Deliverance From Death

Title: Deliverance From Death

Bible Book: Psalms 116 : 15-17

Author: Franklin L. Kirksey

Subject: Death; Life



Andrew A. Bonar explains, “The Jews have handed down the tradition, that this Psalm, and those that follow on to the 118th, were all sung at the Passover; and they are denominated ‘The Great Hallel.’ This tradition shows, at all events, that the ancient Jews perceived in these six psalms some link of close connection. They all sing of God the Redeemer, in some aspect of his redeeming character; and this being so, while they suited the paschal feast, we can see how appropriate they would be in the lips of the Redeemer, in his Upper Room.

Thus —

  • In Psalm 113, he sang praise to him who redeems from the lowest depth.
  • In Psalm 114, he sang praise to him who once redeemed Israel, and shall redeem Israel again.
  • In Psalm 115, he uttered a song—over earth's fallen idols—to him who blesses Israel and the world. In Psalm 116, he sang his resurrection song of thanksgiving by anticipation.
  • In Psalm 117, he led the song of praise for the great congregation.
  • In Psalm 118 (just before leaving the Upper Room to go to Gethsemane), he poured forth the story of his suffering, conflict, triumph and glorification.”1

David writes, “Precious in the sight of the LORD / Is the death of His saints. O LORD, truly I am Your servant; / I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; / You have loosed my bonds. I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, / And will call upon the name of the Lord” (Psalm 116:15-17).

Three thoughts emerge from this text:

I. The Sight of the Lord (v. 15a)

“Precious in the sight of the Lord”

A. His Observation

“the sight of the LORD”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes said to Dr. Watson, “You see, but you do not observe.”

In 2 Chronicles 16:9a we read, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”

The Lord does not just see, He observes.

B. His Estimation


We read in 1 Peter 3:4 about a "gentle and quiet spirit which is very precious in the sight of God."

In 1 Peter 2:4-10 we read: "Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

“Behold, I lay in Zion

A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,

And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief cornerstone,”

and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.”

They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

We also read in 1 Peter 1:7 about precious faith

The Bible also speaks of the precious blood of Jesus Christ. If the blood that Jesus shed for the forgiveness of our sins is precious, then we are precious to God too!

The chorus reminds us: “Jesus loves the little children, All the children of the world.

Red and yellow, black and white, All are precious in His sight,

Jesus loves the little children of the world.”2

II. The Saint of the Lord (v. 15b)

In verse 15 we also read about “the death of His saints”. Who is a saint?

You do not need to be a member of a religious order or a certain church to become a saint.

Dr. J. Vernon McGee explains, “We do not become saints by what we do; we become saints because of our position in Christ. The word saint actually means "set aside to God.” Every Christian should be set aside to God. For example, the pans and vessels that were used in the tabernacle and later in  the temple were called holy vessels. Holy? Yes, because they were for the use of God. On what   basis is a child of God a saint or holy? On the basis that he is for the use of God. This is the position that we have. I repeat again, one is not a saint on the basis of what one does. All of mankind is divided between the ‘saints’ and the ‘ain’ts.’ If you ‘ain't’ in Christ, then you are an ‘ain’t.’ If you are in Christ, then you are a ‘saint.’”3

“A saint has been defined as someone ‘in whom Christ lives again.’"4

Dr. George O. McCalep, Jr., writes, “In Christ, I can call myself a saint. In Christ, my sins, by the blood of Jesus, have been washed away … erased, made clean, only in Christ. That means they no longer exist… gone… wiped out… forgotten. All we have to do then is live in everlasting joy. Praise God for the spiritual blessings we have available to us in Christ.”5

These words by John Rippon (1787) begin the favorite hymn of General Robert E. Lee and it was sung at his funeral and at the funerals of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson:

“How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,

Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!

What more can He say than to you He hath said,

You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?”6

III. The Servant of the LORD (v. 16)

David continues to write, “O Lord, truly I am Your servant; / I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant.”

The Servant of the Lord prophetically refers to Jesus and the “maidservant” speaks of Mary the mother of Jesus. We read about the “Suffering Servant” in Isaiah 52:13 -53:12 which reads:

13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently;

He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. 14 Just as many were astonished at you,

So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;

15 So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him;

For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they shall consider.

Who has believed our report?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground.

He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him,

There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men,

A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;

He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows;

Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;

We have turned, every one, to his own way;

And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth;

He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,

And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation?

For He was cut off from the land of the living;

For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death,

Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.

When You make His soul an offering for sin,

He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,  And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.

He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.  By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death,

And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many,

And made intercession for the transgressors.”

George Williams explains in The Student’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, “2 Corinthians 4:11- 5:9 makes it clear that the Messiah is the speaker in this fourth Hallel-Psalm. The comforting message to faith in both Psalm and Epistle is that the resurrection of Christ is a pledge and assurance of the resurrection of His people: and that as God carried Him victoriously through the sorrows of life and of death, so will He triumphantly carry those who by faith are united to Him. Hence their resurrection (v. 15) is based upon and connected with His resurrection (v. 8).”7

In 2 Corinthians 4:11-5:9 Paul the apostle writes, “For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.

And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon shares the following in “The Exeter-Hall Sermon to Young Men”, “I am now addressing a congregation of young men. Young men—but in how very short a time, if you all live—will your hair be powdered with the gray of age! In how brief an interval will the whole company now gathered in Exeter Hall be gathered in the grave! How short life is! How swift is time! The older we get, the faster years fly. Only that is worth my having which I can have forever! Only that is worth my grasping which death cannot tear out of my hands!

The supreme reward of being a servant of God is hereafter!

And if, young man, you should serve God and you should meet with losses, here, for Christ’s sake, you may count these “light afflictions which are but for a moment,” and think them quite unworthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed—for there is a resurrection of the dead! There is a judgment to come! There is a life eternal! There is a Heaven of unutterable splendor! There is a place in that Heaven for everyone of us who become true servants of the living God. I think that I hear somebody saying, “Well, I do not want to be a servant.” You cannot help it, my Friend—you cannot help it. You must be a servant of somebody! “Then I will serve myself,” says one. Pardon me, brave Sir, if I whisper in your ear that if you serve yourself you will serve a fool!8

John writes from the Isle of Patmos, “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and

ever” (Revelation 22:1-5).


David writes, “You have loosed my bonds” (Psalm 116:17) referring to “the bonds of death” (v.3). Please note that David received a deliverance from death in an extension of his earthly life. From Hebrews 9:27 we know that ultimately “it is appointed for men to die once”. Because of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ believers have deliverance from death.


1 Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Treasury of David
2 Available from: Accessed: 03/05/08
3 J. Vernon McGee's Thru The Bible
4 George O. McCalep, Jr., Ph.D., Growing Up to the Head (Orman Press, 1997)
Barclay's Daily Study Bible (NT)
5 Available from: Accessed: 03/07/08
6 George Williams, The Student’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1960), p. 387
7 Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 1, Volume 29 "The Exeter-Hall Sermoto Young Men" NO. 1740, Delivered On Lord's-Day Evening, September 2, 1883, By C.H.Spurgeon, At Exeter Hall. pp. 3-4

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