Psalm 118 does not name an author in its title, but there is reason to believe it was King David, the Sweet Psalmist of Israel. Ezra 3:10-11 suggests that Psalm 118 was sung at the founding of the second temple, and when they sang it, they attributed it to David (“according to the ordinance of David king of Israel,” Ezra 3:10).
“Most probably David was the author of this psalm…. It partakes of David’s spirit, and everywhere shows the hand of a master. The style is grand and noble; the subject, majestic.” (Adam Clarke)
Though this was likely David’s psalm, it was also Jesus’ psalm. “This is pre-eminently the triumph song of the Christ, He the ideal Servant, He the perfect Priest, He the Leader of the people. How much all these words meant to Him as He sang them on that night in the upper room.” (G. Campbell Morgan)
Though this was likely David’s psalm, it was also Luther’s psalm. “This is my own beloved psalm. Although the entire Psalter and all of Holy Scripture are dear to me as my only comfort and source of life, I fell in love with this psalm especially. Therefore I call it my own. When emperors and kings, the wise and the learned, and even saints could not aid me, this psalm proved a friend and helped me out of many great troubles. As a result, it is dearer to me than all the wealth, honor, and power of the pope, the Turk, and the emperor. I would be most unwilling to trade this psalm for all of it.” (Martin Luther, cited by James Montgomery Boice)
A. Praising God for His great mercy and deliverance.
1. (1-4) Calling a congregation to declare Yahweh’s never-ending mercy.
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Let Israel now say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron now say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD now say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
a. Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good: Many of the psalms call upon God’s people to thank Him. Psalm 118 opens with an emphatic call, indicated by the word Oh. God’s goodness is so great and apparent that it deserves emphatic thanks.
i. For He is good: “This is reason enough for giving him thanks; goodness is his essence and nature, and therefore he is always to be praised whether we are receiving anything from him or not. Those who only praise God because he does them good should rise to a higher note and give thanks to him because he is good.” (Spurgeon)
b. For His mercy endures forever: This psalm begins and ends with this declaration. It is a statement of fact and of gratitude, noting that God’s hesed – His loyal covenant love, His lovingkindness – will never be taken from His people.
i. For His mercy endures forever: In the psalms, this phrase has almost a liturgical quality to it. It is used 34 times and is an appreciative declaration of God’s people, praising the great lovingkindness or covenant love of God.
ii. “Other psalms confirm the familiarity of this call to worship (Psalm 106:1; Psalm 136:1), and show the opportunity it gave to cantor and congregation to rehearse the great acts of God together (Psalm 136:1-26).” (Kidner)
iii. “The word endureth has been properly supplied by the translators, but yet it somewhat restricts the sense, which will be better seen if we read it, ‘for his mercy for ever.’ That mercy had no beginning, and shall never know an end.” (Spurgeon)
iv. This psalm is the last of the six Egyptian Hallel Psalms, sung in Jesus’ day as part of the Passover ritual. When Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26 tell us that Jesus sang a hymn with His disciples at the last supper, it refers to these Hallel Psalms. As Jesus sang the words for His mercy endures forever, He did it with complete knowledge that the endurance of God’s mercy would be tested to the utmost in the work to come the next day at the cross.
c. Let Israel now say: The psalmist invited the people of Israel, the priests of the house of Aaron, and even Gentiles who honored God (those who fear the LORD) to join in the emphatic chorus, His mercy endures forever.
i. “Three classes are called on: the whole house of Israel, the priests, and ‘those who fear Jehovah’ – i.e., aliens who have taken refuge beneath the wings of Israel’s God” (Maclaren). This suggests that the song was written with distinct parts meant for different groups in the congregation.
ii. The house of Aaron: “If this Psalm refers to David, the priests had special reason for thankfulness on his coming to the throne, for Saul had made a great slaughter among them, and had at various times interfered with their sacred office.” (Spurgeon)
2. (5-9) A testimony to His enduring mercy.
I called on the LORD in distress;
The LORD answered me and set me in a broad place.
The LORD is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The LORD is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.
