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Psalm 116

“Let my people go that they may serve me” (Exodus 7:16). These are the words that God tells Moses to repeat to Pharoah, which Moses does repeatedly. All too often, people only remember the first part of the statement, as if freedom is unbridled choices. But the Biblical story is about moving from slavery to commitment, which entails duties. In that light, we begin to count the

In Psalm 116, the Psalmist begins: “I love” and then a pause before the sentence continues, “for Adonai hears my voice.” Some commentators fill in the blank with God’s name, others “that God listens to me.” The psalm will unfold with sentences that are often incomplete, conveying a gushing of enthusiasm. God has saved the Psalmist from a grave danger, most likely a severe illness. And as the Psalm progresses, the psalmist will declare, “For I am Your servant” (v.16). To be God’s servant is a source of celebration and honor, a quality of purpose that promises protection from despair and danger.

Please join me today at 9:30am for an exploration of Psalm 116, another component of the “Hallel of Mitzrayim.”

This morning’s study is dedicated to Suzy Herrera.

The city of Belfast, Northern Ireland has as its motto Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus, the Vulgate translation of Ps 116:12 (“what shall we give in return for so much?” or “What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?”), which was also Voltaire’ favorite line in the Bible.