By Heather

What are your favorite bible verses, bible chapters, or books of the bible?  I made them plural because I am sure you run into the same problem I have, narrowing them down to one of each.  It is all God’s word and all full of his love and forgiveness.  A month ago at bible study we were asked to share our favorite verses.  There were about 20 of us there and only two people that said the same verse.

In our ladies’ bible study we have the second hour, we have been studying the Book of Psalms.  Psalms, Proverbs and James have always stood out as my favorites.  I would like to highlight one of my favorite Psalms which is Psalm 118.

1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 2 Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 3 Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 4 Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. 6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? 7 The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. 8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. 9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. 10  All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 12 They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me. 14 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. 15 Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly, 16  the right hand of the Lord exalts, the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!” 17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord. 18 The Lord has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. 20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. 21  I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success! 26  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord. 27 The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar! 28  You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. 29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

The verses I highlighted  really standout to me, but I would like to share the commentary for the whole Psalm from my bible, which is the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.

Clearly, this psalm centers on praise of the God of Israel.  It begins (v.1) and ends(vv.28-29) with praise and thanksgiving.  What stands behind these expressions of praise are both the character and the works of God.  By character, God is faithful, gracious, loving, powerful and steadfast in his love for his people(vv.1-4, 14-16, 29).  By works, God has saved and delivered his people by his covenant faithfulness and inexorable power(vv.5-18).  He is, then, the faithful God and the saving God.

God can be trusted implicitly because of the constancy of his character and the sovereign grace shown in his works.  Key statements in Psalm 118:22-23 deserve special comment due to their Christological application.  The “stone that the builders rejected”(v.22) in context here likely refers to Israel, who was afflicted and rejected by the nations.  But we understand from the New Testament use of these verses(see Matt. 21:42; Acts 4:11; Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:4-7) that this rejected stone, though typified by Israel, is fulfilled directly in Christ who, ironically, was rejected by the very people of Israel who themselves had been rejected by the other nations.  But unlike the rejected stone Israel (also identified as God’s “firstborn son,” prefiguring Christ, see Ex 4:22), the rejected stone Christ became the cornerstone and fulfilled all the wondrous things God had envisioned to be brought about through him.  Where Israel failed, Christ succeeded.  Where Israel sinned, Christ obeyed.  Christ’s accomplishment of bringing an end to sin and oppression and guilt and misery truly was, then, “the LORD’s doing” and is “marvelous in our eyes”(v.23)

Please share your bible favorites with everyone and songs also.  I’m sure you have many.

I wish you a very beautiful and very blessed Monday.

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