“I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the LORD’S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalms 116:18-19)
In Psalms 116:17-18, the Psalmist said that he would first, “offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving”; second, “call upon the name of the LORD”; and third, “pay my vows unto the LORD.” Why? Because, “I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid” and “thou hast loosed my bonds” (verse 16); that is, You have set me free and yet I am Thy servant.
In the spiritual realm, the Psalmist made confession to God (Jehovah, Yahweh) that he was a free servant; a slave of Christ; one who had been set free from the bondage of sin, fear, doubt, and death (spiritual separation from God). He was a servant by the Sovereign Will of God; by the Selection of God; and by his own submission to God, because of his knowledge of Salvation in Christ.
Also, in Psalms 116:18-19, the Psalmist reveals the Place of Thanksgiving – first, “in the presence of all his people”; which is the same as “In the courts of the LORD’S house”; and second, “in the midst of thee.”
In the previous devotion, it was learned that the Sacrifice of Thanksgiving is a willing sacrifice of praise continually through the fruit of the lips of man (Leviticus 22:29; Jonah 2:9; Hebrews 13:15).
But here in Psalms 116:18-19, the Place of Thanksgiving is revealed to be in Jerusalem, the “city of God”; even “mount Zion”; “the mountain of his holiness”; “the city of the great King” (Psalms 48:1-3; 87:3; Hebrews 12:21-22; Revelation 21:2, 10; 22:4); even His Dwelling Place on earth, New Jerusalem, the Lamb’s Wife, even the Church of Jesus Christ.
There are several truths presented in Psalms 116:18-19, concerning the Place of the Sacrifice of Thanksgiving:
1) The Child of Grace is to offer his Sacrifice of Thanksgiving to the Lord. The Lord alone is the Creator, Controller, and Consummator. He alone is the Giver of Grace to a person; for as Jonah said, “Salvation is of the LORD” (Jonah 2:9b); from the beginning to all eternity. Salvation (or preserving) is the Eternal Purpose of God in Christ. It encompasses His Sheep, from eternity past to eternity future. It is Christ, the Psalmist said in Psalm 116:16, “thou hast loosed my bonds.” That is, He has made me free from being a bond slave of unrighteousness, and made me a servant of righteousness.
2) The Child of Grace is determined to carry out the Sacrifice of Thanksgiving, “I will pay my vows.” This is not ‘if’ or ‘maybe,’ but I “will.” The Child of Grace knows his duty is to praise God for salvation; but also it is his desire to do so; and he is dedicated and determined to pay his vows unto God.
3) The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving is to be performed “now in the presence of all his people”; which is styled “the courts of the LORD’S house”; which is styled, “in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.” The City of Jerusalem represents the dwelling place of the king and the dwelling place of God on earth in the Holy of Holies in the Temple.
So, the Psalmist was saying – where God my King dwells; and where God my Salvation dwells; which is where His People are; that is, in the courts of the Lord’s House – it is here, before God and His people, that the Sacrifice of Thanksgiving is performed.
Therefore, spiritually, Psalms 116:18-19, points to the Lord’s House, even the Church, His Body, His Bride. Paul made it known that His Dwelling Place is a habitation of God through the Spirit (Ephesians 2:20-22); and the citizens of His House are converted Jews and Gentiles (Ephesians 3:6), making one new man (Galatians 3:25-29).
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
John calls the Church, the Lamb’s Wife, the Holy City, New Jerusalem (Revelation 21, 22). And Peter calls it the “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (or Christ)” (2 Peter 3:13).
It is here, in the House of God, where God and His Glory (Ephesians 3:21) and His People dwell (Hebrews 12:22-23; Ephesians 2:19-22; Galatians 3:25-29). It is here that a Child of Grace is to offer the Sacrifice of Thanksgiving, the fruit of his lips, continually.
The fact is – if you praise God in His House, you will praise God in your house. On the flip side – if you don’t praise God in His House, you will not praise God in your house.
Where do you pay your vows unto the Most-High God?
(This post was originally published in June 2014. We hope you enjoy it as part of this holiday season.)