Psalm 118 – To Really Know God
Saturday, 4th March 2023
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-4 God’s Love Endures Forever
V1 ‘Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.’ Do we know how good our God is? In Genesis 1:4, God also says everything is good, after He created the Heaven the Earth. We must know the goodness of God, because of this goodness, we can give up everything and come to the Temple of God to praise Him.
V2-4 ‘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.”’ Israel is God’s chosen one, the house of Aaron are the ones being called, those who saw God’s miracles and wonders will all come and say God’s mercy endures forever. Do we see everything happens to our lives as God’s mercy and love? Jonah only saw bitterness, unjust, pain, and hardship when God called him. Do we see God’s hands in our hardship? Do we believe that God is a good God?
Section Two V5-21 We Can Put Our Trust in God
V5 ‘I called on the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.’ When we are in need, we will want to search for ways to seek help, but seeking God is usually our last priority. Even when we say we prayed, do we really pray or is praying just a religious ritual for us? When the Israelites went to Jerusalem to worship God, they had to go a long way, and there many be a lot of danger in the wilderness. Therefore they proclaimed that they would rely on God, they would put their trust in God, and they will rely on God.
V10-12 ‘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.’ We like to believe in facts, we like to believe in what we can see, but here the psalmist was determined to trust in God, he continued to proclaim that in the Name of the Lord, he could destroy all his enemies and all the challenges ahead of him. We must have the same assurance, and see in the Name of the Lord, all the worries, hardship, fear, challenges… in our lives will be destroyed.
V14 ‘The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.’ Do we believe that God is our strength and song? We are so easy to seek strength from the worldly means, and we feel worshipping God and praising God is too difficult. During prayer and worship, do we do it wholeheartedly? Do we believe that everything we say and everything we praise is the truth? When we praise God, we will receive the strength, and God will become our salvation. Let us be willing to believe and to fully rely on God.
V19-20 ‘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.’ The enemy will lie to us, they might say that we are not good enough and God will not listen to us. Do we listen to the enemy? Do we really think that we need to be good enough to pray and worship God? How can we praise God in season and out of season? We must really know that God is the God we can reply on and put our trust in.
Section Three V22-29 Give Thanks to God
V22 ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.’ God has chosen the stone not by the people’s judgement or experience, but by His Power, to become the chief cornerstone. This is our Lord Jesus Christ, when He was still a child, He was in the Temple and discussing with the teachers about the Word of God. Jesus did not attend any Bible school or become a scholar. But when He was 30 years old, He began to preach and people were amazed with what he preached. Why were people amazed? Because they only knew Jesus as the son of the carpenter, but He was able to speak the words of wisdom.
V28-29 ‘You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You. Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.’ When we are willing to lay down what we know, in season or out of season, praise God wholeheartedly, then we can really know God and we can really praise God. This is a lesson we must humble ourselves and learn in life. Let us open our mouth to praise God, to give thanks to Him, and to exalt Him.
诗篇 118 – 真认识神
V14 我们真的看见耶和华是我们的“力量”、“诗歌”和“拯救”吗，还是用完其他的方法才来找神？我们总想先把自己的事情做完，不相信“先寻求神的国和神的义”、其他一切都会加给我们。 我们不相信神是我们的力量、诗歌和拯救，所以无法专心敬拜赞美神。我们愿意单单倚靠耶和华吗？
V22-23 当时的以色列人用石头在做房子的根基，这些盖房子的“匠人”看到一块“石头”，凭经验认为这石头没有用，然而这不被看好的石头却“成了房角的头块石头”，因耶和华所做的不是凭经验，而是权能。这“石头”就是我们的主耶稣基督 – 当初他传讲福音的时候，别人看到他是木匠的儿子，都觉得稀奇，但在神的国度里，没有什么标准流程, 他凭权能施展奇事。