Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
This Scripture is a prayer of praise in itself. It was often prayed when the Israelites were in crisis (eg in 2 Chronicles 20:21), or at a time of remembering how merciful and faithful God had been to them, or at times of great celebration.
It is worth looking at the Hebrew words because there is a depth of understanding in them. ‘Yada’ (verb). In this tense (‘hiphil’) it means give thanks, laud, praise or to confess, confess the name of God.
The word for God here is YHWH. The Self-Existent or eternal name of God. The Jewish people don’t pronounce it as it is too holy but they substitute Adonai.
‘Tov’ means good, well-pleasing, fruitful, morally correct, proper.
The word translated ‘love’ in many versions is a rich word. It is the Hebrew ‘chesed’: kindness, loving kindness, mercy, goodness, faithfulness, love, acts of kindness.
Read Psalm 118:1 slowly. Pause and reflect on each word and how you would respond to each one in your own words to the Lord.
SONG – God, You’re So Good (Passion)
Dear Lord we praise you that you are the great ‘I AM’. We celebrate and confess your name. We praise your holy name, the name that is exalted above all names. We praise you for the splendour of your holiness. You are the Holy One and you are Sovereign.
Lord God, thank you for your goodness. Thank you that your goodness cannot be separated from who you are. When Moses wanted to see your glory, your goodness passed by as he was in the cleft of the rock. We thank you that your goodness is before, within, and behind everything that you do. Thank you that your goodness and your mercy are inseparable. Thank you for your great mercy, your loving kindness that lasts forever. Your love is unable to run out, diminish or rust. We are so grateful for your enduring love.
We thank you that you reveal yourself to us in the Scriptures and through your saving acts. We particularly remember your great gift of sending your Son to redeem and restore us and we thank you. Thank you that all that was achieved through Jesus’ death and resurrection is enduring.
We declare that you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit deserve all the praise and all the thanksgiving. We join with the song that appears so much in your Word: Give thanks to the Lord, for you indeed are good and your ‘chesed’ endures forever.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
You may wish to look up some of the other Scriptures where this praise is found, and its context. For example 1 Chronicles 16:34 and 41; 2 Chronicles 5:13; 2 Chronicles 7:3; 2 Chronicles 20:21; Ezra 3:11; Jeremiah 33:11; Psalm 106:1; Psalm 136:1
Praise Resources from The International Anglican Order of The Cross (TIAOC) April 2020