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Give Thanks to the Lord 

Let all of us say, “The Lord’s mercy endures forever”

Psalm 118.14–29

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • January 8, In the year of our Lord, 2016

Scripture Reader and Reading: Dave Fitzwater – Romans 12.17–21

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Phil Joseph – Songs on Prayer


  1. Psalm 118.1 | Give Thanks

    1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
    For His mercy endures forever.
  2. Psalm 118.2–4 | Mercy Without End

    2 Let Israel now say,
    “His mercy endures forever.”
    3 Let the house of Aaron now say,
    “His mercy endures forever.”
    4 Let those who fear the LORD now say,
    “His mercy endures forever.”
  3. Psalm 118.5–7 | Mercy Shown

    5 I called on the LORD in distress;
    The LORD answered me and set me in a broad place.
    6 The LORD is on my side;
    I will not fear.
    What can man do to me?
    7 The LORD is for me among those who help me;
    Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.
  4. Psalm 118.8–9 | Trust the Lord

    8 It is better to trust in the LORD
    Than to put confidence in man.
    9 It is better to trust in the LORD
    Than to put confidence in princes.
  5. Psalm 118.10–13 | The Lord Helps in Trouble

    10 All nations surrounded me,
    But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
    11 They surrounded me,
    Yes, they surrounded me;
    But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
    12 They surrounded me like bees;
    They were quenched like a fire of thorns;
    For in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
    13 You pushed me violently, that I might fall,
    But the LORD helped me.

    1. What else could He say but what verses 14–29 record Him saying?
  6. Psalm 118.14–16 | The Lord’s Right Hand

    14 The LORD is my strength and song,
    And He has become my salvation.
    15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation
    Is in the tents of the righteous;
    The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
    16 The right hand of the LORD is exalted;
    The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

    1. He sang that the Lord
      1. was His strength and
      2. had become His salvation.
        1. The ministry of Jesus as recorded by John shows
        2. that the Father was everything to Jesus.
          1. The world abandoned Jesus.
          2. Israel abandoned Christ.
          3. The Father for a while forsook the Son.
            1. However, back at verse 5,
            2. He said that He called on the Father during His distress, and
              1. the Father answered Him.
              2. Jesus cried out before He died the words of Psalm 31.5,

                5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit…
                (Psa 31.5a)
    2. The Father received the spirit of Jesus.
      1. The Father was the strength of Jesus, for
      2. He escaped the crucifixion by dying.
        1. Naturally Jesus would sing of the Lord God.
        2. Can you imagine the rejoicing when Jesus reached Heaven?
          1. Both His rejoicing and
          2. the rejoicing of the inhabitants of Heaven?
    3. Did you see how Jesus spoke of the Father’s right hand?
      1. The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
      2. The right hand of the LORD is exalted;
      3. The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
        1. Would you not praise the strength of God
        2. when He has delivered you from an enemy or a problem
          1. that was stronger than you, and
          2. had you trapped?
            1. Jesus saw the power of God
            2. in ways that we never would have expected.
              1. We see deliverance from death as the victory,
              2. not deliverance through death as the victory.
  7. Psalm 118.17–21 | Hope of Resurrection

    17 I shall not die, but live,
    And declare the works of the LORD.
    18 The LORD has chastened me severely,
    But He has not given me over to death.
    19 Open to me the gates of righteousness;
    I will go through them,
    And I will praise the LORD.
    20 This is the gate of the LORD,
    Through which the righteous shall enter.
    21 I will praise You,
    For You have answered me,
    And have become my salvation.

