“The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation” (Psalm 118:1).
This psalm is one of great thanksgiving. While many psalms are a blend of distress and subsequent joy, this one is entirely an exultation of God and His glorious power. He is a God Who saves, and the psalmist rejoices in that. He delights in His Savior, and he wants all peoples to recognize God’s greatness, as well.
The psalm opens with an often-expressed sentiment: “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (v. 1). This is the thesis of the entire psalm, which is a song of rejoicing to God for all the ways in which He has shown His steadfast love. The psalmist describes several situations in which his life was in danger. Nations surrounded him, his enemies sought his life—but “in the name of the LORD I cut them off!” (vv. 10-12). He calls God his helper, better than any refuge of man. In God alone is his salvation, and this fact overjoys him.
Having established the goodness of God, the psalmist goes on to explain why this is such a marvelous thing. He loves God and obeys His law; therefore, he is able to come into the house of God and worship Him there. “Open to me the gates of righteousness,” he cries, “that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD” (v. 19). Because God is his helper, he can worship Him. And he delights in that truth. Everything around him is to him further evidence of God’s greatness. “This is the LORD’s doing,” he proclaims; “it is marvelous in our eyes” (v. 23). Every day is a new gift from God, beautiful in itself simply because it is the day God has made. We extol Him because He is God. He blesses us with so many incredible things, things as simple as a new day. He loves us, and He chooses to be our strength and our song. Nothing can stand against Him and His awesome power. His love never ends. Give thanks to Him!