Give Thanks To The LORD (Psalm 118)

Scripture Text:

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Psalm 118

Questions:

1. Who was your favorite childhood hero? What did you admire about him or her?

2. What is your favorite holiday? What makes it special? Which holiday would you rather drop?

3. What clues can you find that this psalm describes the Feast of Tabernacles (verses 19 and 20, 27; see also Leviticus 23:33 – 36, 39 – 44)? What do these three groups represent (verses 1 – 4)? What do they mean by “love”?

4. What has the Lord done for the psalmist (verse 5)? Based on the attitude in verses 6 and 7, from what do you think he is free?

5. In verses 10 – 12, what does it mean to cut off the nations? Is this the psalmist’s personal story, or the story of the whole nation?

6. What do you make of verse 14? Is there a process being described, or simply two ways of saying the same thing?

7. What is the psalmist’s mood about being chastened (verses 17 and 18)?

8. Why does the psalmist call himself “righteous” (verses 19, 20)? Why does he feel worthy to enter the “gates of righteousness”?

9. Who are the “builders” (verse 22)? What “stone” do they reject? What is the capstone (see Zechariah 4:7 – 9)? Who did the New Testament writers see in this allegory (see Acts 4:8 – 11)?

10. “Hosanna” is Hebrew for “O grant salvation”. Who do you think is “he who comes in the name of the Lord (verses 25 and 26)? How does this thanksgiving procession end (verse 27; see Nehemiah 8:15 – 18)?

11. Have you ever felt like a “stone the builders rejected”? How did you handle it? Why do you suppose Martin Luther called this his favorite psalm?

12. Do you feel part of a spiritual community that has gone through “chastening”? Or must you ‘go it alone’ spiritually? Who is the “us” in your “Lord, save us”?

13. Where do you need help now? joy? victory? success? What promise do you hold on to?

14. “Succoth” is Hebrew for “booths”, the common name today for the Feast of Tabernacles. Imagine what it must have been like to live in a “booth”? Which of your favorite Old Testament stories could you read to better appreciate the desert wanderings of the Hebrews?

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