I have often thought how blessed we are today because we are living in the days of the New Testament and not the Old Testament days. I love to read the Old Testament and I learn many things that help me in living out my life, but I think it must have been a hard life. I mean today we have the written Word, the Bible, to guide us in life. We Christians also have the Holy Spirit living in us to encourage us and comfort us and pray for us (1 Corinthians 3:16). We have so many ways to learn more about God and Jesus. Back in the Old Testament times God often spoke only through the prophets and not directly to most people. I think to the average person living during the Old Testament times the Psalms of David must have been a comfort, especially Psalm 118.
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Oh let Israel say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Oh let the house of Aaron say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Oh let those who fear the LORD say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” From my distress I called upon the LORD; The LORD answered me and set me in a large place. The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?
The LORD is for me among those who help me; Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in princes. All nations surrounded me; In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off. They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me; In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off. They surrounded me like bees; They were extinguished as a fire of thorns; In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off. You pushed me violently so that I was falling, But the LORD helped me.
The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation. The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly. The right hand of the LORD is exalted; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly. I will not die, but live, And tell of the works of the LORD. The LORD has disciplined me severely, But He has not given me over to death. Open to me the gates of righteousness; I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD; The righteous will enter through it. I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, And You have become my salvation. The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. This is the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:1-23, (New American Standard Bible or NASB).
Regardless of where you or I live and regardless of what may be happening around us there is one fundamental good thing that we can count on told to us in the first verse. The Lord is good. Our Lord is good! We can have confidence in the fact that no matter what our situation going on around us our Heavenly Father is good. The second thing we can count on is that He will be here forever, we might not be, but rest assured God is here forever. That is mind-blowing when you really stop to think about how God has worked good throughout every generation since the earth began. God has made certain that the world never gets as evil as Satan wants it to be because God is always working good into our lives. I find this comforting. I find it comforting to remember that no matter how I think things are bad in our generation it hasn’t become as bad as it did in Noah’s generation. God destroyed everyone except Noah, Mrs., Noah, and their three sons and three daughters-in-law because the whole world had become so evil, (Genesis 5-10). Yes, God is good and working good into this world.
Secondly God protects His own children. We face people who don’t like us. We deal with people who might hate us. We work with people who wish we weren’t around anymore. We know that there are always going to be those who don’t love God and therefore don’t love us. But God will take care of us, He is faithful to us. We don’t have to worry about those who want to cause us problems and trouble, God will take care of them eventually. We just need to remain faithful and obedient to God.
Third, God is our stabilizer, our rock, our fountain of strength, our salvation. I don’t know about you but when I am feeling like I just don’t have the energy to go one more step in life I can cry out to God and He restores my strength. He never fails in giving me what I need to meet whatever challenge is in front of me. The promise of Jesus coming into the world is touched on by David in this Psalm. The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. This is the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. Now how encouraging that must have been to David and to the many that read the Psalms and longed for the day to come. But we are so blessed because we live after the promise was fulfilled. I personally think this makes life a little more enjoyable, a little more bearable, a little more exciting! Let’s look at the ending to this Psalm.
This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. O LORD, do save, we beseech You; O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD; We have blessed you from the house of the LORD. The LORD is God, and He has given us light; Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You. Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Psalm 118:24-29 (NASB).
The day of our salvation has come; Jesus Christ is the cornerstone that the Jewish nation rejected. God always knew that this would happen. That is what makes Jesus so special to me. Jesus knew when He came to the earth that He came to be rejected by God’s people and to die and to be buried, and to be resurrected for you and me to have the chance to be in the family of God. Now that is certainly a day the Lord made that lets us rejoice and be glad, wouldn’t you say? So is today that kind of day. Every day since you became a follower of Christ you have the opportunity to say that this is a good day because God has given you a day of goodness, a day to renew your strength in Him, a day to rejoice and say thanks to Him, a day to worship Him, a day under His protection and guidance, a day experiencing His goodness. No matter how bad my health may be, or how low my funds, or how weary I become; I know beyond a shadow of any doubt that God loves me and that is enough to sustain me through my day. How about you? Do you have such assurance?