1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures for ever. 2 Let Israel say: “His love endures for ever.” 3 Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures for ever. 4 Let those who fear the LORD say: “His love endures for ever.”
“5 In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. 6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies. 8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. 9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.
10 All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off. 11 They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
12 They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off. 13 I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me. 14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
15 Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things! 16 The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!” 17 I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done. 18 The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. 20 This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter. 21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. 22 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; 23 the LORD has done this, and it is marvellous in our eyes. 24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success. 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you.
27 The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. 28 You are my God, and I will give thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. 29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures for ever.
Psalm 118 – The enduring love of God
(Verses 1-4) God’s goodness and enduring ‘love’ (translated elsewhere as ‘mercy’) make us thank Him and reverentially fear Him. Who thank Him for His enduring love? Israel, God’s people; the priests in ‘the house of Aaron; and people who ‘fear the LORD’ anywhere. That includes us today if we have trusted in Jesus as our Saviour. He took our sins and God’s punishment on them when He died on the cross for us, and rose again.
(Verses 5-9) Times of anguish do come to those who love and follow the LORD. But He answers our prayers and liberates us from it. He is with us—there is no need to fear those who wish to harm us. God is our Helper. Through Him we can have the victory over whatever assaults us. Trusting in man, even in princes, is useless. Trusting and taking refuge in the LORD is far better! So next time you feel overwhelmed ask God to help you: if you know Jesus as your Saviour, He will!
(Verses 10-14) God’s physical people, Israel, fight physical battles against physical enemies who hate both God and them. Like a swarm of bees, they surround and outnumber them. God helps His servant and his forces to beat their enemy. Even when it seemed as if his foes will win, he says ‘the LORD helped me.’ He rejoices that the ‘LORD is [his] strength and [his] song’ and ‘has become [his] salvation’. In our spiritual battles we fight three forces: against a world system of thinking and living that has no time for the Bible and for Jesus; against our indwelling sin which strives to overcome us with temptations as if we do not love or belong to Christ; and against the devil and his unseen and ungodly spiritual forces. We are not strong enough ourselves, but we are in Christ (Philippians 4:13)..
(Verses 15-18) Joyful victory shouts acknowledge that God enables us to win. The Lord’s ‘right hand’ achieves that. But at times our Father God will chasten us to keep us from sin. That will be, always justifiable and reasonable. But we never face spiritual death: we have eternal life in Christ!
(Verses 19-26) When God saves me (has ‘become my salvation’) I seek to live righteously. God is righteous and wants His forgiven and cleansed children to be righteous. Verses 19-26 are also ‘Messianic’ – about Jesus. He became the ‘Chief Cornerstone’ on that first Lord’s day when He rose up from the grave, having paid for our sins. We too can pray, ‘O LORD, save us’. He blesses us.
(Verses 27-29) Twice we read, ‘You are my God.’ If Christ is your Saviour, He is your God too. So, we continue to thank Him for His enduring ‘love’.