It is better to trust in the LORD
Than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the LORD
Than to put confidence in princes.
a. I called on the LORD in distress: The never-ending mercy of God was shown when the LORD answered the singer’s cry of distress. God answered by setting the psalmist in a secure, broad place where he could confidently stand.
i. I called on the LORD: “Thou must learn to call, and not to sit there by thyself, and lie on the bench, hang and shake thy head, and bite and devour thyself with thy thoughts; but come on, thou indolent knave, down upon thy knees, up with thy hands and eyes to heaven, take a Psalm or a prayer, and set forth thy distress with tears before God.” (Luther, cited in Spurgeon)
ii. “The true value of every deliverance is to be estimated by the nature of the ‘distress’ which required it.” (Horne)
iii. It is wonderful to think of Jesus confidently singing these words with His disciples on the night of His betrayal and arrest, and before His suffering and crucifixion. Like none other ever, Jesus would call on the LORD in distress and see God’s faithful answer.
b. The LORD is on my side: The never-ending mercy of God was shown by God’s open favor and help to the one who called upon Him. Knowing God was on his side, he could live free from the fear of man, knowing what can man do to me?
i. The LORD is on my side: “We know very well the great anxiety shown by men, in all their worldly conflicts, to secure the aid of a powerful ally; in their lawsuits, to retain the services of a powerful advocate; or, in their attempts at worldly advancement, to win the friendship and interest of those who can further the aims they have in view…. If such and such a person be on their side, men think that all must go well. Who so well off as he who is able to say, ‘The Lord is on my side’?” (Power, cited in Spurgeon)
ii. I will not fear: “He does not say that he should not suffer, but that he would not fear: the favour of God infinitely outweighed the hatred of men, therefore setting the one against the other he felt that he had no reason to be afraid.” (Spurgeon)
c. The LORD is for me: Hundreds of years before the book of Romans was written, the psalmist understood the principle of Romans 8:31: If God is for us, who can be against us? The psalmist had nothing to fear, even from those who hated him.
d. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man: The psalmist knew it to be true, no doubt learned through the experience of bitter disappointments. Neither the common man or even princes among men could help the way God can help. It is better to trust Him!
i. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man: Spurgeon suggested many reasons why this is true.
· It is better because it is wiser.
· It is better morally, fulfilling the duty of the creature to the Creator.
· It is better because it is safer.
· It is better in its direction, lifting us up instead of bowing us down.
· It is better in its outcome.
ii. Jesus knew this by His own experience as each of His disciples forsook Him at the cross, and even leaders who were sympathetic to Him (such as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus) did not give their help to Jesus during His suffering and crucifixion.
iii. Than to put confidence in princes: “Men of high estate are generally proud, vain-glorious, self-confident, and rash: it is better to trust in God than in them. Often they cannot deliver, and often they will not when they can. However, in the concerns of our salvation, and in matters which belong to Providence, they can do nothing.” (Clarke)
iv. Spurgeon observed, “They are noblest in rank and mightiest in power, and yet as a rule, princes are not one whit more reliable than the rest of mankind.” He also noted that a weathervane covered with gold turns in the wind just as easily as a weathervane made of tin.
v. Boice on Psalm 118:8-9: “It is reported by people who count such things that there are 31,174 verses in the Bible, and if that is so, then these verses, the 15,587th and the 15,588th, are the middle verses. That position should be reason enough to give them prominence.”
3. (10-14) Surrounded by enemies but helped by God.
All nations surrounded me,
But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
They surrounded me,
Yes, they surrounded me;
But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
They surrounded me like bees;
They were quenched like a fire of thorns;
For in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
You pushed me violently, that I might fall,
But the LORD helped me.
