Psalm 118, Palm Sunday…Messianic Psalms 3

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.  Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.  Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever.(Psalm 118:1-4) 

Psalm 118 is the finale of the series of Psalms referred to as the ” Hallel”, consisting of Psalm 113-118 , festal songs, sung during the Spring holidays, (The Feast of unleavened bread, Passover and First Fruits).

The first half of this Psalm (vs 1-20) portrays a procession to the temple of God, composed of Priests, Levites, sacrifices, worshippers and God fearing proselytes.

Everyone is called upon to give thanks to the LORD and His mercy;.  All of Israel, the house of Aaron and the entire congregation of the God fearing, are called to attribute to the LORD  goodness and mercy.

I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?  The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.(Psalm 118:5-7)

After the call to worship, the Psalmist encourages the congregation, by way of testimony.

The righteous sufferer witnesses that God had delivered him from a place of pressure and restriction into a large place. He has come through tribulation, by the grace of God. He will not fear man, He knows God’s help. He was pressed and surrounded but God saved him.Just as the nation Israel will be in the very last days.

 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord will I destroy them. They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord I will destroy them. 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. (Psalm 118:8-12)

The Psalmist now speaks on behalf of the entire chosen nation, Israel. The human princes of this world are untrustworthy, for man cannot save Israel and the nations despise it. The Kings of the earth and their rulers have taken council against the LORD and his Messiah, and would dispossess Israel. Witness the recent shenanigans in the UN , and with UNESCO.

All of Israel’s lovers and friends will soon back away. In the time of distress, only God will be able to help Israel.

Set in the prophetic perfect tense, the song proclaims that the gentiles surrounded Israel. They swarmed her like Bee’s in the day of her trouble…but in the name of the LORD, Messiah will destroy them. He will burn those who surround her, as fire burns worthless, cursed thorns.

Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the Lord helped me.  The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.(Psalm 118:13-14)

Israel taunts the enemies who sought to destroy her, as if to say, “you gave your best shot, but the LORD preserved and saved me”. Then echoing the Song of the Sea, from the Exodus, the psalmist announces that the LORD is his strength and Song and has become his salvation.

The LORD is Salvation, is the very meaning of the name Jeshua.

The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.(Psalm 118:15-18)

The Right hand of the LORD has done it, He has won the victory! Exalt Him who sits at the Right hand of the LORD! He is the valiant warrior who has rescued Israel and gained the victory of salvation.

Chastened indeed by her maker, beset and swarmed by enemies, yet Israel will not die, but live and will witness the works of the LORD. She is reinstated to her holy calling, for she will yet be a witness to the entire world of the good works of the Lord. In mercy, the LORD has saved his people.

The  jubilant  procession arrives at the Holy City, and to the very gates of the Temple, where the song implores,

Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord: This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter. I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.(Psalm 118: 19-21)

The King Messiah, is the true leader of this procession prophesied by the Psalm.

Palm Sunday was a partial fulfillment of it. Jeshua is the one who has qualified us for entry into the “Gates of Righteousness”, He is the one who went first, after truly being chastened on our behalf and in our place.

A drama was playing out on that Palm Sunday, which had long been anticipated by the Hallel, and sung as a national festive carol by the nation for centuries.This was indeed “the Day” , long anticipated by the prophets of God.

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.(Psalm 118:24-26)

It was indeed the day appointed by the Father, the 24 hour period in which the true Saviour of Israel, the Messiah, would present himself at the head of the congregation, and to the nation and her leaders.

But the “builders” did not fulfill their part of the song, where they were to say “We bless you out of the house of the LORD, Blessed is He that comes in the name of the LORD!”. Instead, 

The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.(Psalm 118:22-23)

The High Priest and the national leadership (Sanhedrin) did not receive Jeshua from out of the house of the LORD, rather they rejected him even though he came in the name of the LORD*. But this too was known by God and became part of his plan…the LORD”S doing… .

Within days of presenting himself on the precise day that the “LORD had made…” and predicted by prophets such as Daniel, the rejected cornerstone would be bound with cords and led through the city to be fastened to a cross of wood, that he might suffer and die to purchase our salvation.

God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.(Psalm 118:27-29)

 

  • In the name of the LORD means bearing the credentials of fulfilled prophecy, doing the works, having come from the genealogy,and the very time and place that God had foretold the Messiah would fulfill.

 

 

 

 

 

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