Psalm 118

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Taking a brief look at this psalm, it is one amazing psalm. More than the fact that many of our modern choruses uses words from Ps 118:

1. It is quoted by Jesus applying it to himself

Ps 118:22-23 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the LORD has done this,and it is marvelous in our eyes.

Matt 21:42 Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: " 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?

2. The same verse is quoted by Paul as well.

Acts 4:11 He is "the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone".

3. Used by the people when Jesus was entering Jerusalem.

Ps 118: 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.From the house of the LORD we bless you.

Matt 21:9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!"

4. The first and last sentence in the psalm is also in Ezra

Ps 118:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is goodhis love endures forever.
Ps 118:29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;his love endures forever.

Ezra 3:11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD : "He is good; his love to Israel endures forever." And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Some interesting references to it

This is the last of those Psalms which form the great Hallel, which the Jews sang at the end of the passover. - Adam Clarke.

The whole Psalm has a peculiar formation. It resembles the Maschal Psalms, for each verse has of itself its completed sense, its own scent and hue; one thought is joined to another as branch to branch and flower to flower. - Franz Delitzsch.

This is my Psalm, my chosen Psalm. I love them all; I love all holy Scripture, which is my consolation and my life. But this Psalm is nearest my heart, and I have a peculiar right to call it mine. It has saved me from many a pressing danger, from which nor emperor, nor kings, nor sages, nor saints, could have saved me. It is my friend; dearer to me than all the honours and power of the earth ... But it may be objected, that this Psalm is common to all; no one has a right to call it his own. Yes; but Christ is also common to all, and yet Christ is mine. I am not jealous of my property; I would divide it with the whole world.... And would to God that all men would claim the Psalm as especially theirs! It would be the most touching quarrel, the most agreeable to God - a quarrel of union and perfect charity. - Luther. From his Dedication of his Translation of Psalm 118, to the Abbot Frederick of Nuremberg.

"For he is good." The praise of God could not be expressed in fewer words than these, "For he is good." I see not what can be more solemn than this brevity, since goodness is so peculiarly the quality of God, that the Son of God himself when addressed by some one as "Good Master," by one, namely, who beholding his flesh, and comprehending not the fulness of his divine nature, considered him as man only, replied, "Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God." And what is this but to say, If thou wishest to call me good, recognize me as God? - Augustine.

"It is better," etc. Literally, "Good is it to trust in Jehovah more than to confide in man." This is the Hebrew form of comparison, and is equivalent to what is stated in our version. "It is better," etc. It is better,
(1) because man is weak, - but God is Almighty;
(2) because man is selfish, - but God is benevolent;
(3) because man is often faithless and deceitful, - God never;
(4) because there are emergencies, as death, in which man cannot aid us, however faithful, kind, and friendly he may be, - but there are no circumstances in this life, and none in death, where God cannot assist us; and
(5) because the ability of man to help us pertains at best only to the present life, - the power of God will be commensurate with eternity. - Albert Barnes.

"They compassed me about like bees."
As wasps, provoked by children in their play,
Pour from their mansions by the broad highway,
In swarms the guiltless traveller engage,
Whet all their stings, and call forth all their rage,
All rise in arms, and with a general cry,
Assert their waxen domes, and buzzing progeny;
Thus from the tents the fervent legion swarms,
So loud their clamours, and so keen their arms.
- Homer.

"Is become the head stone of the corner."
Higher yet and ever higher,
.....passeth he those ranks above,
Where the seraphs are enkindled,
.....with the flame of endless love
Passeth them,
.....for not e'en seraphs ever loved so well as he
Who hath borne for his beloved,
.....stripes, and thorns, and shameful tree;
Ever further, ever onward,
.....where no angel's foot may tread,
Where the four-and-twenty elders
.....prostrate fall in mystic dread:
Where the four strange living creatures
.....sing their hymn before the throne.
The Despised One and rejected passeth, his might alone;
Passeth through the dazzling rainbow,
.....till upon the Father's fight
He is seated, his Co-equal,
.....God of God, and Light of Light.
- R. F. Littledale.

Picture by Bill Davenport

You Might Also Like

1 comment(s)

  1. Maeghan,

    Really cool stuff. I love how scripture ties together.

    Thanks for the nice - non-romans And the cool pic!

    God Bless