The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.
a. All nations surrounded me: In the pattern of Hebrew poetry, the idea is repeated for emphasis. The singer knew what it was to be trapped by enemies who swarmed like bees.
i. I will destroy them: “There is a grand touch of the ego in the last sentence, but it is so over-shadowed with the name of the Lord that there is none too much of it.” (Spurgeon)
ii. We picture Jesus singing these words, knowing that only a few hours later He would be truly surrounded by those who would mock, torture, and kill Him – with, no doubt, a multitude of nations surrounding Him.
iii. They surrounded me like bees: “Christ’s enemies are so spiteful, that in fighting against his kingdom, they regard not what become of themselves, so they may hurt his people; but as the bee undoeth herself in stinging, and loseth her life or her power with her sting, so do they.” (Dickson, cited in Spurgeon)
iv. They were quenched like a fire of thorns: “But the Hebrew text looks beyond the ‘blaze’ of this fire of thorns to its extinction…for such a fire burns out as suddenly as it flares up, and the power of evil will turn out to be as short-lived as it was fierce.” (Kidner)
b. In the name of the LORD I will destroy them: The psalmist understood that the power for victory was not in Himself, but only in the name of God. He would be rescued as the LORD helped him.
c. The LORD is my strength and my song: Quoting Miriam’s song (Exodus 15:20), the singer knew not only that God could bring strength and a song, but that Yahweh Himself became their strength and the song of those who put their trust in Him. Going even further, the psalmist understood that Yahweh had become his salvation. Yahweh is these things for His people.
i. When the LORD is our strength, it means that He is our resource and our refuge. We look to Him for our needs, and we are never unsatisfied.
ii. When the LORD is our song, it means that He is our joy and our happiness. We find our purpose and life in Him, and He never disappoints.
iii. When the LORD is our salvation, it means we put our trust for help and deliverance in none other. He is our rest and rescue.
iv. With all this true, it emphasizes the importance of seeking God Himself when we need strength, a song, or salvation. Often we seek the things themselves, sometimes as even detached from God Himself. To seek God and to receive Him is to receive all these profound gifts.
v. “Good songs, good promises, good proverbs, good doctrines are none the worse for age. What was sung just after the passage of the Red Sea, is here sung by the prophet, and shall be sung to the end of the world by the saints of the Most High.” (Plumer, cited in Spurgeon)
vi. “Thus delivered, the singer breaks into the ancient strain, which had gone up on the shores of the sullen sea that rolled over Pharaoh’s army, and is still true after centuries have intervened: ‘Jah is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation.’ Miriam sang it, the restored exiles sang it, tried and trustful men in every age have sung and will sing it, till there are no more foes; and then, by the shores of the sea of glass mingled with fire, the calm victors will lift again the undying ‘song of Moses and of the Lamb.’” (Maclaren)
4. (15-18) Rejoicing in deliverance from death.
The voice of rejoicing and salvation
Is in the tents of the righteous;
The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
The right hand of the LORD is exalted;
The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
I shall not die, but live,
And declare the works of the LORD.
The LORD has chastened me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.
a. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous: Having received God’s wonderful rescue, God’s people give voice to their joy. It would be wrong for those who have received so much to be silent about it.
i. “‘The tents of the righteous’ may possibly allude to the ‘tabernacles’ constructed for the feast, at which the song was probably sung.” (Maclaren)
ii. “Apart from its use during the Passover Seder, Psalm 118 was also sung during the Feast of Tabernacles, according to the Talmud (b. Sukkoth 45a-b).” (VanGemeren)
b. The right hand of the LORD does valiantly: Repeatedly (for emphasis), the singer praises the right hand of God, recognizing it as the hand of skill and strength. God will not use lesser measures to rescue His people.
c. I shall not die, but live: The psalmist was confident that God would keep him from death in the present crisis. As Jesus sang this song at the last supper with His disciples, He could proclaim this confidently – that death would keep no hold upon Him, but He would live, and declare the works of the LORD.
i. I shall not die, but live: Psalm 118:17 was precious to John Wycliffe: “John Wycliffe, the Protestant Reformer, fell sick at one point as the result of his incessant labors for the gospel. The friars heard that their enemy was dying and hastened to his bedside. Surely Wycliffe would be overcome with remorse for his Protestant heresies. Surely he would renounce his views and ask for God’s forgiveness and the friars’ blessing. A crowd of monks representing four major orders of the friars gathered around him. They began by wishing him health, then quickly changed their tune and urged him to make a full confession since he would soon have to give an accounting of himself to God. Wycliffe waited patiently until they had ended. Then, asking his servant to raise him a little so he could speak better, Wycliffe fixed his keen eyes on them and said in a commanding voice, ‘I shall not die but live and proclaim…the evil deeds of the friars.’” (Boice)
ii. I shall not die, but live: Psalm 118:17 was also precious to Martin Luther, who faced threats on his life due to his reformation efforts. “According to Matthesius, Luther had this verse written against his study wall.” (Spurgeon)
d. The LORD has chastened me severely: The singer understood that God had a training and corrective purpose in allowing the present crisis, but God would not allow it to destroy him. Rather, the crisis would be of benefit.
