Psalm 118

What a glorious Psalm to the Glory of God. It is yet another Messianic Psalm, and one that firmly places salvation in the hand of God. There is no doubt who does the saving here. Repetition is also used effectively to make wonderful points about the character of God. The first four verses have the same four words in each verse, “His love endures forever.” Yet again the forever theme. You wonder how they conceived of it before the resurrection. They knew they would all die, but somehow God’s love would affect them for eternity.

In the next nine verses the writer describes life as a battle, a common theme in the Psalms. There is anguish, but he cries out to the Lord who sets him free. There is nothing man can do to him, thus “It is better to take refuge in the Lord” (repeated twice) than to trust in man, or princes. In these battles the ultimate truth, and his ultimate hope:

14 The Lord is my strength and my song;
    he has become my salvation.

One of the translations at Biblegateway is the Orthodox Jewish Bible. Notice it’s translation of this verse:

14 Hashem is my oz (strength) and zimrah (song), and He is become my Yeshuah (salvation).

The name of our Savior means salvation! It is no coincidence that

15 Shouts of joy and victory
    resound in the tents of the righteous:
‘The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!

And that last proclamation is repeated in the next verse. The shouts of joy and victory are not because we are personally righteous, as we know from the NT, but because Yeshuah is our righteousness. He has made this happen by his power, his right hand. The next verses make so much sense when we understand that the Bible and the history of redemption is not about us, but about him:

19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;
    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.

And the very next verse is the famous verse where we read about the stone the builders rejected. How could this ever be about my own personal righteousness if God himself has become my salvation. As the verse says, this is something “the Lord has done, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” We are exhorted by the Psalmist to rejoice in this day that the Lord has made, to “rejoice and be glad in it.” How incredible that we don’t have to worry about our pathetic efforts of obedience (which we should indeed make), but that we can rejoice that ultimately our acceptance before our holy God really has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with this “day.” I think the day reference is in once sense to history, to when the Lord himself accomplished this great salvation, but in another sense it is for us every day. We can rejoice every day because our salvation rests in him. We can be glad in it. We can be truly at peace.

And finally we read here Jesus’ famous words in Matthew 23 as he finishes excoriating the Jews who are rejecting him: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” In so many ways Jesus left no doubt who he claims to be. He is the Lord, our Savior, our righteousness, thus we can:

29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures for ever.

 

Advertisements

Tagged: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: