Currently, I’m doing an inductive Bible study through Psalm 118. I always love studying the Bible using an inductive Bible study, and Pam Forster with Mama’s Refill does an excellent job guiding people through how to do an inductive Bible study. It is in a subscription site, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the studies I have done.
Martin Luther claimed Psalm 118 as his favorite psalm. He said:
“This is my psalm, my chosen psalm,” he said. “I love them all; I love all Holy Scripture, which is my consolation and my life. But this psalm is nearest my heart . . . It is my friend; dearer to me than all the honors and power of the earth.”Martin Luther
What I love about this psalm is how it starts and ends — it starts and ends with the same verse:
O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
Many versions translate the word mercy as steadfast love. In between the first and last verses of chapter 118, the psalmist describes different ways that God has demonstrated His steadfast love:
- God answered him when he was in distress (v. 5)
- God heard him when he was in distress (v. 5)
- God set him in a large place, or set him free (v. 5)
- God was on his side. (v. 6)
- He did not need to fear what man could do unto him, because God was on his side. (v. 6)
- God was his helper (v. 7)
- He could trust God. (v. 8) God was his refuge or safety.
- The Lord gave him the victory over his enemies. (vv. 10-13)
- The Lord was his strength. (v. 14)
- The Lord was his defense. (v. 14)
- The Lord was his salvation. (v. 14)
- The Lord fought for him and was victorious. (v. 15-16)
- Even when he received discipline from the Lord, the Lord kept him alive. (v. 18)
- God had given him every day — he could rejoice in each day. (v. 23)
- God made His light to shine on the psalmist. (v. 27)
- God was His God — and thus the psalmist praised Him. (v. 28)
In the study I did today, Pam Forster asked the question, “What evidences of God’s steadfast love in your life can you praise Him for right now?”
I could list many things I could be thankful for — to praise Him for. I could praise Him for His leadership and for His direction. I could praise Him for His saving me, for my health, for my wealth, for my family, and so much more.
Even if I am having a down day where nothing seems to be going right, I can praise God for the same thing the psalmist did in Psalm 118: for God’s steadfast love, for His hearing me, for His salvation, for His steadfast love, for His being on my side, and for His strength.
The inductive Bible study also encouraged us to recount God’s deeds in our lives. It said, “The psalmist gives thanks to the Lord by recounting His deeds (verse 17). Would you like to recount His deeds in your life?”
Again, His salvation, the way that I was born into a Christian home, how He lead me to my husband and gave us 5 children, how He has protected us from harm, how He has given us good health, how He has provided for our needs — and our wants — and so many more things He has done for me. The list could go on and on. Every day we should recount His deeds — remember all the wonderful works He has done in our lives.
One way we can remember to thank God for all He has done for us is to start and stop our day just like the psalmist did at the beginning and end of the chapter. If we begin and our day saying, “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever,” then we will have the habit of always be thankful and remembering all that God has done for us.
I know I want to be like the psalmist. I want to always be giving thanks unto the Lord for His steadfast love towards me and because He is good. How about you? Are you thankful to God for His mercy towards you? Have you recounted His deeds towards you lately?
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