i. These words had great meaning for Jesus before the cross, where He would endure the Father’s purposeful suffering, yet not be given…over to death.
B. The Song of the Great Deliverer.
1. (19-20) The open gates of righteousness.
Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them,
And I will praise the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD,
Through which the righteous shall enter.
a. Open to me the gates of righteousness: The psalmist probably had in mind a triumphal entry into the holy city. With those gates open, he would go through them, full of praise to the LORD.
i. In the song Jesus sang, He proclaimed His entrance into the ultimate reality of heaven, of which Jerusalem was only a representation. After His completed work on the cross, after His deliverance from death in the resurrection, He would be received in glory at the ascension.
ii. In that Jesus is a forerunner for His people, open to me the gates of righteousness can also be said by His people. “We may extend our ideas much further, and consider the whole company of the redeemed, as behold the angels ready to unbar the gates of heaven, and throw open the doors of the eternal sanctuary, for the true disciples of the risen and glorified Jesus to enter in. ‘Open ye,’ may believers exclaim in triumph, to those celestial spirits who delight to minister to the heirs of salvation.” (Horne)
iii. “Alas, there are multitudes who do not care whether the gates of God’s house are opened or not; and although they know that they are opened wide they never care to enter, neither does the thought of praising God so much as cross their minds. The time will come for them when they shall find the gates of heaven shut against them, for those gates are peculiarly the gates of righteousness through which there shall by no means enter anything that defileth.” (Spurgeon)
b. This is the gate of the LORD: Now we picture the singer actually passing through the open gate, declaring God’s great works for the righteous.
2. (21-24) The chief cornerstone.
I will praise You,
For You have answered me,
And have become my salvation.
The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the LORD’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
a. I will praise You: Having passed into the holy city, the singer openly praised God for the answer and the salvation previously mentioned in this psalm.
b. The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone: We don’t know what personal experience the psalmist might have had that led to these words. Perhaps it was purely a prophetic statement, because it certainly was fulfilled in the work of Jesus.
i. “And these master-builders rejected David as an obscure, and treacherous, and rebellious person, fit to be not only laid aside and thrown away, but also to be crushed to pieces. And so their successors rejected Christ as an enemy to Moses, a friend to sinners, and a blasphemer against God, and therefore deserving death and damnation.” (Poole)
ii. This is a strong and important statement in the New Testament understanding of the person and work of Jesus. Jesus quoted this of Himself in Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10-11, and Luke 20:17. Peter quoted it in reference to Jesus in Acts 4:11. Paul alluded to this verse in Ephesians 2:20, and Peter also referred to it in 1 Peter 2:7-8. No text in the Old Testament is quoted more in the New Testament.
iii. Boice noted something interesting about Peter’s quotation of Psalm 118 in Acts 4:11: “In quoting from the Septuagint at this point Luke varied the quotation slightly, adding the word ‘you.’ The Septuagint says, ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.’ Luke changes it to say, ‘The stone you builders rejected’ (italics added), undoubtedly because that is what Peter said. Peter used the text to reinforce what he had been teaching about the guilt of Israel’s leaders.”
c. The stone which the builders rejected: It was true of Jacob, Joseph and David – each were rejected and then raised high. It was most certainly true of Jesus.
· They didn’t approve of His origin (John 7:52).
· They didn’t approve of His lack of formal education (John 7:15).
· They didn’t approve of His disregard for religious traditions (Luke 6:2).
