By Brooke Holt
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Let Israel say, ‘His steadfast love endures forever.’ Let the house of Aaron say, ‘His steadfast love endures forever.’ Let those who fear the Lord say, ‘His steadfast love endures forever’” (Psalm 118:1–4).
Psalm 118 is the last of the Hallel Psalms, and it was likely the last song that Jesus sang with his disciples before his crucifixion: “When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives” (Matthew 26:30). Many biblical scholars believe that this is what they sang. Why? Because Psalm 118, like the rest of the Hallel Psalms, is all about who God is and how he saves his people. Take a few minutes and read through the entirety of this Psalm, then just imagine Jesus knowing and believing the truth of these words. In many ways, Psalm 118 foretells the sufferings of Jesus on the cross along with the sovereign plan of God that his death and resurrection would accomplish.
Let’s begin with the first four verses, where the Psalmist proclaims that the Lord is good and his hesed, his steadfast love, endures forever. This proclamation is a strong appeal to give thanks to God for who he is and how he loves his people. And this exaltation is for all people—for Israel, for the house of Aaron, and for anyone who fears God. Those who fear the Lord invite you into this exaltation of the Lord. You may not be from the house of Aaron, but the fear of the Lord is for all his people. Holy fear acknowledges that God alone is Creator and King of all.
As we continue in the glorious celebration of Easter, are you singing these praises? Are you astounded at the goodness of the Lord, the goodness that moved him to send his Son to live and die for you? Are you living in the steadfast love of the Lord, believing that this love is complete and eternal, that he will never let you go? And what about the steadfast mercy of the Lord? Have you received that mercy, knowing that you did not and could not deserve what has been done for you? Mercy calls you to stop striving to earn God’s favor and rest in the perfect work of Jesus Christ on your behalf.
This week, you are called to marvel at the Lord’s work. Beyond this marveling, you are called to commune with the triune God—to fully receive his love, mercy, and gift of salvation. Jesus has broken every barrier between you and God. Will you come humbly before his throne of grace today and give him thanks for his goodness, love, and mercy?
May you sing Psalm 118 with joy as you await the day when you sing it with Jesus in glory!
Are you singing today? Are you claiming these truths of God, that God is good and his steadfast love and mercy endures forever, even in suffering? Meditate on these holy and precious truths today. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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