The heading above this passage in my Bible reads “A song of victory.” Indeed, when I read this passage at least two songs come to mind whose words are based on the text of this psalm. These are words of joy, triumph and praise – they are practically crying out to be sung aloud! It is unclear what “punishment” the psalmist has just been through: perhaps a period of darkness in his or her life, a time of struggle or depression, a close encounter with death. Maybe instead of the gate of righteousness, the psalmist had found him or herself facing other gates, and just narrowly missed entering and having the door close behind. Maybe, like the stone rejected by the builders, the writer has experienced feeling worthless and cast-off. Or perhaps the psalmist had simply wandered far from God’s presence. Whatever the case, the saving power of God’s steadfast love is enough to make the psalmist want to tell the world about this victory!
Our theme for this week is “Go and tell.” In this psalm, we are reminded that an essential part of encountering God is sharing that encounter with everyone who will listen. This passage is a song, and the psalmist is inviting us to sing along. Not only does he or she proclaim the everlasting love of the Lord, the psalmist also exhorts Israel to do the same. After experiencing near defeat, the psalmist is ecstatic that he or she is going to live – and will fully embrace that life by “recounting the deeds of the Lord” that have led to it. This and every day are gifts to us from our God of love, and how do we respond? Rejoice! Sing! Go and tell about it!
his steadfast love endures for ever!
‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’
he has become my salvation.
‘The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.’
I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me severely,
but he did not give me over to death.
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
the righteous shall enter through it.
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.