Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good

November 20, 2016 Speaker: Pastor Gary Smith

Topic: Thanksgiving Scripture: Psalm 118

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good-outline
Psalm 118
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his saving steadfast love endures forever
How does what we are thankful for and to whom we are thankful reveal much about us?

1) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love is forever, 118:1-4.
How does the Psalm writer motivate giving thanks to the Lord in these verses? Why is it so vital that we be convinced that God is good? In light of Israel’s history (and our own history), why should we be so thankful his steadfast love is forever?

2) The Lord helps his own and frees him from his enemies, 118:5-13.
When Israel was in distress, he called on the Lord, and he set him free. God was on Israel’s side, so he overcame his fear and trusted that God would deliver him. What does it mean for God to be FOR us? (See Romans 8:31-39). What are ways we need the Lord to “free” us?
The nations surrounded Israel, he trusted in the name of the Lord, and defeated his enemies, since the Lord helped him. In Christ, in what way do God’s people “defeat” the nations in the name of the Lord? Will Jesus be successful in overcoming the nations’ resistance to him (Revelation 5:9-10; 7:9)? How do Christians overcome their enemies (Luke 27:27-36; Romans 12:21)?

3) The righteous praises and thanks the Lord for he is his salvation, 118:14-18.
In what ways does the Psalm writer in these verses express reasons to praise and give thanks to the Lord? Why are songs of salvation so needful and fitting for God’s people?

4) The righteous thanks the Lord that he saved him so he can enter his presence, 118:19-28.
Why does he call the gates to the temple “the gates of righteousness”? How has Christ opened “the gates of righteousness to the temple” for us and become our salvation?
The imagery of the cornerstone is the perfectly cut stone which the building, the temple, was built upon. It set the lines for the rest of the building. How did Jesus fulfill Psalm 118:22 (Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:11)? How was Jesus’ fulfillment of this “the Lord’s doing” (118:23)? In what ways does Jesus fulfill “the day the Lord has made” (118:24)?
How does Jesus fulfill 118:25-26 (see Matthew 21:9; 23:39)? A fulfillment of 118:27 can be seen in Paul’s description of the gospel in 2 Corinthians 4:4, 6 …the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God… For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
How do we bring the festal sacrifice to the altar in the New Testament era (see Romans 12:1)? Do you agree that the highest act of what it is to be human is to exalt and give thanks to God? Why or why not?

5) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever, 118:29.
How does this Psalm shape how we give thanks to the Lord? How do we do 1 Thessalonians 5:18?