Vs. 1-4 give a burst of praise to be offered throughout all the people;
Vs. 5-14 indicate the deliverance from distress God gave that prompted praise;
Vs. 15-18 give appreciation for the “near miss;”
Vs. 19-29 show rejoicing when one rejected by men is accepted by God.
The “praise the LORD” (hallelujah) occurs in verse 19, and this Psalm completes the “set” used in Israelite services. It is intensely personal (“I, me, my” occurring over 30 times), speaks with the authority of a king (verses 10-12), and fits the entrance of David to Jerusalem following the battle and death of Saul (2 Samuel 5:1-13). Though not parallel in every detail, there is a section that is prophetic of Jesus Christ entering Jerusalem for the last week of His life (verses 19-26). Chapter and verse numbers and divisions were added to the Bible text by uninspired men as an aid for finding statements within the Bible. It seems to be guided by Providence that the middle verse of the entire Bible is Psalm 118:8!
Verses 1-4: (Verse 1) It begins and ends (verse 29) with the same gratitude toward God. (Verses 2-4) First the Israelites, then their priests (Aaron), then all others who “fear the LORD” (extends to Gentiles?) should say, “His mercy endures forever.”
Verses 5-14: (Verse 5) God heard and responded to a cry in “distress,” proving (verse 6) “the LORD is on my side,” concluding “I will not fear” men. This is echoed for Christians in Matthew 10:28 and Romans 8:31, then quoted in Hebrews 13:6. (Verse 7) God will be “for” the obedient and against those who oppose them. (Verse 8) States the main premise of the entire Bible: “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in men.” The history of mankind and God’s dealings with them proves this simple truth! People fail, God—never! (Verse 9) States the same thing, applying it even to government personnel! (Verse 10) “All nations” indicates total rejection, both Jew and Gentile, and surely describes the reason Jesus died on the cross (Acts 2:22-24; 13:26-33). (Verses 10-12) David had been “surrounded,” with the ferocity of “bees,” but “in the name of the LORD” would be “destroyed;” “quenched” as if a flash fire of “thorns.” (Verses 13-14) Though “pushed” “violently,” God assisted with “strength,” reason for “song,” and is his “salvation.”
Verses 15-18: (Verses 15-16) There is “rejoicing” “in the tents of the righteous;” because they have seen “the right hand of the LORD” in action on their behalf. Since “God is spirit” (John 4:24), and Jesus added, “a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:39), then obviously we are dealing with a figure of speech in Psalm 118:15-16! (Verses 17-18) This refers to David, because Jesus did see death in His experience (Hebrews 2:9).
Verses 19-29: (Verses 19-20) Jesus was obeying the Father when He entered Jerusalem to face the cross (Hebrews 5:5-11), thus passed through “the gates of righteousness,” “through which the righteous shall enter.” The “hallelujah” is given here. No one is more “righteous” than Jesus (1 John 2:1)! (Verse 21) God is to be praised “for” responding to the righteous with salvation. (Verses 22-24) Prophesy Jesus Christ as “the stone” rejected by men in the crucifixion, but exalted to “chief cornerstone” by God (Jesus claimed it, Matthew 21:33-45; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19; Peter preached it, Acts 4:8-12; 1 Peter 2:1-8). Jesus Christ is “the stone” so rejected by those charged with building, but “the LORD’s doing” raised Jesus from the dead to be on David’s throne in heaven (Acts 2:29-32). This began the new Law with Jesus as King over His kingdom, and “the day the LORD has made” for rejoicing being “the first day of the week” (John 20:1, 19, 26; Acts 2:1, 38-41, 42-47; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2). (Verse 25) The “prosperity” God gives is salvation in Jesus Christ (John 10:10), and not the “Gospel of Greed” as some have twisted this verse to mean! Money-grubbers try to take this spiritual meaning from this passage and force it to refer to money. (Verse 26) The very words of the people welcoming Jesus entrance to Jerusalem for His final week are from this verse (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9; Luke 19:38; John 12:12-13)! (Verse 27) The idea of tying “the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar” simply expresses how continual the need for approaching the altar for forgiveness of sins. With David, certainly he did this (2 Samuel 6:17-19), and Jesus Christ “was offered once” (Hebrews 9:23-29; 10:12-14) but continually intercedes for the saints (Hebrews 7:24-27). (Verse 28) People who profanely use “OMG” have not obeyed God and fully appreciated who He is and what He does. (Verse 29) After all is said and done, God is to be “thanked” because “His mercy endures forever.”
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.