The Goodness And Lovingkindness Of The Lord — Insights From Psalm 118

GOODNESS

I had studied this psalm earlier as part of my devotional commentary. But the other day I had a chance to meditate on some of the insights from this encouraging passage. The theme of the psalm forms the repeated refrain that serves as bookends at the beginning and end:

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting." (vv. 1, 29)

A heart attitude of thanksgiving goes a long way towards keeping us positive in our faith outlook. It’s nice to know that there is no expiration date on the Lord’s lovingkindness. He never runs out of this precious resource for His beloved children.

(:1-4) INTRODUCTION — THANKSGIVING FOR HIS:
- GOODNESS
- LOVINGKINDNESS = EVERLASTING

Testimony of the Believing Community:

  • The Elect Nation = the chosen people of God – "let Israel say . . ."
  • The Holy Priesthood = those anointed for special ministry — "let the house of Aaron say . . ."
  • The Individual Believers — "let those who fear the Lord say . . ."

I. (:5-9) IMAGE OF PROTECTION: THE LORD IS MY REFUGE

  1. Imminent Defeat: "my distress" — lit. "a tight place"
    1. pressure from all sides
  2. Calling Upon the Lord
  3. Key to Victory: "The Lord is for me!" (:6-7)
    1. Think about picking up sides for any type of contest; we can boast that the Lord is on our side;
    2. Why would we ever imagine that the Lord is against His children whom His Son has died for on the cross?
  4. Experience of Victory: "set me in a large place" (in contrast to a tight place)
    1. Cure for Claustrophobia
  5. Lesson Learned: "It is better to take refuge in the Lord!"
    1. than to trust in man in general (we don’t need to ride anyone’s coattails to success)
    2. than to trust in even the most powerful men = princes

II. (:10-14) IMAGE OF DELIVERANCE: THE LORD IS MY SALVATION (MY STRENGTH AND MY SONG)

  1. Imminent Defeat:
    1. surrounded by enemies = all nations
    2. surrounded by enemies — like by bees
  2. Invoking the Name of the Lord
  3. Key to Victory: "the Lord helped me"
    1. Confidence: "I will surely cut them off"
  4. Experience of Victory
    1. actually was successful in cutting them off
    2. extinguished them like a fire of thorns (very quick combustion with nothing left)
  5. Lesson Learned: "The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation."

III. (:15-18) IMAGE OF POWER: THE RIGHT HAND OF THE LORD DOES VALIANTLY

  1. Imminent Defeat: "disciplined severely"
    1. disciplined almost to the point of death
    2. "He has not given me over to death" (but it was close!)
  2. Joyful Celebration:
    1. "the sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous"
  3. Key to Victory: "the right hand of the Lord does valiantly"
  4. Experience of Victory:
    1. the right hand of the Lord is exalted
    2. I shall not die but live
  5. Lesson Learned: the works of the Lord (accomplished by His valiant right hand) are Powerful
    1. I should give testimony and "tell of the works of the Lord"

IV. (:19-21) IMAGE OF TRIUMPH: THE LORD IS MY CONQUERING HERO
VICTORY PROCESSION THROUGH THE GATES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

  1. Key to Victory: only "the righteous" can enter thru the gates of righteousness = the gate of the Lord
  2. Lesson Learned:
    1. Triumph should always lead to Worship and Thanksgiving
    2. God answers and becomes our salvation

V. (:22-28) IMAGE OF BLESSING: THE LORD IS THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE

  1. Imminent Defeat: "the stone which the builders rejected"
    1. this was true of the nation of Israel: rejected by the other nations, yet central focus of God’s plan for history
    2. this was true of the Messiah: supreme rejection and humiliation
    3. this will be true of all God’s children: yet we are choice and precious in the sight of God — 1 Peter 2:4
  2. Calling Upon the Lord for Salvation and Prosperity
    1. "O Lord, do save we beseech Thee"
    2. "O Lord, we beseech Thee, do send prosperity"
  3. Key to Victory: "This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes"
    1. "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord"
  4. Experience of Victory: "has become the chief cornerstone"
    1. "The Lord is God, and He has given us light"
  5. Lesson Learned: rejoice each day because of confidence in the Lord’s triumph and blessing
    1. "This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it"
    2. "Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar." — don’t let the sacrifice up off the altar
    3. "Thou art my God, and I give thanks to Thee; Thou art my God, I extol Thee"

CONCLUSION (:29) THANKSGIVING FOR HIS:
- GOODNESS
- LOVINGKINDNESS = EVERLASTING

  • "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting"