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With New Testament Eyes: 66 - The Chief Cornerstone

By Henry Mahan

      Psalm 118:1-24

      One reason why I have chosen for us to study this Psalm is because of what Martin Luther said: 'This is my Psalm, my chosen Psalm. I love them all; I love all holy scripture, which is my consolation and my life. But this Psalm is nearest my heart and I have a particular right to call it my own. It has saved me from many a pressing danger. It is my friend, dearer to me than all the honors and powers of the earth. Would to God that all men would claim the Psalm as especially theirs.'

      Another reason is because of the number of times the New Testament refers to Verse 22 (Matt.21:42: Acts 4:11-12; Eph. 2:20). If the Lord Jesus and the apostles select an Old Testament scripture and apply it to our Redeemer, it would be wise for us to consider it in our study of Old Testament pictures of Christ. This Psalm, indeed, belongs to the Messiah; and though David is the author, we hear Christ, the son of David, speak.

      v. 1. 'O give thanks unto the Lord' for all of his mercies, temporal and spiritual, in the name of Christ (Eph. 1:3). 'For he is good;' goodness is his nature and essence. He is the fountain of all goodness and the author of all good things (James 1:17). 'His mercy endureth forever.' All of his goodness to us is mercy, for we are undeserving sinners (Exo. 33:18-19). He told Moses that his chief glory is his goodness and eternal mercies (Rom. 9:15-16).

      vv. 2-4. 'Let Israel now say that his mercy is forever;' not only those he led from Egypt but all true Israel, both Jew and Gentile (Rom. 2:28-29). The Israel that God has chosen and redeemed in Christ rejoices in his eternal covenant mercies.

      'Let the house of Aaron now say that his mercy is forever;' not just those priests who went into the Holy of holies with the sacrifice, but all believers; for we are all priests of God and offer spiritual sacrifices unto him, especially praise (Heb. 10:19).

      'Let them now that fear the Lord say that his mercy is forever.' A truly God-fearing man, conscious of his sin and need, is deeply conscious of God's mercy! 'There is forgiveness with thee that thou mayest be feared' (Psalm 130:4).

      v. 5. The Lord heard David in his distress and exalted him to a large place, the throne of Israel. And so he did our Messiah when he raised him from the dead and exalted him to his own right hand. He has brought all believers out of the pit into large places, such as the liberty of Christ, green pastures, still water, and ultimately God's heaven. 'If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.'

      vv. 6-7. 'The Lord is for me' (Rom. 8:31). Who can be against me? Man can do nothing more than God permits. Our Messiah had no fear of all the faces of evil against him on earth or in the universe. The Messiah shall reign until the last enemy, which is death, shall be destroyed. No enemy shall succeed against his church (Rom. 8:35-39).

      vv. 8-9. It is good, wise, and safe to trust only in the Lord. He is willing, able, faithful to his word, and unchanging in his promises. Man is none of these things (Phil. 3:3), not even princes nor the chief among them.

      vv. 10-12. All of the neighboring nations about Judea were enemies of Israel. David fought against them and in the name and power of the Lord defeated them as he did Goliath. But these verses especially seem to refer to the Messiah (Acts 4:26- 28; Isa. 53:1-3; Psalm 22:11-16). They are like bees in the number and wrath of them or like thorns which are useless and fit only to be burned, yet they cause great pain. But in the name of the Lord, in the majesty of his name, calling upon God to glorify him, for the accomplishment of his purpose, Christ shall defeat and destroy sin, Satan, the world, death, and hell (Isa. 53:10-12).

      vv. 13-14. It being in the name and power of the Lord that his enemies were destroyed when they came upon him, David gives all the glory to God. 'God helped me.' God is my strength, my song, and my salvation. Apply this to the Messiah (Acts 2:22-24; Acts 13:28-30; Phil. 2:8-11). The Father raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand.

      vv. 15-16. All Israel rejoiced when David was raised to the throne, as throughout the heavens and earth the voice of rejoicing is heard on account of the victory of Christ, our Lord (Psalm 24:7-10). 'The right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly and is exalted.' Is this not Christ who sitteth at God's right hand? (Psalm 110:1; Heb. 1:3.)

      vv. 17-18. David knew that he must die physically as all men die, but 'I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever' and 'declare the works of the Lord.' Christ said, 'He that believeth on me shall never die.' Over them the second death has no power.

