Read: Psalm 118:1 – 29
Psalm 118 the last of those Psalms which form the Great Hallel, which the Jews sang at the end of the Passover and on other holy days, and which Jesus sang with His disciples the night before His crucifixion. Psalm 118 was Luther’s favorite psalm. He wrote, “This is my Psalm, my chosen Psalm. I love them all . . .but this Psalm is nearest my heart, and I have a peculiar right to call it mine. It has saved me from many a pressing danger, from which nor emperor, nor kings, nor sages, nor saints, could have saved me.”
Think About It: Have I had any experiences that would give me a claim on Psalm 118 as my own– that is, how have I experienced those things described in this psalm?
Prayer: Thank God for saving and delivering me.
Read: Psalm 118:1 – 4; Romans 9:6 – 8; Acts 10:2; Deuteronomy 7:9
Psalm 118:1 – 4 directs us to give thanks to the Lord. Who should give thanks? Psalm 118:2 says Israel should give thanks. Israel represents God’s chosen, covenant people, which today includes the church (Romans 9:6 – 8). Psalm 118:3 says the House of Aaron should give thanks; that is, the priests, the religious leaders of the people must give leadership by example and give thanks to the Lord. Psalm 118:4 says those that fear the Lord should give thanks. “God-fearers” include those people who have prepared their hearts for faith by repentance, e.g. Cornelius (Acts 10:2).
Think About It: According to Psalm 118:1 – 4, why should I give thanks? How have I experienced God’s mercy?
Prayer: Give thanks to the Lord for His everlasting mercy.
Read: Psalm 118:5 – 13; Psalm 27:1- 3; Psalm 56:4, 11; Psalm 146:3; Hebrews 13:6; Ephesians 6:12
In Psalm 118:5 – 13 the psalmist considers God and man.
Think About It: What kind of trouble is the psalmist having (Psalm 118:10 – 13)? What does the psalmist say is true about God (Psalm 118:5 – 7)? Do I believe that the Lord is on my side? How does the psalmist respond to this truth about God (Psalm 118:6, 8 – 9)? Who are my enemies, really (Ephesians 6:12)?
Prayer: Lord, help me to trust in you, not men; strengthen me in my spiritual warfare.
Read: Psalm 118:14; Exodus 15:2; Isaiah 12:2; 2 Chronicles 20:21 – 23
Psalm 118:14 quotes from the Psalm of Moses, Exodus 15:2, “The Lord is my strength and my song.“ The typical parallelism of Hebrew poetry is lacking in this phrase. Instead of “song,” a word like “fortress” is expected. However, a song can be synonymous with strength: with song we send men to war, get married, bury our dead, and worship God. The words “the Lord is my strength and my song” appear in three contexts according to Scripture: 1) at Israel’s first great service of worship after crossing the Red Sea (Ex. 15:2); 2) on the eve of Christ’s passion, since Jesus sang this Psalm with His disciples following the Last Supper (Ps. 118:14); 3) at the end time in the Messianic Kingdom (Isaiah 12:2).
Think About It: What specific spiritual songs and hymns have been a source of spiritual strength for me?
Prayer: Praise God for the strength that comes in song.
Read: Psalm 118:22 – 23; John 1:11; Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:11; Isaiah 28:16; Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:7
In the New Testament, Psalm 118:22 – 23 is understood as referring to the death and resurrection of Christ. The “builders” were the Jewish religious leaders who failed to recognize Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God.
Think About It: Read Stephen’s sermon in Acts 7. How does Psalm 118:22 – 23 relate to the point of Stephen’s sermon? Have I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior?
Prayer: Give praise to the chief cornerstone, Jesus Christ.
Read: Psalm 118:24; Hebrews 4:1, 3, 9 – 11; Acts 11:18; 13:48
Psalm 118:24, “This is the day which the Lord hath made,” is frequently quoted out of context. The “Day” of Psalm 118:24 refers to the era inaugurated by the revealing of the stone rejected by the builders as the chief cornerstone. The Day is the Gospel era; the era of the Sabbath rest of the people of God; the era when believing Gentiles are received into God’s family along with the believing Jews. The Lord has made this era; we are to receive it joyfully.
Think About It: We are accustomed to thinking of eras in terms of decades– what is beneficial in thinking about our “era” as extending all the way back to the resurrection of Christ? Is my life characterized by rejoicing and being glad because I live in the Gospel Era?
Prayer: For the joy of the Lord to be evident in my life.
Read: Psalm 118:26; Matthew 21:9; Matthew 23:39
Psalm 118:26 speaks prophetically of the coming of Christ to Jerusalem.
Think About It: When is the fulfillment of this verse according to Matthew 21:9? When will it be fulfilled again according to Matthew 23:29?
Prayer: Even so, come Lord Jesus!