The scripture reading for today is Psalm 118, NKJV.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
2 Let Israel now say, “His mercy endures forever.”
14 The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.
15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation Is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. 17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.
18 The Lord has chastened[b] me severely, But He has not given me over to death. 19 Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them, And I will praise the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord, through which the righteous shall enter.
21 I will praise You, For You have answered me, and have become my salvation.
22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
This Psalm is thought to have been written by David. In it he acknowledges God’s goodness and proclaims his own reliance on God throughout the Psalm. He expresses his desire for all to experience this goodness and trust in God because his love is eternal. It is his salvation and ours. His heart is full of God’s love and he wants all to rejoice in the saving grace of God that he has experienced.
This Psalm is one that is familiar to many. I remember singing the 24th verse in the children’s choir as a young person and later singing it with my own children. The tune always brings a smile to my face and a feeling of comfort in my heart. Martin Luther also found comfort in this 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 Boice) As I write this our world is facing the challenges of the coronavirus and we have been encouraged to limit our contact with others to avoid spreading the virus. As Christians it is my prayer that while we are encouraged to limit our in person contact we continue to live out this Psalm daily. Thanking God each and every day for all that he has done for us and to share that love and grace with others. Call someone and share the good news of God’s love for us, send an email, a snail mail letter or a card to brighten someone’s day and remind them of the promise of salvation. God is good all the time!
Prayer: Dear God, open our hearts that we may be grateful for the abundance of love that you shower upon us each and every day. Help us to live lives that demonstrate your love and “let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Prayer Concern: Those that do not know God’s love.