 8: 31, 32; 16: 13,
14; 1 Cor. 1: 30; 2: 9-13, 16; 2 Cor. 4: 6; Eph. 1: 8; 3: 10; Phil.
3: 15; Col. 2: 3; 3: 16; 2 Tim. 3: 15; Jas. 1: 5; 3: 17; 2 Pet. 1: 12;
1 John 2: 27).
(5) It is a marvelous blessing also to have received justifying
grace from God through Christ (Gen. 15: 6; Psa. 32: 1, 2; Isa.
53: 11; 61: 10; Jer. 23: 6; Zech. 3: 4; John 5: 24; Acts 13: 39;
Rom. 1: 16, 17; 3: 21-30; 4: 5-25; 5: 1, 9-11, 16-21; 8: 1, 30-34;
9: 30; 1 Cor. 1: 30; 6: 11; 2 Cor. 5: 19, 21; Gal. 2: 16; 3: 6-8, 22,
24; Phil. 3: 9; Titus 3: 7; Jas. 2: 21-23; 1 John 1: 9).
(6) It is a great benefit to have received sanctification by God's
grace through Christ (John 17: 17, 19; Rom. 15: 16; 1 Cor. 1: 2,
30; 6: 11, 20; Eph. 5: 25-27; 1 Thes. 4: 3; 5: 23; 2 Thes. 2: 13; 2
Tim. 2: 21; Heb. 2: 11; 10: 10, 14; 13: 12; 1 Pet. 1: 2).
This sanctifying grace (a) enables us to make and keep our
wills dead to self and the world (Matt. 16: 24; 10: 37, 38; Mark
8: 34; Luke 9: 23; 14: 27) while laying down our human all in
consecration in God's service and (b) gives us His holy Spirit
(Luke 11: 1113; Joel 2: 29; Rom. 5: 5; Gal. 4: 6; 2 Tim. 1: 7),
empowering us to sacrifice our humanity (Rom. 12: 1; 1 John 3:
16; Rev. 2: 10), to watch and pray (Matt. 26: 41; Mark13: 33;
14: 38), to understand (Matt. 13: 16; 16: 11, 12; Luke 24: 45),
spread (Matt. 28: 19; John 18: 37; Acts 1: 8; 2 Tim. 4: 2) and
practice His Word (Jas. 1: 22-25; 2 Pet. 1: 511; 3: 18), and to
suffer for truth, righteousness and holiness in Christlikeness
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(Matt. 5: 10-12; Acts 5: 41; Rom. 5: 3-5; 12: 12; 1 Pet. 2: 20; 3:
14, 17; 4: 16).
(7) It is a surpassing blessing, or benefit, to experience God's
deliverance, His delivering power amid our conflicts with the
world, the flesh and the devil, and to have the blissful hope of
final victory over death and hades, in the glorious resurrection
to eternal life, with all its accompanying riches of favor (Job 5:
19; Psa. 50: 15; 91: 3, 15, 16; Prov. 28: 26; Isa. 59: 20; Dan. 3:
17; Hos. 13: 14; Joel 2: 32; Rom. 11: 26; 1 Cor. 1: 30; 6: 14; 15:
54-57; 2 Cor. 1: 10; 4: 14; Gal. 1: 4; Col. 1: 13; 1 Thes. 1: 10; 2
Tim. 4: 17, 18; Titus 2: 14; Heb. 2: 14, 15; 2 Pet. 2: 9).
How markedly each succeeding one of these seven forms of
blessing surpasses the preceding one until the climax is
reached in the seventh! Surely from hearts so favored should
well up as a joyful, thankful and appreciative exclamation the
question: "What shall I render unto the LORD for all his
benefits toward me?"
OUR RESPONSES
The rest of Psa. 116: 12-14 suggests what our responses to
Jehovah's benefits to us should be. There are three responses
presented to us as being in order for us to make.
