Psalm 118

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;his love endures forever.  Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.”  Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.”  Let those who fear the LORD say: “His love endures forever.”

In my anguish I cried to the LORD,  and he answered by setting me free. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me? The LORD is with me; he is my helper.  I will look in triumph on my enemies.

It is better to take refuge in the LORD  than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the LORD  than to trust in princes.

All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.  They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.  They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off.  I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me.

The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.  Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous:  “The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!  The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!”

I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.  The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.  Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter.  I will give you thanks, for you answered me;  you have become my salvation.

The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.  This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.  From the house of the LORD we bless you.

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 you thanks;

you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Psalm 118 was a national hymn of praise in Israel.  Parts of it came to be reserved for the Messiah’s entrance into Jerusalem.  That’s why the Pharisees admonished Jesus to rebuke His followers  when they spontaneously started singing it on that first Palm Sunday (Luke 19:39).  The people were doing God’s will and Jesus set the Pharisees straight.

“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40) This day had been identified to them 483 years earlier as the one where He would present Himself to Israel as their Messiah.  Then He told them the city would be utterly destroyed because they didn’t recognize the time of God’s coming to them (Luke 19:44)

By tradition Jesus and His Disciples also sang part of it at the end of their Passover meal.  Within a the 24 hour day just beginning, Jesus would be betrayed, arrested, tried, beaten, condemned, executed, and buried.  And yet He led them in singing, “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

He could do so because this was the day He would pay the price for His bride. The writer of Hebrews would later say, Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebr. 12:2) The joy set before Him was the privilege of taking your hand in marriage. He considered it a fair exchange for His life.

Psalm 118 is also the last in a series of Hallel Psalms.  Hallel means praise.  Hallelujah is Hebrew for “Praise the Lord”.  Strangely, although it’s one of the Church’s most popular exclamations and is used 24 times in the Old Testament, it only appears 4 times in the New Testament and all 4 are in Rev. 19:1-8.  They’re shouted by a great multitude in Heaven  as the Lord prepares for His triumphal return to Earth with His Bride.

Of course the Church will be part of that multitude, and sometimes I like to imagine how we’ll all sound.  Think of it.  The angels, the Old Testament saints, the Tribulation martyrs, and the Church all shouting as with one mighty voice, “Hallelujah!”

Maybe it’s the power released in that shout that will rend the fabric of heaven, allowing the Lord to be visible on Earth, riding a white horse and accompanied by the armies of Heaven on their white horses.  While His robe will look as if it’s been dipped in blood, ours will all be white and clean.  This is perhaps the most obvious sign that though we’re the victors, the battle has been His.  Requiring nothing more than the power of His Word, he’ll strike down the nations gathered against Him and will finally take possession of that which He purchased at the cross.  The usurper will be taken to prison in chains and the other two members of his Satanic trinity will be cast into the Lake of fire.

On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.  On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost.  It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime—a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light.  On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern (Dead) sea  and half to the western (Mediterranean) sea, in summer and in winter. The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. (Zechariah 14:3-4,6-9) Hallelujah, indeed.