“I Shall Not Die, But LIVE, and Declare the Works of the LORD” Psalm 118:17

We live in trying times. Our religious freedoms are slowly being diminished and our right to speak of the ways of the LORD GOD are being eroded like the cliffs on the sea. The stone foundation of our nations are no longer secure as the enemies of Salvation reach out to strangle us. In the nations that once declared Christ as Supreme in their laws now find ways to say that Christ is irreverent and out of step with social progress and stifle our voice.

The media, the press and the law makers, all find ways to silence our right to speak of God’s Law and the Promise of Christ. They make mockery of our Faith and our fortitude, our resolve to stay faithful to the ways of righteousness. In these difficult and aggravating times I turn to for comfort. From the opening verses of this procession hymn to the very last there is the song of Hope and Jubilation.

“Let Israel say,(that is the Nation)
His steadfast Love endures forever.
Let the house of Arron say, (The leaders of the churches)
His steadfast Love endures forever.
Let those who fear the LORD say, (Those who are faithful to God)
His steadfast Love endures forever.”

When the world turns against us, we are to rejoice in the blessings of the Most High God. As a society, we are to declare God’s enduring love for us. Our priests, pastors and spiritual leaders are to live His Holy Name up. And we as the congregation of Christ, are to sing praises of His Salvation. As we are surrounded by the trials of the world, we are to rely on God and the Law of His Loving-kindness to see us through. We are His eternally and our life with him is forever. As a nation, as a priesthood of believers and as a congregation of love, we are to retain an attitude of praise to the Creator.

says in part, “the LORD is on my side,…I shall look in triumph…” Nothing the world throws at true believers will sway them from the pleasure that God provides. tells us, “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.” With God on our side, the side that is surrounded with Righteousness, godly service, purity of body and spirit and abounding love for one another, how can the wicked ever prevail against our souls? The bodies we wear are of the world, made of flesh and bone. The homes we live in are of brick, wood and mortar. None of these things will last, they are of the world but we are not of the world, our souls are of heavenly things. Although the world may seem to triumph over us, that victory is short lived.

Every were we go, we are surrounded by the sinful nature of man. Wickedness and sin penetrate our workplaces, our schools and our homes (through the media). Even our churches seem to buckle under the weight of sin as leaders lead adulterous lives, condone homosexuality and extort poor people with false promises of prosperity. Yet under this barrage of ungodliness those who live in the rightness of God’s pure Law stand strong. Because we know that the true life began with Christ Jesus and is assured by the promise of the Holy Spirit (see ), we are held in the “Bosom of Abraham” and shall rest in the palm of His Hand.

We know that “I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.” (). With the grace of God and our desire to live wholly and honestly in His Ways, we are already triumphant. As we see our brothers and sisters tormented and slaughtered in strange lands, we are confident that they are victorious by their Faith. As we see our ideals of faith weakened and dismissed by permissive courts under false notions that we have a duty to protect the sinful, we remain strong. When the final battle is waged, God will send the man with the writing case (Jesus) to place the mark of salvation on our foreheads and none pf the wicked shall withstand his harsh judgement (Read ). We are always to adhere to His ways, His Words and His Love. “The LORD is my portion; I promise to keep Your words. …When I think on my ways, my feet turn to Your Testimonies.” (). In order to walk in the victory to the heavenly temple of the Most High, we are to keep our souls right with Him. Often I stress this little preached fact. Only those who obey God truly love Him. Only those who live to serve God in righteous living, are counted as the redeemed. To say Lord, I believe and not live in belief is to lie to God and deny salvation. Even Satan believes in God!

To get back on track, and following tell us, “OPEN the gates of RIGHEOUSNESS, that I may enter through them…I thank You that You have answered me and have become my salvation.” And, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing…” (see ; ; and ). Jesus is the foundation stone that the Kingdom of God is built on. Through Him we walk in triumph over the true enemy of our souls. “Let us be glad and rejoice in it!” Are you living in triumph or are you coasting along on the seas of despair? Are you building on the foundation of Christ or are you stumbling over it? Are you singing praises to God’s Glory with thanksgiving or are you moaning on the wayside, lost and dejected? It is the time now to say with an open heart, filled with gratitude for the blessings bestowed upon us, “You are my God,and I will give thanks to You. You are my God; I will extol You. Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures FOREVER!” (


Listen

118:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.

10 All nations surrounded me;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
12 They surrounded me like bees;
they went out like a fire among thorns;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
13 I was pushed hard, [1] so that I was falling,
but the Lord helped me.

14 The Lord is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation
are in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,
16 the right hand of the Lord exalts,
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”

17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has disciplined me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone. [2]
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save us, we pray, O Lord!
O Lord, we pray, give us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God,
and he has made his light to shine upon us.
Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,
up to the horns of the altar!

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God; I will extol you.
29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever! (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 118:13 Hebrew You (that is, the enemy) pushed me hard
[2] 118:22 Hebrew the head of the corner


Listen

Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.” (ESV)


Listen

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. (ESV)


Listen

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man. (ESV)


Listen

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us [1] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known [2] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee [3] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, [4] to the praise of his glory. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 1:5 Or before him in love, having predestined us
[2] 1:9 Or he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known . . .
[3] 1:14 Or down payment
[4] 1:14 Or until God redeems his possession


Listen

17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord. (ESV)


Listen

9:1 Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, “Bring near the executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist. And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.” And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the house. Then he said to them, “Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out.” So they went out and struck in the city. And while they were striking, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, “Ah, Lord God! Will you destroy all the remnant of Israel in the outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?”

Then he said to me, “The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice. For they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see.’ 10 As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will bring their deeds upon their heads.”

11 And behold, the man clothed in linen, with the writing case at his waist, brought back word, saying, “I have done as you commanded me.” (ESV)


Listen)

57 The Lord is my portion;
I promise to keep your words.

Psalm 119:59 (Listen

57 The Lord is my portion;
I promise to keep your words.

Psalm 119:59 (Listen)

59 When I think on my ways,
I turn my feet to your testimonies; (ESV)


Listen

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord. (ESV)


Listen

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone; [1]
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” [2] (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 21:42 Greek the head of the corner
[2] 21:44 Some manuscripts omit verse 44


Listen

10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus [1] is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. [2] 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 4:11 Greek This one
[2] 4:11 Greek the head of the corner


Listen

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,” [1]

and

“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 2:7 Greek the head of the corner


Listen

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God; I will extol you.
29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever! (ESV)

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