by Tonja Taylor
One of the best ways to get out of sorrow and into joy is to start thanking the LORD. We do this by faith, when things are good, and when they are terrible. I haven’t researched it, but King David wrote almost half the Psalms, and I think he probably wrote this one. It could have been when he was under the most attack.
It opens with thanksgiving and could be a kind of (with the help of the LORD) self-counsel, to lead himself and call to all to choose to be thankful, then to remind him and all who would hear of the faithfulness of Yahweh, our Covenant God, Who never fails–no matter what mere humans do.
It reminds the author and all who will draw near that God always comes through and fights for His people; faith alone in Him makes us righteous; that He allows us to draw near to Him, for He is merciful and good and loves us; that He turns our darkness into light; that He is worthy of our praise, honor, and devotion, for He is good, no matter what.
It reminds us that He is our God, and we are His people–and implies strongly (to me, at least), that He, our God, is the ultimate; without Him, what else is there?
Below is Psalm 118 from the Amplified Classic. May it minister to you all these truths and more as you read and receive revelation of God’s love and faithfulness to you and to all mankind through the ages!
1 O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!
2 Let Israel now say that His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.
3 Let the house of Aaron [the priesthood] now say that His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.
4 Let those now who reverently and worshipfully fear the Lord say that His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.
5 Out of my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free and in a large place.
6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
7 The Lord is on my side and takes my part, He is among those who help me; therefore shall I see my desire established upon those who hate me.
8 It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
9 It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
10 All nations (the surrounding tribes) compassed me about, but in the name of the Lord I will cut them off!
11 They compassed me about, yes, they surrounded me on every side; but in the name of the Lord I will cut them off!
12 They swarmed about me like bees, they blaze up and are extinguished like a fire of thorns; in the name of the Lord I will cut them off!
13 You [my adversary] thrust sorely at me that I might fall, but the Lord helped me.
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 and private dwellings of the [uncompromisingly] righteous: the right hand of the Lord does valiantly and achieves strength!
16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly and achieves strength!
17 I shall not die but live, and shall declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord.
18 The Lord has chastened me sorely, but He has not given me over to death.
19 Open to me the [temple] gates of righteousness; I will enter through them, and I will confess and praise the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord; the [uncompromisingly] righteous shall enter through it.
21 I will confess, praise, and give thanks to You, for You have heard and answered me; and You have become my Salvation and Deliverer.
22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is from the Lord and is His doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day which the Lord has brought about; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save now, we beseech You, O Lord; send now prosperity, O Lord, we beseech You, and give to us success!
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; we bless you from the house of the Lord [you who come into His sanctuary under His guardianship].
27 The Lord is God, Who has shown and given us light [He has illuminated us with grace, freedom, and joy]. Decorate the festival with leafy boughs and bind the sacrifices to be offered with thick cords [all over the priest’s court, right up] to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will confess, praise, and give thanks to You; You are my God, I will extol You.
29 O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.
Tonja K. Taylor is a worshiper who writes books and songs and teaches online at the “River Rain Creative Arts” You Tube channel. She serves the LORD with her darling dynamite husband Clayton at their church, the region, and beyond, by producing and distributing booklets of her writing, and ministering with him in worship and the Word.