Psalm 118 Meaning Verse By Verse

Psalm 118 Meaning Verse By Verse

We will be studying the book of Psalm 118 meaning verse by verse. This Psalm describes how an anointed man of God was rejected by men but through faith, he became victorious. He then goes up to express his gratitude to his helper. He also calls out to the nation to rejoice with him.


Verse 1:- O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because of his mercy endure forever.

Man cannot express his gratitude alone therefore he calls upon others to join. The nations were all interested in David’s victory, so it was well for them to unite with him to rejoice and sing praises to Him. For God’s nature includes goodness, every man on earth is meant to praise Him in any circumstances. Meanwhile, while some are of the opinion that it’s only when they receive something before, they praise. It is important to give thanks to God

Verse 2:- Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth forever

God’s covenant with the children of Israel was of mercy and love. Whenever they went astray,  he was ready to accept them back as his own. David’s victory was as a result of God’s mercy. He, therefore, called upon his followers to extol His name as his mercy endures forever.

Verse 3:-Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endures forever

The sons of Aaron were especially closer to God because of his mercy. Whenever sacrifices of lambs were offered to God, he showers his mercy on them. Also, they had enough reasons to thank the Lord following the slaughter of most of them by King saul. Now that the Lord has sent a new ruler who would not interfere in their sacred offerings to God, they need to thank God for the gift of deliverance.

Verse 4:-Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth forever

The psalmist also calls upon all man who has a humble heart towards God and a lowly reverence to God to join him in praising the Lord. The prosperity of Israel is attributed to all those who truly fear him.

Verse 5:-I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place.

Usually, Prayers that come from distress and difficulties are from the heart and they go directly to the heart of God. Many of us are going through such difficulty, let’s not think of it as an end, prayers serve as an avenue to break yokes and justify us.

Verse 6:-The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

Here, the psalmist rejoices in the Lord because He is his defender. The mightiest warrior shrinks to nothing when in opposition with God. But he that has God triumphs. Whoever belongs to God, no evil shall befall him.

Verse 7:-The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.

This is a consolatory statement that reassures that He is on our part. He raises people to fight with us without abandoning us. Meanwhile, our confidence must be on God, because Without God, our helpers will fail.

Verse 8:- It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

This verse is written from the experience of those who have found joy in trusting the Lord. Asides from the fact that it is wise to put our confidence in Christ, it is morally advisable to put our trust in God as it is the duty of man to trust God. If we rely on mere men, the outcome can never be trusted. but if we trust in the Lord, he will bless us exceedingly abundantly more than we could have ever hoped for.

Verse 9:-  It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

Similarly, it is advisable to trust God than putting your trust in noblemen. Although they are endowed with mighty powers and clothed in fine linen, they are mere men and they cannot help when trouble arises. For this reason and a thousand more others, it is better to put your trust in God than in princes.

Verse 10:-All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them.

People from diverse nations surround the psalmist yet he conquered them because his trust was solely on God. It takes a whole lot of faith to be calm especially when facing crises or in a battle. But if we have God, we are sure to prevail.

Verse11& 12:-They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.

It appears that the psalmist was surrounded by enemies just as bees surround honeycomb. They cause him such anguish and grief. They were ready to destroy him as there were so numerous. Nevertheless, his faith in Christ Jesus made his enemies quench right in front of him.

Verse 13:-Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me.

The enemies had tried all means to get rid of the psalmist but eventually, God helped him. Also, the children of God have been tried many times by Satan through temptation but when God comes to rescue his own, just a single hand is enough to win the battle.

Verse 14:-The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

It is evident that throughout this chapter David ascribes his victory to God. Many at times we do not have the strength and therefore, we cannot sing. But when the stands to save us, we are strengthened by God. Then we shall sing a song of praise.

Verse 15:-The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.

The dwelling place of the saved is the temple of praise. Before now, they had suffered under the hands of their enemies but because the psalmist was remembered of the everlasting joy the nation would experience at the end. He victoriously rejoiced. If we have received salvation as Christians, let’s magnify God with our hearts full of joy.

Verse 16:-The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.

The psalmist dwells on the right hand of the Lord which is holy. When God raises his hands, it lifts up those who trust in him and cast down those who rebel against him.

Verse 17:-I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.

His adversaries wanted him dead, perhaps rumors have been passed around concerning his death but he openly declares his existence and asserts that he would never fall by the hands of his enemies, rather he was determined to proclaim the wonderful works of God.

Verse 18:-The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.

Chastisement is meant to keep Christians in check. To make them remember that there is always a reward for being humble. The various attacks from the enemy are all directed by God. However, he has not handed us over to death. If we endure the chastisement of God, we are sure to receive his victory in all ramifications.

Verse 19& 20:- Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD: This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.

The gate of God is the gate of righteousness. It’s a marvelous thing to behold. He has set forth an entrance for all those who are righteous. From another point of view, God is the gate, all the righteous shall pass through him and rejoice in his righteousness.

Verse 21:-I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.

The psalmist praises God and recounts the favors done by the Lord. When God answers our prayers, we are a step closer to him.

Verse 22:-The stone which the builders refused becomes the headstone of the corner.

Basically, he was the stone that was rejected by the people but in raising him from the dead, he was exalted and lifted to the very peak of his beauty and glory. But in this context, the stone here implies David who has been rejected by numerous authorities but because of his trust in God,  has placed him high above them and he has emerged the chief cornerstone. For as many Christians who live under authorities, be of good cheer He will fulfill your purposes.

Verse 23:- This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

Every faith in this world represents a divine creation, a supreme power higher than the world. Faith allows us to see Jesus above powers and principality. All the works of God are wonderfully made. For instance, the way He exalts Jesus Christ his son was marvelous in the sight of everyone.

Verse 24:-This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

The enthronement of David marked the better days for the people of Israel. So they rejoice. In the same vein, the day of the lord is a mark for all Christians. Whenever the light of the first day of the week shines, we should endeavor to observe it as it is the Sabbath day.

Verse 25:-Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.

Whoever is committed to God, will he be saved?. Let’s plead to God to save and deliver us from our enemies so that after the victory he will send forth blessings

Verse 26:-Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower, a sinner calls upon the name and he is saved. Just as the psalmist had defeated his enemies and risen upon the throne.

Verse 27:-God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

It’s only the power of God that gives light. With the light of God, we receive bountiful joy and therefore we are delivered from the power of darkness. Therefore, let’s magnify the Lord who had blessed us with such light

Verse 28:-Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.

God has given us grace and promised us glory. It is our duty as Christians to exhort his name.

Verse 29:-O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endure forever ever

In the same manner, he began this psalm was used to end it making it a whole circle of rejoicing and giving thanks to God


Here are a few times when Psalm 118 can serve a purpose for you:

  • When you feel you need to express your heart of gratitude to Almighty
  • When you need to be reminded that mere men may fail but God never fails
  • When you need God to fight your battles for you instruct and direct you at any point in your life.
  • When you want God to give you prosperity and blessings


If you are in any of the situations listed above or more, then these powerful psalm 118 prayers are for you:

  • Lord, I thank you for your victory and blessings in my life
  • Heavenly Father, bestow the spirit of Thanksgiving in my heart
  • Lord, I ask that you deliver me from all evil in Jesus’ name.
  • Lord, I decree that I shall not die but live to declare your works.
  • Father, I rejoice in your name, take all the glory in the name of Jesus.





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