Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever. Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say: “His love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:1-4)
Psalm 118 is a wonderful reminder of God’s goodness. He is good all the time. The Psalmist calls us to give thanks. Why? Because God’s mercy and love are forever. They never stop. They never run out.
Who is called to give thanks? First, Israel. Can we put this in the perspective of our current situation? Who is called to give thanks? The Country. Our country. Second, the House of Aaron, who were the priests and spiritual leaders. So, leaders are called to give thanks. Third, those who “reverently and worshipfully fear the Lord,” as the Amplified version puts it. In other words, the people. The country as a whole, the leaders, and all the people are called on to worship God for He is good.
The Psalmist is writing in distress. He is calling on all to give thanks to the Lord; however, he is in trouble. But his thankfulness is evident in verse five. “Out of my distress I called upon the Lord: the Lord answered me.” And He answered me! God always answers! Additionally, He “set me free in a large space.” (v. 5 AMPC) The NIV version says, “He brought me into a spacious place.” A place with room. A place to grow.
Are you in a large space? A spacious place? Yes, I know you are in quarantine. You may be feeling locked up, cramped, and limited. Your home may feel like anything but a large space. But we do not have to feel cramped. God has set us free! The freedom that comes in Christ brings us into God’s Presence. That is a very large space! It is unlimited. Further, He has given us minds, thoughts, and imaginations. When we focus our thoughts in positive ways, we become creative. Our imaginations can run free.
Are you in a large space? Yes, I know you are in quarantine. You may lack focus and purpose because you are no longer working. Your routine has been turned upside down. But you do not have to feel purposeless. In Christ, you have purpose. And during this time, He has set you free to rest. Perhaps you are resting because after this season, there will be a season of intense drive, growth, and production. We do not know what will come next, but rest is important for both the physical and spiritual body and mind. Take advantage. When you rest, your body heals and repairs things that are damaged.
Or maybe you are not resting. Maybe this is an intense time for you. You are still working, but have to keep children occupied at the same time. Your routine has changed. Allow yourself to rest in your situation. Do what you can do, and let go of the rest. Everyone is the same situation, and it is important to adapt. Your body may be busy, but your mind can rest in God.
Are you in a large space? Do you feel unprotected because it is so open? Is your space full of fear? It doesn’t have to be. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. (II Timothy 1:7) We are free from fear. We are set free in this large space. The Psalmist reminds himself and us that the Lord is on our side. The Lord takes our part. He is helping. (v. 6-7)
Freedom in a large space comes when we place our trust in the Right Hands. The Hands of God. “It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” (v. 8-9)
While we pray that our leaders will look to God to find wisdom to handle our current crisis, our trust is not in them. Our trust is always and only in God. He is our Strength. And because He is our Strength, there shall be rejoicing and salvation in the tents! (v. 15) It is the Right Hand of the Lord that is exalted, that achieves the strength. And so, we celebrate. And trust Him.
And we shall be free. “I shall not die but live, and shall declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord.” (v. 17) The Psalmist is confident that God is taking care of him, and that he will be safe. He lives in the freedom of the life that God has given and shares his stories about God with others.
The Psalm continues by reminding us that the Lord has made the day, and we should rejoice and be glad. (v. 24) Be glad today, rejoice in the moment and be present. And as we rejoice, we also ask God to save us, give us prosperity and success. And we can do this in confidence because God is trustworthy.
He has “shown us and given us light” in this dark time. “He has illuminated us with grace, freedom, and joy.” (v. 27) We will confess, praise, and give thanks to God. We will extol Him. Why? Because He is good. His love and mercy endure forever.
I encourage you to live in a large space, a spacious place. You have been set free in Christ, and walls cannot contain what you can do in Him and what He can accomplish in you.
O give thanks to the Lord for He is good: for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! (v. 29)