(1) The first of these is expressed in the words, "I will take the
cup of salvation." In Scriptural symbols a cup, in the blessed
sense of the word, is generally used to denote the blissful and
woeful experiences that God prepares for His faithful ones to
receive (Psa. 23: 5; Matt. 20: 22, 23; 26: 39, 42; Luke 22: 20;
John 18: 11; 1 Cor. 10: 16). Such is evidently the sense of the
word in our text. The expression, "the cup of salvation," would
therefore mean the experiences of bliss and woe that God
prepares for His loyal ones, and that they are to receive as
incidental to obtaining the salvation graciously provided for
them.
The promise, "I will take the cup of salvation," implies that we
will accept these blissful and woeful experiences, coming as
they do from our Heavenly Father, as our portion incidental to
the obtaining of our eternal salvation. It implies a readiness to
accept them regardless of whether they are blissful or woeful.
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It implies also our readiness to receive them in the spirit of our


Lord, therefore with believing, submissive, thankful,
appreciative, willing, hopeful, loving, peaceful, joyful and
obedient hearts. Certainly this would be a proper response to
make to Jehovah for His many benefits toward us.
(2) The second response that our text suggests, and that God's
faithful people should and do render, is expressed in the words
"and call upon the name of the LORD." The name of a person,
as used in this verse, stands for the person himself as he is in
his nature, character, office, thoughts, words and acts. To call
upon the name of the Lord, therefore, means to pray to
Jehovah, and that with respect to and in harmony with His
nature, character, office, thoughts, words and acts. The special
things for which we should call upon Jehovah, St. Paul tells us,
are mercy and grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4: 16).
These must be asked for in harmony with His nature,
character, office, thoughts, words and deeds.
Therefore the second response that we should make to our
Heavenly Father for His multiplied benefits toward us, is to
pray to Him for mercy and grace in time of need. This is a
proper response, because such prayers are a humble
acknowledgment of our need of His mercy and favor, are a
confession of our weakness and of our dependence upon Him
in everything connected with our salvation, are an expression
of our trust in Him in respect to His promised mercy and
grace, are an ascription of honor due to Him as the Author,
Continuer and Finisher of everything connected with our
salvation and are an offer to Him of an occasion of pleasure
the pleasure that He feels at bestowing blessingsall of which
are implied in calling upon Jehovah and are certainly due to
Him as a proper response for His benefits toward us.
(3) The last kind of a proper response to Jehovah for all His
benefits toward us is found in the final verse of our text: "I will
pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all of his
people." Vows relating to God are promises made to Him that
bind the vower to Him in matters not required by justice. God's
consecrated people have made two all-comprehensive vows to
God. These are their consecration vows: (a) to be dead to self
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and the world and (b) to be alive to God. We can make no


proper vow to God that is not implied in one or the other of
these two vows. The first of these vows is self-explanatory in
what it implies. The second implies things deeper than appear
on its surface; for it implies that we learn God's Word, watch
and pray according to God's Word, and use our human all in
spreading, practicing and enduring for God's Word, and that
these things be faithfully done unto death.
To pay one's vows means to keep the promises made to God at
one's consecration and at subsequent times. These promises,
being made to God, are to be fulfilled to Him. They are not to
be deferred, in procrastination to an indefinite future, but are
to be realized "now," in the living present, in the ways, time,
order, condition and activities that God indicates by His Spirit,
Word and providences.
And they are to be done in favor (in the interests) of all God's
people; for so should the expression in this verse, "in the
presence of," be understood. The Hebrew expression here
translated "in the presence of" is literally "in the face of." The
thought is that we should, in fulfilling our consecration vows,
let every class of God's people have benefit therefrom, and
that in increasing measure as we ascend in our dealings with
their various classes from the lowest to the highest. In
benefiting these we advance God's Plan, and thus fulfill to Him
our vows, which imply that we make the advancement of His
Plan our chief endeavor (Psa. 147: 5, 6; Matt. 6: 33). Surely
such a response is also a proper one for us to make to Jehovah
for all His benefits toward us.
Therefore let us during 1977 and throughout our lives, think
of, derive inspiration from, and always seek to realize the
exhortations of, this text. Keeping God's blessed law of truth
and righteousness within our hearts, may we ever find it our
chief delight to do His blessed will and to be zealously active in
His service (Psa. 40: 8; John 4: 24, 34; Rom. 7: 22; 12: 11).