What shall I render to the LORD
For all His benefits toward me?
I will take up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the LORD. Psa 116:12-13
The Psalmist asks a good question. The LORD has done so much for us, to save us, to bless us, to pour out benefits on our heads. The Psalmist lists many of these benefits in Psa 103. So what then shall we do to Him, what shall we give to Him, in return?
Calling on the name of the LORD is a phrase we read often in Torah. It means taking the LORD as our God, and not any of the false gods so prevalent in the society around us. In the ancient worldview, gods, since they were greater than men, were for conferring blessings, and benefits. They were supposed to deliver men out of trouble, and give them victory over their enemies. If a god wasn’t able to do these things, then he wasn’t worth serving – that was the ancient worldview. This is how the LORD judged the gods of the Egyptians, because their gods were powerless to prevent any of the destruction which the LORD rained down on them. He showed up their gods as worthless.
So if someone is calling on the name of the LORD, he is calling on the LORD to deliver him and not some other god. He was taking God for his God and not some other god. In return for the benefits the LORD has showered on us, He wants us to call on His name, to look to Him as our help and our deliverer in times of trouble, and not to something or someone else.
He also wants us to take the cup of salvation. “Salvation” is in Hebrew, “yeshua.” So what is the cup of Yeshua?
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Mat 26:27-28
The cup of salvation is His blood of the new covenant, which is for the remission of sins — shed for our salvation, as we just celebrated in Passover, Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of Firstfruits!