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Psalm 118 1 
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 2 Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” 3 Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.” 4 Let those who fear the Lord say: “His love endures forever.” 5 When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. 6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? 7 The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies. 8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. 9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. 10 All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. 11 They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. 12 They swarmed around me like bees, but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them down. 13 I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. 14 The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. 15 Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things! 16 The Lord’s right hand is lifted high; the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!” 17 I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. 18 The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. 19 Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. 20 This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. 21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. 22 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 23 the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. 25 Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you. 27 The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. 28 You are my God, and I will praise you; you are my God, and I will exalt you. 29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

image003Background 2

It is probable that David wrote this psalm when he had, after many trials, survived those against him, and gained a full possession of the kingdom to which he had been anointed. David then invites and encourages his friends to join with him, not only in a cheerful acknowledgment of God’s goodness and a cheerful dependence upon that goodness for the future, but in a believing expectation of the promised Messiah. To David, it is a certainty of Christ’s coming and he bears witness to this in the latter part of the psalm. Christ himself applies it to himself (Matt. 21:420.

Some think David’s purpose for writing the psalm was to honor the bringing of the ark to the city of David, and was afterwards sung at the feast of tabernacles. In this psalm:

  • David calls upon all around him to give to God the glory of his goodness (v. 1-4).
  • He encourages himself and others to trust in God, from the experience he had had of God’s power and pity in the great and kind things he had done for him (v. 5-18).
  • He gives thanks for his advancement to the throne, as this was the foretelling of the exaltation of Christ (v. 19-23).
  • The people, the priests, and David himself, are triumph in the prospect of Christ’s kingdom (v. 24-29).

In singing this psalm we must glorify God for his goodness, his goodness to us, and especially his goodness to us in Jesus Christ.

Biblical Truths and Theology 3

Verses 1 – 4 tell everybody to thank the LORD, because he is good. All the people that live in the land of Israel, in verse 3, “the house of Aaron” means the priests and Levites of Israel who worked in the temple, and in the towns and villages of Israel. The words “kind love” come in all 4 verses. ”

Verses 5 – 7 tell us what God did to send help to Israel. Remember, “me” and “I” in these verses is not one person. It is the whole country of Israel. Maybe David spoke these words for them. David says the answer is the same for everyone: cry (or pray, maybe out loud) to the LORD. Tell him that you want to be free. He will make you free.

In verses 8 – 9, “trust” means “believe that someone will give you help”. It also means a lot more than this. It means that if someone promises to do something, then they will do it. You can trust them (or rely on them) to do it. The psalm teaches us that we can trust the LORD more than people. We can even trust him more than our leaders!

In verses 9 – 13, we read that the enemy was all round Israel. To David, his enemies seemed like a swarm of bees because there were so many of them. But he destroyed them all! It was like a thorn-bush burning. The bush becomes dry when it dies, and burns quickly and David did it “in the name of the LORD”.

In verse 14, “saved” means that the LORD made them safe from their enemies, either Egypt or Babylon

Verses 14 – 18 tell us that this made the Jews very happy. They sang psalms, or songs, (verse 14). They shouted how great God was in their tents. God did all this with his “right hand”, (verses 15-16). The right hand of God is how the Bible describes God doing things on earth.

The people as they entered the temple sang verses 19 The people coming in said, “Open the gates”, (verse 19). The priests answer from inside the temple gates, “Righteous people can go in”, (verse 20).

Verses 21 – 24 again tell us what God has done. He saved his people, (verse 21). Like the stone that the builders (men who were building) threw away, Israel was now important, (verse 22). The LORD did something wonderful, or “very great”, (verse 23). He did it on “this day”, (verse 24).

Verses 25 – 29 finish the psalm. Verses 25 and 26 give us another example of the people and the priests talking to each other. The people say, “LORD, save us and make us do very well”. The priests bless the people from inside the temple.

Items for Discussion

  • Why were David’s psalms an effective way to teach the people of Israel about God?
  • How does leadership affect a nation’s beliefs and responses to God?
  • What comfort do you get from knowing that God’s love will endure forever?
  • How do we reflect on God’s providence in our own nation’s history? Give some examples
  • Do we have examples today of the joy our nation displays for God? If so, please give them – if not, why not?

Luke 2:52
52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Background 4

In chapter 2 of the Gospel of Luke, we have an account of the birth and infancy of our Lord Jesus: having had notice of his conception, and of the birth and infancy of his forerunner, in the former chapter. Here is where we find:

  • The place and other circumstances of his birth, which proved him to be the true Messiah, and such a one as we needed, but not such a one as the Jews expected (v. 1-7).
  • The notifying of his birth to the shepherds in that neighborhood by an angel, the song of praise which the angels sung upon that occasion, and the spreading of the report of it by the shepherds (v. 8-20).
  • The circumcision of Christ, and the naming of him (v. 21).
  • The presenting of him in the temple (v. 22-24).
  • The testimonies of Simeon, and Anna the prophetess, concerning him (v. 25-39).
  • Christ’s growth and capacity (v. 40-52).
  • His observing the Passover at twelve years old, and his disputing with the doctors in the temple (v. 41-51). And this, with what we have met with (Mt. 1, and 2), is all we have concerning our Lord Jesus, till he entered upon his public work in the thirtieth year of his age.

Biblical Truths and Theology

Verses 46-50 are known as the song of Mary. Many Christians call this song the Magnificat. Magnificat is the first word in the Latin language of this song. It is a song of joy and it is a song to praise God. Much of the language in the song comes from the Old Testament. In particular, it is quite similar to the song of Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-10). In verses 51-55 is also part of the song describing past events. But it also describes things that God continues to do, both now and in the future. What God has done in the past gives us hope for the future.

Items for Discussion

  • How does praising God help us with our daily life?
  • If we really meditated on how great God’s salvation is, wouldn’t we experience less depression? Is this realistic or not?
  • How did Jesus balance His life between God and mankind?
  • For what events in your life are you particularly grateful to God?
  • How did God prove to be your helper, your strength or your salvation?
  • How can a young person raised in a Christian home come to see their desperate need for salvation?
  • Discussion Challenge
  • How should the church recognize and acknowledge the mercy of God?
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