April 9: Psalm 118

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April 9: Psalm 118

This is the Lord’s doing, and wondrous in our eyes

Common meter double 86.86 D             Ellacombe (Hosanna, Loud Hosanna), p. 130
Forest Green (I Sing the Mighty Power of God), p. 70

O praise the Lord, for He is good; His steadfast love endures.

O let all Is-ra-el now say, “His steadfast love endures.”

O let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures.”

Let those that fear the Lord now say, “His steadfast love endures.”

In my distress I sought the Lord; Jehovah answered me;

He set me in a spacious place, a place of liberty.

The mighty Lord is on my side; I will not be afraid;

For anything that man can do I will not be dismayed.

The Lord is on my side with those who render help to me.

And so I look with triumph sure upon my enemy.

O better far to trust the Lord than rest in aid of men.

Yes, better far to trust the Lord than rest in noblemen.

All nations have surrounded me; their forces they deploy;

But surely in Jehovah’s name I will them all destroy.

Yes, they have all surrounded me, to take away my joy,

But surely in Jehovah’s name I will them all destroy.

Though they surrounded me like bees, like thorn fires soon they die,

For surely in Jehovah’s name destroy them all will I.

Hard pressed, I was about to fall; the Lord gave help to me.

Jehovah is my strength and song and my salvation He.

Salvation’s song and shouts of joy resound where righteous dwell:

“The right hand of the mighty Lord has done great things for us!”

The right hand of the mighty Lord on high exalted is.

The right hand of the mighty Lord in valiant deeds excels.

I shall not die, but live and tell Jehovah’s power to save;

The Lord has sorely chastened me, but spared me from the grave.

O set ye open unto me the gates of righteousness;

Then will I enter into them and I the Lord will bless.

This is Jehovah’s gate; by it the just shall enter in.

I’ll praise Thee Who hast heard my prayer, and hast my safety been.

That stone is made head cornerstone which builders did despise.

This is the doing of the Lord, and wondrous in our eyes.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and sing.

Hosanna, Lord! O give success! O Lord, salvation bring.

O bless-ed be the one who comes, comes in Jehovah’s name;

The blessing from Jehovah’s house upon you we proclaim.

The Lord is God, and He to us has made the light arise;

O bind ye to the altar’s horns with cords the sacrifice.

Thou art my God; I’ll give Thee thanks. My God, I’ll worship Thee.

O thank the Lord, for He is good; His love will endless be.

We Christians have every right to find in psalm 118 the expression of our paschal joy. Whence did we Christians derive the idea that Psalm 118 is a psalm about Christ? From a very good source, actually—Christ Himself. Our Lord quoted a line of this psalm to His enemies by way of interpreting His parable of the wicked vinedressers: “Have you not even read this Scripture: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (Mark 12:10-11) Using a play on words, Jesus here identifies Himself as both the Son and the Stone of His story about the drama of His death and divine vindication. It is in the Resurrection that we perceive that the “stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” Psalm 118 is the canticle of the empty tomb. It is to the risen Jesus that we sing: “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord…You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, and I will exalt You.” Truly, in the Resurrection we see clearly that “The Lord is God, and He has given us light.” (Reardon, p. 235-236)

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