· They didn’t approve of His choice of friends (Matthew 9:11).
i. “Still do the builders refuse him: even to this day the professional teachers of the gospel are far too apt to fly to any and every new philosophy sooner than maintain the simple gospel, which is the essence of Christ: nevertheless, he holds his true position amongst his people, and the foolish builders shall see to their utter confusion that his truth shall be exalted over all.” (Spurgeon)
d. Has become the chief cornerstone: This was also most certainly true. Fulfilled in Jesus, we see that even though the religious leaders (the builders) of His day rejected Him, God established Jesus as the chief cornerstone of His great plan of the ages, that all things would be founded and fulfilled in Him.
i. Chief cornerstone: “The ‘capstone’ was an important stone that held two rows of stones together in a corner (‘cornerstone’) or stabilized the stones at the foundation or elsewhere (cf. Isa 28:16).” (VanGemeren)
ii. “Now he is the bond of the building, holding Jew and Gentile in firm unity. This precious cornerstone binds God and man together in wondrous amity, for he is both in one. He joins earth and heaven together, for he participates in each. He joins time and eternity together, for he was a man of few years, and yet he is the Ancient of Days. Wondrous cornerstone!” (Spurgeon)
iii. Jesus was and will be exalted. “It would be far better for Jesus to be exalted by your praise of his great grace and mercy in saving you than to be exalted in his power as he judges you justly for your sin.” (Boice)
iv. It is hard to imagine Jesus singing this the night before His great rejection, leading to His suffering and crucifixion, without tears in His eyes. He would be rejected, and He would become the chief cornerstone.
v. “That these verses belong, in a full, proper sense, to Messiah, is confessed by the rabbis, and acknowledged by all.” (Horne)
e. This was the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes: The psalmist spoke here on behalf of those redeemed by the Lord and whose life and future is built upon that chief cornerstone. They rejoice in God’s marvelous work, despite the rejection of the builders.
i. This is the LORD’s doing: The exaltation of Jesus from the cross to the resurrection to the right hand of God on high is the work of God alone. Who lifted Jesus high again, exalting Him above all?
· Not the religious leaders – they rejected Him.
· Not the Roman leaders – they crucified Him.
· Not the Jewish multitudes – they chose another.
· Not the disciples – they cowered in fear.
· Not His influential followers – they buried Him.
· Not the devoted women – they were beset by grief.
· Only God the Father Himself could lift Jesus high.
ii. “What can be more truly marvelous, that a person, put to death as a malefactor, and laid in the grave, should from thence arise immortal, and become the head of an immortal society; should ascend into heaven, be invested with power, and crowned with glory; and should prepare a way for the sons of Adam to follow him into those mansions of eternal bliss?” (Horne)
iii. “What astonishment will then take hold upon those who refused his righteous claims. Then will they know that this is the Lord’s doing; though it will be terrible in their eyes. All intelligent beings, even down to the blackest devil of hell, shall at the second advent of our Lord be obliged to confess that the stone which the builders refused hath become the head stone of the corner.” (Spurgeon)
f. This is the day that the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it: When Jesus quoted Psalm 118:22 (in Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10-11, and Luke 20:17), He did so in response to the praise and hosannas given to Him at what is commonly called the triumphal entry. Since this psalm is prophetically connected with that event, the day mentioned here can be prophetically understood as the day Jesus formally entered Jerusalem as Messiah and King.
i. It is true in a general sense that the LORD makes every day, and there is reason to rejoice and be glad in every day. Yet specifically, the day the LORD made to rejoice and be glad in was the day Jesus entered Jerusalem with hosannas welcoming Him as Israel’s Savior. If on that day human voices failed to rejoice and be glad, Jesus said that the very stones would cry out their praises and hosannas (Luke 19:40).
ii. There is also reason to believe, based on the chronology of Sir Robert Anderson, that the particular day of the triumphal entry was prophesied in Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks (Daniel 9:24-26). Anderson’s chronology is controversial and rejected by some, but as John Walvoord noted, “No one today is able dogmatically to declare that Sir Robert Anderson’s computations are impossible.”
3. (25-28) The sacrifice bound to the altar.
Save now, I pray, O LORD;
O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!
We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.
