Sermons

Summary: Psalm 118:1-29 gives us several practical instructions about praising God for his steadfast love.

Scripture

This is our third Sunday of not having a corporate worship service in our sanctuary. While we are thankful for this means of connecting, I hope you agree that this form of meeting is a very poor substitute for meeting together in person to worship our great God.

In the Christian Calendar, today is known as Palm Sunday. It usually kicks off a week in which we particularly reflect upon the final week of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This year, however, we are not able to do so in person. Instead, we have Virtual Fellowship today, and will have a Virtual Fellowship Good Friday Service at 7:00 p.m., and a Virtual Fellowship Resurrection Service next Lord’s Day at 10:45 a.m.

During this current pandemic, I am presenting a series of meditations that I am calling, “Hope in Troubled Times.” Today’s meditation is titled, “Praise God for His Steadfast Love.” As we look at this psalm today, I will show you how it ties in with Palm Sunday.

So, please follow along as I read Psalm 118:1-29:

1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever!

2 Let Israel say,

“His steadfast love endures forever.”

3 Let the house of Aaron say,

“His steadfast love endures forever.”

4 Let those who fear the Lord say,

“His steadfast love endures forever.”

5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord;

the Lord answered me and set me free.

6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.

What can man do to me?

7 The Lord is on my side as my helper;

I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord

than to trust in man.

9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord

than to trust in princes.

10 All nations surrounded me;

in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;

in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

12 They surrounded me like bees;

they went out like a fire among thorns;

in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,

but the Lord helped me.

14 The Lord is my strength and my song;

he has become my salvation.

15 Glad songs of salvation

are in the tents of the righteous:

“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,

16 the right hand of the Lord exalts,

the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”

17 I shall not die, but I shall live,

and recount the deeds of the Lord.

18 The Lord has disciplined me severely,

but he has not given me over to death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,

that I may enter through them

and give thanks to the Lord.

20 This is the gate of the Lord;

the righteous shall enter through it.

21 I thank you that you have answered me

and have become my salvation.

22 The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone.

23 This is the Lord’s doing;

it is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day that the Lord has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save us, we pray, O Lord!

O Lord, we pray, give us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

We bless you from the house of the Lord.

27 The Lord is God,

and he has made his light to shine upon us.

Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,

up to the horns of the altar!

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;

you are my God; I will extol you.

29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 118:1-29)

Introduction

What was Martin Luther’s favorite psalm?

Perhaps you would say, as I thought, that it was Psalm 46. After all, the great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” was written by Martin Luther, and it is based on Psalm 46.

But, if you said that Psalm 46 was Martin Luther’s favorite psalm, you and I would be wrong.

Martin Luther’s favorite psalm was Psalm 118. In the preface to his sixty-page exposition of the psalm, Luther wrote:

This is my own beloved psalm. Although the entire Psalter and all of Holy Scripture are dear to me as my only comfort and source of life, I fell in love with this psalm especially. Therefore I call it my own. When emperors and kings, the wise and the learned, and even saints could not aid me, this psalm proved a friend and helped me out of many great troubles. As a result, it is dearer to me than all the wealth, honor, and power of the pope, the Turk, and the emperor. I would be most unwilling to trade this psalm for all of it.

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