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Summary: Psalm 118 - THE LORD HAS BECOME MY SALVATION. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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Reading: PSALM 118

Ill: If you think your family has problems,

• Consider the marriage mayhem created when 76-year-old Bill Baker of London;

• Recently wed Edna Harvey.

• She happened to be his granddaughter’s husband’s mother.

• That’s where the confusion began, according to Baker’s granddaughter, Lynn.

• “My mother-in-law is now my step-grandmother.

• My grandfather is now my stepfather-in-law.

• My mom is my sister-in-law and my brother is my nephew.

• But even crazier is that I’m now married to my uncle & my own children are my cousins.”

In many ways Psalm 118 is a confusing Psalm;

• The structure of this Psalm is complex and not very obvious:

• As we look at it you will notice that it does not fit into a nice neat outline.

(A). Background to the Psalm:

(1). Unknown writer and setting.

• William Phelps taught English literature at Yale for forty-one years;

• Until his retirement in 1933.

• Marking an examination paper shortly before Christmas one year,

• Phelps came across the note: "God only knows the answer to this question. Merry Christmas”

• Phelps returned the paper with this note:

• "God gets an A. You get an F. Happy New Year”

We are not sure who wrote it:

• Or exactly what the background setting was when it was written.

• Quote: “Many writers only one author”.

• Not knowing who the human author was;

• Is also a hindrance to interpreting the events that this psalm describes.

The Psalm is a strange mix:

• It seems to require different readers at different points,

• It moves from the singular, the individual; to plural, to collective elements.

• Its content is also mixed,

• Using imagery from both a battle and the temple.

• The most satisfactory or simplistic background for the psalm,

• Is to say it is connected to a time when the Lord had given victory to his people.

(2). It is a HALLEL PSALM.

• Six of the Psalms (numbers 113 to 118):

• Form what is called the Egyptian Hallel,

• These six psalms are called this;

• Because they celebrate the Children of Israel's deliverance from Egypt.

• These six psalms were sung at the three great Jewish feasts,

• The Passover, Pentecost, and Booths or Tabernacles.

• At Passover it was song or chanted when the Passover lambs were offered,

• And later at home over the Passover meal.

• This Psalm is very likely the hymn Jesus song after he instituted the Lord's supper.

Matthew 26:30: "When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives ".

• We are used to reading that Jesus preached and taught or served or prayed;

• But this is the only time in the gospel records where we find Jesus singing.


“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.

What can man do to me?”

• Unlike the Psalmist we might read that verse and think;

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