Psalm 118 is a psalm of thanksgiving for God’s enduring mercy to Israel and the faithful of all ages.
Psalm 118:1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
For Israel and the Aaronic priests
2 Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. 3 Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
For all who reverence God
4 Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
For deliverance from distress, both nationally and individually.
5 I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place.
God is a source of deliverance for those who trust in him
6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? 7 The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.
It is better to trust in God than in man.
8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. 9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
Israel’s final deliverance - yet in the future - but spoken as accomplished because it is certain in the purpose of God. Joel 3:2, Zechariah 14:2
10 All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them. 11 They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. 12 They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. 13 Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me.
God provides salvation both for the nation and the individuals who trust in him.
14 The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
The righteous rejoice. God’s right hand is manifested in the Son at his right hand who has swallowed up death in victory. Matthew 26:64, 1 Corinthians 15:54
15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. 16 The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. 17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.
God, as a father, chastens his children, that they might afterwards enjoy the peaceable fruit of righteousness in resurrection to eternal life. Deuteronomy 8:5, Proverbs 13:24 Hebrews 12:6.7
18 The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.
The gate of righteousness has been provided by God in his Son. Righteousness will be imputed for faith in him. John 14:6
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD: 20 This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.
God delivers from death
21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.
The cornerstone of God’s providing was rejected by the Jewish leaders of his day. But by resurrection from the dead, God fixed the rejected cornerstone firmly in place. Matthew 21:42
22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. 23 This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
The day of salvation is of God’s making.
24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Hosanna – the cry taken up prematurely as Jesus entered Jerusalem on the colt of an ass – They expected deliverance from the Romans, not understanding that they first must be delivered from their sins. Matthew 21:9 John 12:13
25 Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
Israel in their unbelief will not see Jesus again until he returns to save them from their enemies. In that day they will believe and say ‘blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord’ Matthew 23:39, Luke 13:35
26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.
God has given us light in the teachings of his Son. The animal sacrifices pointed forward to the sacrifice of his Son. In the kingdom of God, during the 1000-year reign of Christ over the mortal population of the earth, a new Temple will be built and sacrifice re-instated as a memorial of his sacrifice. Ezekiel 40-44.
27 God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.
The faithful, sins remitted, glorified with the divine nature, will praise, exalt and thank God for his mercy.
28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. 29 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
I hope you find this helpful.