Through the Bible Day by Day
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
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 Neh_8:13-18. The structure of the psalm is as follows: Psa_118:1-4, the summons of the full choir to the constituent parts of the procession; Psa_118:5-14, the song of the soloist; Psa_118:15-16, the answer of the choir; Psa_118:17-19, the soloist. At this point the procession reaches the Temple gates. Psa_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. Psa_118:21, the soloist; Psa_118:22-27, the full chorus; Psa_118:28, the soloist; Psa_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 we infer that our Lord sang it as He went forth to die, Mat_26:30. It will be sung once more on that coming day for which we wait. See Isa_25:9; Mat_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.
The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
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 Psa_118:13, “Thou [the enemy] didst thrust sore at me,” but in Psa_118:18, “The Lord hath chastened me sore.” Our Lord and His Apostles made much use of Psa_118:22. See Mat_21:42; Act_4:11; Eph_2:20; 1Pe_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.
Psa_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.