Psalm for Prayer and Praise: Psalm 118 (ESV)
1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
3 Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
4 Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.
6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
7 The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
10 All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
12 They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,
16 the right hand of the Lord exalts, the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”
17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success!
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar!
28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.
29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
Scripture Memory for the Week: Psalm 118:22-24
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Praying through the Psalms
Read: Psalm 118:1-9
For Adults: This Psalm is believed by scholars to have been composed as a song of celebration on the occasion of either a great deliverance or perhaps the dedication of the new temple. In shifting back and forth from language that speaks to the corporate assembly and an account of personal deliverance, it seems to imply that the “I” in the psalm is not just a personal testimony, but also the collective testimony of the people of God. The theme of God’s steadfast love is sure and everlasting to his people as a whole and to each individual saint. is clear from beginning to end. While the message is basic to the Christian life, its profound application should be part of the daily thought of the Christian, “The Lord is on My side, I will not fear, What can man do to me?” Are you trusting the Lord by faithfully following His commands today? Trust His unchanging love and obey His commands knowing that they are always and only and expression of His love for His people.
Discussion for children: Read verses 8 and 9 again. Why do you think that is better to depend upon God than to depend upon people, even if those people are very powerful (like a prince or or King)? What are some of the ways that we show that we are depending upon God? Does someone who is depending upon God pray often? What do you think?
Pray: Thank the Lord today for being a sure refuge for all those who trust in Him. Pray that God would help you to trust Him more and to identify areas of your life where you may be placing your hope in someone or something other than Him. Pray that God would help you to be a living example of faithful loving obedience to Him in all things to all those around you.
Meditate: Write this week’s memory verses on a white board in your home and/or on index cards that each family member can carry with them during the week.
Read: Psalm 118:19-24
For Adults: In these verses of the Psalm, we find the psalmist shifting from the narrative of personal deliverance to ceremonial language related to procession into the temple to sacrifice and worship. It is in this section that we find the theme of the stone rejected by the builders becoming the the chief cornerstone. In the immediate context, the “rejected stone” is a proverb communicating how God had chosen Israel, a seemingly unworthy candidate, as recipient of His Kingdom. In the larger context, however, the apostles tell us (Matt. 21:42, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter 2:7) that the great cornerstone, rejected by men, is actually Christ himself. The proper response of the believer to God’s work in Christ is laid before us here. It is to be “Marvelous in our eyes.”
Discussion for children: Do you know what a cornerstone is? It is the most important stone that was laid in a building. It was the stone that all the others were measured off of. In these verses the “cornerstone” actually points us to Jesus. What do think it means for Jesus to be the cornerstone of a person’s life. How does it change the way we obey our parents? How would it affect the way we act towards our friends at school and our teachers? How does having Jesus as your cornerstone affect the way you treat your brothers and sisters?
Pray: Thank God today for sending Jesus, the perfect representation of the Father in human flesh. Pray that God would help you to look to Jesus more and more faithfully as the cornerstone for your life. Pray that God would help you to think often and deeply on Him and that your heart would more and more frequently be set upon worshiping and imitating Him in your thinking and living.
Meditate: See if anyone in the family can quote this week’s memory verse. Make new note cards of any of the cards from day 1 that may have been lost.
Read: Psalm 118:25-29
For Adults: As in yesterday’s passage, so too should these words quickly draw our minds to Christ. The opening verses of today’s section were proclaimed to Christ by the crowds upon His entry into Jerusalem just days before His crucifixion(John 12:13). In the immediate context of the Psalm, the declaration “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” reminds the worshiper of the covenant; that it is only the name of the LORD that is truly worthy of trust (v.8-9) and it is only the Lord who truly saves (v.14), thus it is only in His name that one comes into the temple. When applied to Christ, however, as the one who comes in the name of Lord, we are reminded that is is only Christ who has walked in perfect obedience to the Law of God and in perfect faith and trust in Him. It is only Christ who has earned the blessing of God and it is only in Him and through Him that the “gates of righteousness” (v.19) are opened for the people of God. As we consider the baby Jesus this holiday season, let us be quick to remember that the babe in the manger is also the Christ of the cross and the one who opens the gates of heaven for all those who trust in Him in repentance and faith.
Discussion for children: Read verse 27 again. What do you think that it means that God has made His light to shine upon us? As you think of how we use candles and lights at Christmas time, how can they remind us of how God rescues His people from darkness? What do you think it means to be spiritually “in darkness?” How do you think that God’s word is like “light?” How do you think Jesus is like “Light” for us?
Pray: Praise God for sending Jesus to be the sacrifice and propitiation for His people. Thank God for the perfect righteousness that He imparts to the saints that they might be granted access to the gates of heaven. Pray that the righteousness of Christ, the heavenly possession of all those who hope and trust in Him, would work itself out today in your daily living and in your family. Pray the light of Christ would be evident in your interactions with others this week and that His mercy and grace would shine through you as evidence of His goodness and glory.
Meditate: See again if anyone in the family can quote this week’s memory verse. Talk about any ways that this verse has encouraged or taught you this week.