Psalm 118 The Lord is Good I

TS: People convert because of the goodness (kindness) of God, not fear. Fear is the beginning, but it is not lasting, ex. 9/11, Covid more recently. Rom 2:3-4

Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (ESV)

  1. Historical Context (Recall all of psalms are Hebrew poetry, not prose.[1])
  2. Structure Recall 5 Books of Psalms in general (review)

Book I 1-41 Introduction and Lament of David

Book II 42-72 The Triumphs of David

Book III 73-89 Collapse of the Davidic Kingdom

Book IV 90-106 Meditations from the perspective of the Exile

Book V 107-150 The restoration of the Temple << Psalm 118

Book V Structure Longest and structurally most complex

One way to analyze Book V is to note three cycles that move from lament to praise (Ps 107-119, 120-136, 137-150)

Psalm 118 is in the Praise! section and part of the Hallel Psalms from Passover (Hallelujah comes from Hallel). The praise collection is 113-118.

Psalm 118 is theologically significant as it is a Todah Psalm. Psalms sang by Jesus in the Upper Room at the Last Supper.

Refraining back to Psalm 22 opens up understanding of Jesus heart from the Cross.

Recall a Todah Psalm from Psalm 22 (which is a Todah Psalm) Episode IV

Psalm 22 Episode IV

VI Brief Reflections

Todah Cycle[2] = a sequence of experiences on the life of the ancient Israelite worshipper in which the singing of a psalm (or series of psalms) concluded with the joyful offering of some form of sacrifice in the sanctuary. Leviticus governed the legislation of the Todah or Thanksgiving Sacrifice.

  1. Unlike burnt, sin, or guilt offerings the Todah was never offered because of sin and was obligatory. Burnt offerings were preferred in the Mosaic covenant.

Todah or Thanksgiving Sacrifice expressed pure gratitude and joy for a gratuitous act of deliverance bestowed on the worshipper by YHWH. Todah sacrifice was preferred in the Davidic covenant.

Many people don’t know about rabbinic teacher habit of stating first line. He is not forsaken, he understands weight of suffering. Permission of lament and grieve for Christian experience.

  1. Large amounts of choice bread, including leavened bread, where offered with the Todah. Most other sacrifices bread not offered and certainly not leavened.

3 Entire sacrificial animal was consumed before the next sunrise. Thus family & friends were brought. Burnt offerings the entire animal was wholly burned, or sin offerings consumed by the priests.

Thus, a Todah sacrifice was a joyous event and the occasion for a feast in the sanctuary premises. This aspect of the Todah lent it a superior form of worshipping God.

Meaning attached to each aspect, the bread, unique and with a reason. Not random construct by the priests.

[1] John Bergsma & Brant Pitre, A Catholic Introduction to the Bible, The Old Testament (Ignatius Press: San Francisco At times, Church scare people into conversion as opposed to kindness, community, loving tenderness. We can be conduit of the teaching or be a hinderance to people.2018) 561

[2] John Bergsma & Brant Pitre, A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: The Old Testament (Ignatius Press: San Francisco 2018) 583-587