*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Psalm 118:28-29 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Psalm 118:28
  • Psalm 118:29

Psalm 118 concludes with a familiar refrain: “Give thanks to the LORD for He is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

Having finished his poetic narrative (Psalm 118:5-27) retelling of how the LORD saved him from his despair, the psalmist, likely King David, concludes the “Hosanna Hallel” with a concluding chorus of praise.

The concluding chorus begins with a repeated declaration and two responses.

First, the psalmist declares You are my God, with a response of: and I give thanks to You (v 28a).

The psalmist’s declaration is that he accepts reality as it is: God is God whether we choose to worship Him or not. But the psalmist declaration you are my God is a way of saying that he personally worships and follows God, and that God personally chooses to accept his sacrifices and praise.

His response and I give thanks to You is an echo of the beginning of the opening line of this psalm,

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.”
(Psalm 118:1a)

The psalmist’s first response is simple, but appropriate. It is good to personally give thanks to God for being our God (Colossians 3:15-16, 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Thankfulness is an attitude of gratitude for God and His many blessings in our lives. The act of giving thanks is an expression of a person’s gratitude. A lack of thankfulness is one of the first steps a person takes when they turn away from God (Romans 1:21).

The psalmist then repeats his declaration, but gives an additional response:

You are my God, I extol You (v 28b)

To extol someone means to enthusiastically praise that person. This could be with loud shouts, or going on and on about how wonderful they are—or both. As a “Hallel” (praise) psalm, Psalm 118 does what the psalmist says he will do—it extols the LORD.

The final verse of Psalm 118 repeats the exhortation of Psalm 118:1,

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting (v 29).

This is the same exhortation as the first line of this psalm (Psalm 118:1). Therefore, Psalm 118 begins and ends with the same words and thoughts.

The exhortation to Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good is a common exhortation throughout the psalms (Psalm 106:1, 107:1, 118:1, 136:1).

The psalm ends by telling us why the LORD is good. The LORD is good because His lovingkindness is everlasting.

This reasoning that The Lord is good because His lovingkindness is everlasting is also repeated, not only in the verses cited above (Psalm 106:1, 107:1, 118:1, 136:1), but also after every verse in Psalm 136, which is called “The Great Hallel.”

The LORD’s stunning deliverance of the psalmist as described in the poetic narrative of Psalm 118 when he was in his distress, surrounded by enemies, is one example of the LORD’s everlasting lovingkindness (“hesed”). The Messiah foretold by Psalm 118 is another example of the LORD’s everlasting lovingkindness.

God’s mercy, grace, and love for us are indeed everlasting. They are infinite, inexhaustible, and unending (Psalm 103:8-13, Lamentations 3:22-23, Isaiah 54:10, Romans 5:20b).

Biblical Text

28 You are my God, and I give thanks to You;
You are my God, I extol You.
29 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

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