This week we continue our study, “Ancient Wisdom for Today”. Our psalm this week is Psalm 118. Like Psalm 95 from last week, this psalm was used as a liturgy in ancient Hebrew worship. It was first used as an entrance into worship to celebrate God’s salvation—possibly a victory over an enemy or an oppressor. By Jesus’ day, it was one of the “Egyptian Hallel” psalms—used in conjunction with Passover. Since the Passover commemorated the Exodus—the greatest act of God’s salvation in the history of Israel—this would make sense. What is striking is that the people of Jerusalem quoted this psalm (“Hosanna!” and “Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!”) at Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The people of Jesus’ day recognized that Jesus was bringing God’s salvation.
Outline of Psalm 118
Verses 1-4 Opening call to worship
Verses 5-18 Testimony of God’s salvation
Verses 19-20 Arrival and entrance to the Temple
Verses 21-29 Hymn of praise and confession of dependence
THREE TAKE-AWAYS FROM THIS PSALM:
1-Celebrate God’s salvation.
2-Live a life of thankfulness for God’s salvation.
3-God’s salvation will never fail.