Observe The final Egyptian Hallel sung at Passover is a joyful prayer, calling on Israel to praise God for His enduring love; the repetition typical of Hebrew poetry provides a strong reminder for His people to do this.(1-4).
Verses 5-18 testify to God’s rescue from struggling with enemies: … the Lord answered and set me free… the Lord is on my side… The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. The Psalmist has gone through a trial and emerges victorious (18). He recognizes the Lord’s hand, to form him and deliver him from death.
The final section (19-29) returns to joy, picturing a procession to the Temple, imploring God to open… the gates of righteousness (19) so they may enter into praise. The potent image of the rejected cornerstone in vv. 22,23 here refers to Israel, and this is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our sight (23). Verse 26a recalls the crowd’s short-lived joy at Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We hear echoes of the Aaronic blessing in verse 27; the poem closes with the song of praise (29) from the first verse.
Interpret The wonderful imagery in this Psalm is a pointer to the coming Messiah, His sovereignty, His salvation, His righteousness. He is the cornerstone of the church, therefore of our lives; He told us so (Mt 21:42; Mk 12: 10-1;Lk. 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:7). His discipline may be severe at times (18), but it purifies and fits His people for His purposes. Even in times of difficulty, we can still praise, using our imaginations (and memory verses, perhaps?) before Him. He is our strength and song.
Apply So much of this Psalm is pure joy. On our vulnerable days, if we manage to remember, we can reread those verses that remind us to rejoice in God’s strength, to thank Him for His enduring love that keeps us in His circle of righteousness. He will answer us when we lament (21a). The Lord is God, and He has made His light to shine upon us. (27a) It’s worth the effort to remember neither human strength nor (will)power pull us through tough times, it’s the Lord as we seek Him, so let us rejoice and be glad in [this truth]! (24b)
Ask Lord, will You open to me Your gates of righteousness, so I can approach Your heart with praise?
Pray For the lonely and ill, from Psalm 118: Oh Lord, I am ill and feel frightened and alone as I have no one to care for me. I have no one who is really interested in me at all, and I feel lost and alone and so vulnerable. And now Lord Jesus, I have come down with this sickness and I feel so ill. Lord, I ask You please to make me well again soon, and lift up my sagging spirit, I pray.
I know Lord in my heart that I am not alone, because You are with me, which is the real reason that I am praying to You now, because You promised to be with me and never to leave me or forsake me, even when everyone else does. Be with me now, I pray, and reach out Your healing hand of blessing and touch me, Lord. Please make me feel better, not only in my body but also in my life, I pray.
Thank You that I can call on You in times of trouble, illness, or loneliness and know that You are always there to hear and answer, to heal and comfort and help. Lord, I pray that You would help me to really apply this truth in my life, not just when I am sick, but every day. Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Psalm/118
Sing Psalm 118
Poor Bishop Hooper
Shane Barnard - This is the Day
Rawn Harbor - This is the Day
U. of Notre Dame Folk Choir - This is the Day
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.