Psalm 118 - The Believer’s Contented Joy

Psalm 118 has so much that could be said of it.  Verse 22, alone, is quoted in the New Testament not just in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but also in Acts, Ephesians and again in 1 Peter.  These messianic assignments of Jesus as the one rejected becoming the “chief cornerstone” are powerful and picturesque from the triumphal entry through the early church’s bold proclamations.

Today, however, I would like to draw our attention to a different beauty in these verses.   My attention is drawn to the confidence we can enjoy, enjoy, in the greatness of the character of God and His care for us.    As the Psalm begins, His character is immediately praised.  “He is good.”  Truly beyond what we can quite understand, He is pure, righteous, and altogether good.  Then we have a 4 verse echo (as we will see beautifully again through Psalm 136) that, “His lovingkindness is everlasting” or as the KJV says, “His mercy endureth for ever.”   This repeated assurance takes the truth of His GOOD character and brings it into action as He interacts in our lives.  He is loving.  He has been loving.  He will be loving.  

This brings me to a confident place where I can call on Him in any difficulty or distress, because I know, “the Lord is for me” and has the fitting response, “What can man do to me?”

These only set up the best part of the believer’s life of enjoying this confidence in the Lord.  As we go a bit further in the Psalm, we find that the adversaries of the psalmist have swarmed him like bees (v. 12) and it seems as though life is headed for trouble.  However an abrupt change happens at the end of verse 13 with, “but the Lord helped me.”  These foundational truths of God’s good character and His ongoing lovingkindness give us a victorious outlook.  Our world’s normal mode would be respond as victims and in martyrdom, but not as children of the King of Kings.  We are victors and can enjoy this confidence.  Look at the following response in Verses 14-15, “The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.  The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous ….”  Consider this response.  The psalmist feels surrounded and swarmed by distresses of life, but knows God is good, great, loving, and faithful.  So, he can respond not with dread, but with strength; not with weariness, but with song; not with a view only of today’s difficulty, but choosing to focus on the eternal victory already won; and not with a life of victimhood, but with victory shouts of the goodness and grace of God.

May we respond faithfully with praise based on His ongoing goodness in our lives.

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