Psalm 118

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Let Israel say:
“His love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say:
“His love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say:
“His love endures forever.”
When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD;
he brought me into a spacious place.
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
The LORD is with me; he is my helper.
I look in triumph on my enemies.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
All the nations surrounded me,
but in the name of the LORD I cut them down.
They surrounded me on every side,
but in the name of the LORD I cut them down.
They swarmed around me like bees,
but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns;
in the name of the LORD I cut them down.
I was pushed back and about to fall,
but the LORD helped me.
The LORD is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
Shouts of joy and victory
resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!
The LORD’s right hand is lifted high;
the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!”
I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
The LORD has chastened me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.
Open for me the gates of the righteous;
I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD
through which the righteous may enter.
I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.
The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
The LORD has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.
LORD, save us!
LORD, grant us success!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
From the house of the LORD we bless you.
The LORD is God,
and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will praise you;
you are my God, and I will exalt you.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

Psalm 118 is a song that has been sung by countless generations. One particular verse that you have undoubtedly heard before stands out, not just for its poetic beauty but for its theological implications. Verse 22 says: "The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone."

What is the cornerstone? The cornerstone is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. It is vital because all other stones are set in reference to this stone. It determines the position of the entire structure. 

Now, on the surface, this statement might seem like a simple metaphor for a reversal of fortunes. A stone, first seen as unfit by builders, eventually becomes the most crucial part of the structure. But there's so much more to it than that. The image of a rejected stone becoming a cornerstone represents unexpected grace and divine purpose. 

We find Jesus quoting this verse when talking to the Pharisees. After telling them the Parable of the Tenants, "Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: "'The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?" (Matthew 21:42).

Jesus then identifies himself with the rejected stone. He says that despite being rejected by "the builders," who are the religious leaders, he has become the cornerstone of a new spiritual edifice. Peter also quotes this verse on a couple of occasions, emphasizing Jesus as the cornerstone of our faith (Acts 4:11 and 1 Peter 2:7). 

So, what does this mean for us today? Simply, it means that just as a building's stability and alignment depend on its cornerstone, our spiritual well-being and direction depend on our relationship with Jesus. His teachings, sacrifice, and resurrection are not merely historical events but foundational truths upon which our beliefs, values, and actions should be anchored. In a world filled with shifting values and ever-changing ideologies, recognizing Jesus as our cornerstone means we have a firm and steadfast foundation. And if we have a solid foundation, nothing can shake us.

God bless you. 

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