God is the LORD,
And He has given us light;
Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will praise You;
You are my God, I will exalt You.
a. Save now, I pray, O LORD: The context of the open gates (Psalm 118:19) and the coming into the city, as well as the arrangement of this psalm give the sense that these are words from different speakers or parts of a chorus.
i. Save: “With the Hebrews salvation is a wide word, comprising all the favours of God that may lead to preservation.” (Hall, cited in Spurgeon)
b. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD: The main point of this ceremony of song is to welcome God’s deliverer through the open gates into the holy city. This deliverer received a blessing from the singers as he approached the house of the LORD.
i. Matthew 21:9 (along with Mark 11:9 and John 12:13) quote this phrase as spoken by those who welcomed Jesus at His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, when He formally presented Himself to Israel as their Messiah and King. The words save now are in Hebrew hosanna, which is exactly what the crowd at the triumphal entry cried out.
ii. We have a strange prediction that was fulfilled precisely. This deliverer was to be welcomed with open gates (Psalm 118:19), hosannas (Psalm 118:25), and blessings (Psalm 118:26). Yet He is and was the same chief cornerstone that would be rejected (Psalm 118:22). Exactly according to the words and spirit of this psalm, Jesus was welcomed as deliverer and Messiah on Palm Sunday, and rejected and crucified only a few days later.
iii. We have blessed you from the house of the LORD: “We can glimpse two companies at this point: one already in the temple court, greeting another which is arriving with the king. Blessed be he who enters is an individual welcome, but We bless you is addressed to the many who are with him.” (Kidner)
iv. We have blessed you from the house of the LORD: “Thus say the priests to the people. Ministers must bless those that bless Christ, saying, ‘Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity,’ Ephesians 6:24.” (Trapp)
c. God is the LORD: There is a brief but important focus on Yahweh as the true God, above all idols.
d. Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar: In view of the greatness of Yahweh and the light He gives, the sacrifice is willingly given. This was fulfilled in a way that the psalmist likely never expected – that the deliverer of the previous verses would Himself be the sacrifice, bound to an altar.
i. It is remarkable to consider and understand that Jesus sang these words with His disciples a few hours before His crucifixion. He invited God the Father to bind Him to the cross in making a holy sacrifice for sins at God’s appointed altar. “How significant that before the final note of praise these words should occur!” (Morgan)
ii. Hebrews 13:10 makes reference to the sacrifice of Jesus at an altar, probably speaking of the cross.
iii. As we follow Jesus our forerunner, we also bind ourselves with cords to the horns of the altar of living sacrifice to Jesus (Romans 12:1-2). “It is well to be bound. Wilt Thou bind us, most blessed Spirit, and enamor us with the Cross, and let us never leave it? Bind us with the scarlet cord of redemption, and the golden cord of love, and the silver cord of Advent-hope.” (Meyer)
iv. “How precious are the last lines that David Livingstone penned in his diary, before his boys found him kneeling beside his bed, dead, though in the attitude of prayer, the candle burning beside him: ‘My Jesus, my King, my Life, my All; to Thee I again dedicate myself.’ So bind each of us with the cords of love, and the bands of a man.” (Meyer)
e. You are my God, and I will praise You: We take these words to be in the mouth of the deliverer who arrived through the open gates. He rightly surrendered Himself to God, filled with praise in view of the ultimate triumph. The voice of Jesus singing this praise and exaltation of God echoed through the upper room as evidence of His submission and obedience.
4. (29) Ending with praise.
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
a. Oh, give thanks to the LORD: This psalm began with exuberant and heartfelt praise, and it ends with the same – recognizing once again the goodness of God at the end of it all. If we start with praise, we are in a much better position to end with praise, despite all we go through.
b. For His mercy endures forever: Jesus Himself believed in and received this unending mercy and proclaimed it in song with His disciples in the upper room. The same mercy, that loyal love, covenant love, and lovingkindness that never ended for Him, is also given to His people.
i. “What better close could there be to this right royal song? The Psalmist would have risen to something higher, so as to end with the climax, but nothing loftier remained. He had reached the height of his grandest argument, and there he paused.” (Spurgeon)
(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – email@example.com