Reading: Psalm 118: 1-20
Psalm 118 is a celebration of what the Lord has done for the Israelites and of what God desires to do for all who call on the name of the Lord. It is a song of celebration and hope. The Israelites sang this song in worship for the same reason we sing “Amazing Grace” or “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High” – to remind ourselves of God’s power and love. The Israelites have come out of slavery in Egypt; the story of the Exodus celebrates God’s presence with them through it all. For them and for us, the story of God’s presence is summed up well in verse one, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever”. Amen.
As readers of the Psalm today, we must claim the same promises and the hope found in this Psalm of Praise to God. At times, when we are in captivity to our sin or to the circumstances of life, these words speak to us as well: “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me”? Verse six reminds us that ‘here’ is temporary and that God is the only one really in control. Keeping focus on the overarching, supreme love of God can help us in our times of trial or need.
This theme is continued in verse fourteen, but in an even more significant way: “The Lord is my strength and my song: He is my salvation”. God desires to carry us through whatever life brings. God deserves to hear our thanksgiving and praise lifted up to the heavens in grateful song. To be strengthened on the journey and then to sing praises for God’s hand at work in our lives is contagious. Just as the Israelites sang to remember and to be encouraged, so should we. And lastly, God is our salvation. God will save us from our sins and from whatever life brings. We are children of God, claimed by Christ forever through our proclamation of Jesus as Lord. His love endures forever. His love endures forever!! His love endures FOREVER!!! Amen.