“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!” Israel and her priests, together with all who feared the Lord from other people groups, were to remember these truths continuously in their worship of the Almighty. This was a central confession of faith for all who desired to praise the Lord.
Psalm 118 recorded the suffering and “triumph” of one righteous Servant of God who called upon the Name of the Lord in his “distress” and was heard. The “nations” surrounded Him “on every side,” but with the help of the Lord, He “cut them off.”
The song of this godly Man would become the testimony of the nation. His victory would become their salvation. How would He win? He would face the severe discipline of God, and yet would live. The “gates of righteousness” would be opened to Him and He would give thanks to the Lord.
Jesus has come as the victorious servant of Psalm 118. When He gave His life as the Passover Lamb so long ago, He was the “Stone that the builders rejected.” The leaders of the covenant community in His day would not acknowledge Him as their Lord. They sought to kill Him and actually seemed to succeed for a brief time. Yet in His resurrection, He has become the “Cornerstone” of a new kingdom for all who would fear the Lord. His sacrifice on the cross has become our boast. This was all “the Lord’s doing,” and “it is marvelous in our eyes.” We have heard the good news of His death and resurrection. We rejoice in Him and call others from all the people groups of the earth to worship Israel’s God through Jesus, the Lamb of God. “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
O Lord, You are so very good. You are a God of covenant faithfulness. When we cry out to You, You hear us. Your servants need You every day. When our situation is desperate, You are able to help us, and You do help us. You discipline Your children, but You do not give us over to everlasting destruction. Your Son took the death and hell that we deserved. He was rejected by men. More than that He faced the full weight of our just penalty upon the cross. The death that He died Has brought life to us. His sacrifice was completely acceptable to You. He has won for us an everlasting salvation.