PSALM 118 – PART 1
Psalm 118 is hands down my absolute favorite Psalm in the entire book of 150 chapters. Many years ago I was facing a painful time in my life. I asked God to guide me to a passage to grant me peace and comfort in my time of despair. Over the course of several days, Psalm 118 continually entered my mind. It was not until late one night when I finally opened my bible to it and was overwhelmed with confidence. I hope as we breakdown this chapter, you feel the same.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
The Book of Psalms is theorized to have been written by a number of men. It is believed Moses may have actually written Psalm 118.
Verses 1-4 use the repeating phrase, “His steadfast love endures forever.” The author wanted to give us as readers a firm reminder, wherever you are and whatever type of environment you are a part of, His enduring love is available for you to grab hold of.
Verse 5, “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.” This verse was paramount during my struggle. Sometimes we scream so loud, yet doubt He cares to listen. This verse set apart from the others is the gospel message in full. In our distress, our sin, our oppression, we have a way to cry out and communicate to our Father in Heaven. It does not simply end with us wallowing in our despair. The Lord becomes an active participant in our time of need, responding to our angst and taking it upon Himself. We are left only with peace and freedom from our entanglement.
Verse 6, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Verse 6 is the ULTIMATE confidence booster. I read this verse and suddenly, my heart is full with victory! I imagine myself climbing into a boxing ring with my opponent, man, the enemy. He has sought me out in hopes to bring about my destruction. But Isaiah 54:17 says, “no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,” and Romans 8:11 drives home the point,
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
Suddenly, the power of Jesus revealed by use of the Holy Spirit jolts through me and His righteousness delivers that K.O. Punch.
Verse 7, “The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.” He really is. No matter what you go through in life, He is always at your side. Even when you do not feel His presence, I promise He is still there.
John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Verses 8-9, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.” Mankind is evil. Even when you think you can trust someone, they will undoubtedly always let you down. Placing our hope in the Lord not only gives us protection, it gives us assurance. Jesus endured the ultimate rejection, despised by men. But, His trust in the Lord gave Him the affirmation to endure His trial into victory because Father God was at His side.
Hebrews 12:2, “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
I hope you feel encouraged and victorious! Tune in next week for part 2 of 4 of this amazing Psalm.