Psalm 118

Never failing streams of mercy flow from our God.
The more our hearts are impressed with the sense of His goodness,
the more we are bound to praise Him and the more our hearts will be enlarged in all manner of obedience.

1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.

2 Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

3 Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

4 Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

5 I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place.

6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

7 The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.

8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

10 All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them.

11 They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.

12 They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.

13 Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me.

14 The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.

16 The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.

17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.

18 The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:

20 This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.

21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.

22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

23 This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.

26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.

27 God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.

29 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 118:1-14 – Trust in God Brings Strength

   It is generally agreed that this psalm dates back to the restoration from Babylon. It was probably used as a processional hymn for the first time at the great Feast of Tabernacles mentioned in Nehemiah 8:13-18. The structure of the psalm is as follows: Psalm 118:1-4, the summons of the full choir to the constituent parts of the procession; Psalm 118:5-14, the song of the soloist; Psalm 118:15-16, the answer of the choir; Psalm 118:17-19, the soloist. At this point the procession reaches the Temple gates. Psalm 118:20 is the response of priests and Levites, the custodians of the sacred edifice, who lay stress on the character of those who tread its courts. Psalm 118:21, the soloist; Psalm 118:22-27, the full chorus; Psalm 118:28, the soloist; Psalm 118:29, the concluding doxology.
   Luther says of this psalm: “This is mine, the one which I love.” As it was included in the great Hallel (Psalms 113-118) we infer that our Lord sang it as He went forth to die, Matthew 26:30. It will be sung once more on that coming day for which we wait. See Isaiah 25:9; Matthew 23:39. When we identify ourselves with God’s great cause, we may absolutely count on God as our strength in the conflict, and our song in assured victory. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Psalm 118:15-29 – ​A New Way in a New Day

   As we draw near the mellowing light of the sanctuary we see more deeply into the divine meaning of our experiences. In Psalm 118:13, “Thou [the enemy] hast thrust sore at me”, but in Psalm 118:18, “The LORD hath chastened me sore.” Our Lord and His Apostles made much use of Psalm 118:22. See Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; I Peter 2:4-7. It probably refers to an incident in the building of the Temple, when a rejected stone was sought for to complete the structure. Its rejection and recovery were “the Lord’s doing,” as a parable of other and more momentous events.
   Psalm 118:27 is peculiarly beautiful. As soon as God gives you light, make use of it for a fuller consecration and be renewal of sacrifice. New light means the discovery of fresh opportunities for divine service. Let light and life keep step! Pass from the altar to the Cross, at which Jesus stands to welcome and endorse your new act of surrender. Behold there the golden cord of love, the silver cord of hope, and the crimson cord of his redeeming sacrifice for you. The confession of such a life will be that God is good, that His service is bliss, and that His mercy never fails. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Psalm 118:27—Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

​   Is not this altar his Cross? Shall we not ask to be bound to it, that we may never be able to start back from our attitude of consecration? There are times when life is full of roseate light, and we choose the Cross; at other times, when the sky is grey, we shrink from it. It is well to be bound. Wilt Thou bind us, most blessed Spirit, and enamor us with the Cross, and let us never leave it? Bind us with the scarlet cord of redemption, and the golden cord of love, and the silver cord of Advent-hope: so will we not go back from it, or wish for another lot, than to be the humble partners with our Lord in his pain and sorrow.
   The horns of the altar invite thee. Wilt thou come? Wilt thou desist from the thinking, speaking, and willing of thine own selfhood? Wilt thou place the Cross between thyself and the world that entices thee? Wilt thou dwell ever in a spirit of resigned humility, and give thyself to continual repentance and tears? Wilt thou love the Cross of our Lord Jesus and the contempt of the world, and take them as thy meat and drink? Then thou shalt know the life that passes through death, and is life indeed.
   How precious are the last lines that David Livingstone penned in his diary, before his boys found him kneeling beside his bed, dead, though in the attitude of prayer, the candle burning beside him: “My Jesus, my King, my Life, my All; to Thee I again dedicate myself.” So bind each of us with the cords of love, and the bands of a man.
   Remember Tholuck’s motto, which was adopted by Count Zinzendorf: “I have one passion, and it is He—only He.” —Our Daily Homily