    1. Jesus died in the flesh, but not in the spirit.
      1. Remember what He said to Martha?

        24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world” (John 11.24–27).
      2. That is what Jesus means in Psalm 118.17.
        1. Yes, He died in the flesh, but His sprit did not die.
        2. Yes, He died in the flesh, but He did not stay dead.
    2. As verse 18 says, He experienced a severe chastisement, but
      1. not for His own sin,

        5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
        He was bruised for our iniquities;
        The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
        And by His stripes we are healed.
        (Isa 53.5)
      2. He felt the chastisement that is due sin.
        1. However, death, wages of sin, did not dominate over Him, but
        2. He dominated over death.
    3. When His spirit left His body,
      1. He entered the gates of righteousness,
      2. which He called the gate of the Lord, and
        1. He specified further
        2. it is the gate through which the righteous enter.
          1. He did not go to the place of torment in Hades, but
          2. as He intimated to the thief on the cross,
            1. He went to the Paradise side of Hades.
    4. For entering the gates of the righteous
      1. Jesus said that He would praise the Lord,
      2. just as you and I will do when we enter those gates.
        1. Just anticipating entering those gates
        2. brings excitement into our hearts.
    5. Next, we have the most obvious reference to Jesus in this Psalm, and
      1. we know that it is, because
      2. the New Testament quotes it 4 times, and
      3. alludes to it also.
  8. Psalm 118.22–24 | The Resurrection

    22 The stone which the builders rejected
    Has become the chief cornerstone.
    23 This was the LORD’S doing;
    It is marvelous in our eyes.
    24 This is the day the LORD has made;
    We will rejoice and be glad in it.

    1. Here the psalmist declared
      1. that the Man the builders in Israel rejected,
      2. was the very one that God used as the Chief Cornerstone.
        1. As I said, 4 times the New quotes this passage,
          1. Matthew 21.42
          2. Luke 20.17
        2. Listen to what two of the others say.
          1. Mark quoted Jesus in Mark 12
          2. as rebuking His enemies for not reading Psalm 118,

            10 Have you not even read this Scripture:
            “The stone which the builders rejected
            Has become the chief cornerstone.”

            (Mark 12.10)

        3. Peter quoted Psalm 118,
          1. showing what Jesus means to us,
          2. that He is our everything,

            7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
            “The stone which the builders rejected
            Has become the chief cornerstone”

            (1Pe 2.7)

    2. Amazingly, while it appeared all to be man’s doing,
      1. Psalm 118 let’s us know
      2. that this was all the plan of God.
        1. The enemies of Jesus rejected Him,
        2. crucifying Him,
        3. believing Him to be a fraud, but
          1. Jesus arose from the dead,
          2. from their rejection of Him, and
            1. became the most important part of the true temple of God,
            2. the Chief Cornerstone.
    3. The Lord made the day of the resurrection, and
      1. we rejoice and are glad for it, because
      2. it gives us hope for our own resurrection unto eternal life.
  9. Psalm 118.25–28 | The Blessed One

    25 Save now, I pray, O LORD;
    O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity.
    26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!
    We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.
    27 God is the LORD,
    And He has given us light;
    Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
    28 You are my God, and I will praise You;
    You are my God, I will exalt You.

    1. See how the Psalm has changed.
      1. We saw the distress of the Messiah.
      2. We saw His enemies surround Him.
    2. By this point, He was looking for prosperity.
    3. Five times the Gospel Accounts quote verse 26,
      1. Matthew 21.9
      2. Matthew 23.39
      3. Mark 11.9
      4. John 12.13
      5. Luke 13.35

        35 “See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
  10. Psalm 118.29 | Give Thanks

    29 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
    For His mercy endures forever.

    1. The psalmist, Jesus, ended the Psalm
    2. the same way as He began.
      1. The Father showed Jesus mercy, but
      2. in showing Him mercy,
        1. He also opened up the way for God to show us mercy, for
        2. the blood of Jesus made possible our forgiveness.
          1. The wages of our sin is death, but because
          2. of the blood of Jesus,
            1. we have the free gift of eternal life.
            2. Let us then give thanks to the Lord.


  1. The Book of Hebrews also quotes Psalm 118, and 
    1. we need to hear how the writer applied it.
    2. He will reference Psalm 118.6,

      5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say:
      “The LORD is my helper;
      I will not fear.
      What can man do to me?”
      (Heb 13.5–6).
  2. Live that kind of life now. 
    1. See what Jesus did for you.
    2. See what the Father through Jesus did for you.