Theme: Three Great Statements
In this week’s lessons, we see that this psalm reminds us of the need to trust and praise God always.
Scripture: Psalm 118:6, 8, 9, 17, 27-29
The last three verses are a powerful summary and application of all the psalm has been saying up to this point, and they are the last section I want to draw to your attention. They say,
The LORD is God,and he has made his light shine upon us.With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will give youthanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;his love endures forever.
These verses make three powerful statements about God and about our right relationship to him.
1. “The LORD is God” (v. 27). In this verse the word “LORD” is the proper name Jehovah or Yahweh. So what the verse is saying is that it is Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, who is truly God, not one of the other competing gods of this rebellious, evil world. This is the great issue of religion, not “Is there a god? (in Psalm 14:1 we are told that it is only the fool who questions this), but rather “Who is the true God?” In this verse the psalmist says that Jehovah is that God and that he has revealed this to us by making his light to shine upon us. This is the God who is being worshiped at the altar in Jerusalem, he and none other.
2. “You are my God” (v. 28). The second point the psalmist makes is that this God is his own personal God, not merely the God of Israel, even less a God who is the result of some abstract philosophical speculation. Jehovah is his God, one in whom he has placed his own personal trust and to whom he has made a personal commitment. Is this God your God?
3. “The LORD…is good” (v. 29). The final statement calls on the people among whom the psalmist is bearing witness to thank God, and the reason he gives is that this true God “is good.” This is the verse with which the psalm began and now also ends, and it draws us back to consider the experience of the psalmist (and ourselves) once again.
The writer found that God is good because God had been good to him. He had been oppressed, but God had freed him from his oppression. He had been attacked, but God had delivered him from his enemies. He had been about to fall, but God had raised him up and had given him important work to do, testifying to God’s goodness. Is it any different for those who have been saved by Jesus Christ? We, too, have been freed from sin, delivered and given work to do. If that is your case, thank God and get on with doing it.
What does the statement “the LORD is God” tell us?
Why must God be personal?
Why should people thank God?
Application: List times in the past year that God has delivered or helped you. Give him praise for his faithfulness and goodness.
Review: Review the three statements about God contained in Psalm 118:26-28. What does each mean in the context of Psalm 118? How do these meanings apply today?
Key Point: We, too, have been freed from sin, delivered and given work to do. If that is your case, thank God and get on with doing it.
For Further Study: Throughout the centuries of church history, the book of Psalms has been a particular blessing to God’s people, in both joyous times and also in times of deep distress and trial. Is there someone you know who needs encouragement from this portion of God’s Word? Consider giving them James Boice’s series of published sermons on all 150 psalms for Christmas. Order your three-volume paperback set and receive 25% off the regular price.