      Again this refers to the Messiah who was chastened severely for our sins (Isa. 53:4-6); but he saw no corruption and ever lives. He died but forever lives, and because he lives we shall live.

      vv. 19-21. Who but Christ can require the gates of righteousness to be opened to him? By his obedience and blood the gates of the holiest are opened to him and his people (Psalm 24:3-10). Our glorious Redeemer is our sanctification, righteousness, and the author and finisher of our salvation. We are righteous in him (2 Cor. 5:21) and enter glory by him.

      v. 22. No doubt who this is! Read Matt. 21:42-44 and Acts 4:10- 12. He is the tried stone, the precious cornerstone, the sure foundation (Isa. 28:16), which the Jews refused. He is the fulfillment of all their tabernacle, types, and sacrifices; but they could not see (Rom. 11:7-10) and would not see!

      v. 23. This stone is from the Lord God. Christ is of his appointment, and his will, and the laying, and even the rejection of that cornerstone is through his permission and will (Acts 2:23; Acts 4:27-28). His death, resurrection, and exaltation are of the Lord, and our understanding of, and faith in him, are the Lord's doings. He is precious, marvelous and so is his grace!

      v. 24. This day of redemption reigned over by the Sun of Righteousness is the day God hath made from all eternity! Those who have eyes to see and hearts to believe rejoice and are glad in it (2 Cor. 6:2).

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See Also:
   Foreward & Acknowledgements
   1 - The Fall
   2 - Abel's Offering
   3 - The Ark Of Noah
   4 - Sarah and Hagar; Law and Grace
   5 - The Lord Will Provide
   6 - A Bride for the Heir
   7 - Bethel - The House of God
   8 - Peniel - The Face of God
   9 - Joseph Opens the Storehouses
   10 - Joseph and His Brothers
   11 - Shiloh
   12 - The Passover
   13 - The Manna
   14 - Water from the rock
   15 - The Blood Before the Lord
   16 - The Ram of Consecration
   17 - The Day of Atonement
   18 - Caleb - The Faithful Dog
   19 - The High Priest Intercedes
   20 - The Brazen Serpent
   21 - A Prophet Like Moses
   22 - The Cities of Refuge
   23 - Joshua
   24 - The Scarlet Line in the Window
   25 - The birth of Samson
   26 - The Kinsman Redeemer
   27 - The Song of Hannah
   28 - Give us a King
   29 - Saul's Great Sin
   30 - David and Mephibosheth
   31 - Why God Permitted David to Fall
   32 - Comfort from God's Covenant
   33 - I Will Not Offer to God that which Cost me Nothing
   34 - The Queen of Sheba Comes to Solomon
   35 - Three Examples of Faith
   36 - Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
   37 - Empty Vessels Filled
   38 - Naaman, the Leper
   39 - Open his Eyes that He may See
   40 - Four Lepers Teach us a Lesson
   41 - Nehushtan--A Piece of Brass
   42 - Bringing Back the Ark
   43 - Uzziah's Great Transgression
   44 - Four Things Learned in Trouble
   45 - How Can Man be Just With God?
   46 - Three Vital Questions
   47 - I Know that my Redeemer Liveth
   48 - Now Mine Eye Seeth Thee
   49 - The Psalm of Messiah the King
   50 - God's two great books
   51 - The Psalm of the Cross
   52 - The Lord is my Shepherd
   53 - True God - True Israel - True Redeemer
   54 - Eight Great Precepts
   55 - My Hope is in Thee
   56 - Many, O Lord, Are Thy Wonderful Works
   57 - A Song of Love
   58 - The Sinner's Prayer
   59 - My Rock and my Salvation
   60 - Our Lord's Sufferings for Our Sins
   61 - Mercy and Truth are Met Together
   62 - The Victory of the Messiah
   63 - Bless the Lord, O my Soul
   64 - Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So
   65 - The King-Priest
   66 - The Chief Cornerstone
   67 - The Observer and the Observed
   68 - Praise the Lord O my Soul
   69 - Wisdom in Christ
   70 - The Conclusion of the Whole Matter
   71 - Remember Now Thy Creator
   72 - My Beloved is Mine and I am His
   73 - What is Thy Beloved more than Another Beloved?
   74 - The Lord Our Righteousness
   75 - The Believers Hope
   76 - From Nothing to Everything
   77 - Lost, Driven Away, Broken, Sick
   78 - Can These Bones Live?
   79 - Four Things God Taught Nebuchadnezzar
   80 - Thy God Will Deliver Thee
   81 - Hosea--Type of Christ
   82 - A Famine to be Feared
   83 - Salvation is of the Lord
   84 - A Fountain Opened for Mourners
   85 - The Messenger of the Covenant


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