Psalm 118:8
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
The Really Better May not be the Apparently BetterR. Tuck Psalm 118:8, 9
Confidence In. GodHomilistPsalm 118:8-13
The Duty of Trust in GodR. Fiddes.Psalm 118:8-13
Trust in Princes PerilousH. Livesey.Psalm 118:8-13

It may truly be said that the object of the discipline and experience of life is to deliver us from the fascination of what seems, and to get our conduct and relationships swayed and charactered and toned by what is. This, indeed, is presented in Eastern religions in extravagant forms (see the notion of Maya, illusion, from which men have to deliver themselves). But we never need refuse to accept a truth, because somebody, somewhere, has exaggerated it into a mischievous untruth. Creatures conditioned by senses, and placed in sense-relations, as we are, must live in a world of appearances; we can only know what our senses present to us, and they can only present the accidents of things. Reflection, working on the things which the senses offer to us, gradually helps us to the apprehension of that which is - the substance and reality of things. The psalmist here is expressing this fact of life in one of its forms and relations. Man is always disposed to trust in his fellow man, and especially in those of his fellow men who may occupy positions of authority and power. We all incline to trust in man, especially in princes; we can see them. We have sense-estimates of them. We can sensibly apprehend what they can do for us. We fly to, and lean upon, human helpers in every emergency of life.

I. LEANING UPON MAN MAY BE GOOD. It is not necessary to think or speak as if men were always untrustworthy. True, there is always an element of uncertainty in man, and an absolute reliance is not possible. But it would be wholly untrue to say that men always fail us. We have all proved, over and over again, how loyal, constant, and faithful the friends of our life have been. Some of the purest and most satisfying joys we have ever had in life have come out of our human fellowships. The psalmist is therefore true to fact when he speaks of something better, and implies that this confidence in man may be good.

II. LEANING UPON GOD MUST BE BETTER. Just what advancing life and experience bring home to us is that the unseen is the real and permanent. And the very heart and essence of the unseen is God. All reality is unseen; it takes on appearance for the sake of the senses. We are passing on into the unseen; and we reach rest and satisfaction in the measure of our apprehending the unseen as we move towards the consummation. It is better to keep in the sphere of the "real." It is better to "trust in God." - R.T.

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
I. AS JUSTIFIED BY EXPERIENCE. "It is better," says Matthew Henry, "more wise, more comfortable, and more safe, there is more reason for it, and it will speed better, to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man, yea, though it be in princes. He that devotes himself to God's guidance and government, with an entire dependence upon God's wisdom, power, and goodness, has a better security to make him safe, than if all the kings and potentates of the earth should undertake to protect him."

II. AS THE INSPIRATION OF COURAGE. What courage breathes in these words, "All nations compass me about," etc. True confidence in God will always make a man invincible and fearless. The courage of Moses, Daniel, and the three Hebrew youths, and Paul, who said, "None of these things move me," all grew out of confidence in God.


It is readily acknowledged that God governs the world, and interposes in all the affairs of it; yet this principle has not those pious and generous effects that might be expected; how often do we promise ourselves success from human means and visible preparations, without taking a Divine Providence into the account, or without attributing so much to it, as to our own prudence, address, or experience


1. This duty implies a humble belief that all things, by God's blessing, will succeed well with us. I do not mean that everything should exactly correspond to our desires, or the probability of second causes; but that upon the whole matter God will appear for us, and interest Himself in our favour.

2. In order to a well-grounded trust in God, human means and endeavours must not be wanting.

3. In the use of human means, we must take care not to have recourse to such as are unlawful. How can we reconcile it, either with a common sense of piety or prudence, to acknowledge that all things come to pass by the will of Heaven, and at the same time knowingly and deliberately to act in opposition to it?

4. The main foundation of our religious trust, upon which all the fore-mentioned qualifications of it are supported, is a due regard to the laws of God and religion in general.


1. Because there is nothing but God wherein we can place an entire trust and confidence. The good state of our fleets, the conduct of our generals, the integrity and abilities of our ministers, the number and importance of our alliances, are usually the first things that come into consideration; but yet if we leave God out of the account, they all signify nothing.

2. A motive to this duty shall be taken from the nature of it; as it is the highest and noblest act of religious honour, the most sensible acknowledgment of the Eternal power and Godhead. And for this reason so many particular promises are everywhere in Scripture annexed to it; and God has as remarkably on all occasions made them good.

(R. Fiddes.)

Voltaire for a time was the friend and familiar of Frederick the Great. He was honoured with a seat at the King's table, and appeared almost essential to the King's happiness. But the attachment was soon over. Royal smiles turned to frowns, and Voltaire was put under arrest at Frankfort, and there the comedy ended. Many efforts have been made to exempt Frederick from all blame in this matter and throw it upon his servants, but there the ugly fact remains, and the man who was receiving the royal flatteries was shortly afterwards detained as a prisoner. The late Prince Bismarck of Germany experienced a reverse about as great when his royal master, the young Kaiser William II, dismissed him from his office. Shortly after that event, he had an interview with the Tsar, Alexander III., and with great freedom and certainty propounded his political convictions and intentions, as if futurity belonged to him. When the Tsar suddenly interrupted him and said, "Yes, I agree with you, and I place the utmost confidence in you, but areyou quite sure that you will remain in office?" Prince Bismarck replied, "Certainly, Majesty; I am absolutely sure that while I live I shall remain Minister." However, only five months after, he was unceremoniously dismissed from office.

(H. Livesey.)

Aaron, Psalmist
Better, Confidence, Faith, Hope, One's, Refuge, Trust
1. An exhortation to praise God for his mercy
5. The psalmist by his experience shows how good it is to trust in God
19. Under the type of the psalmist the coming of Christ in his kingdom is expressed

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Psalm 118:8

     5798   betrayal
     8485   spiritual warfare, conflict
     8719   distrust

Psalm 118:6-9

     8224   dependence

June the Thirtieth God My Strength and Song
"The Lord is my strength and my song." --PSALM cxviii. 14-21. Yes, first of all "my strength" and then "my song"! For what song can there be where there is languor and fainting? What brave music can be born in an organ which is short of breath? There must first be strength if we would have fine harmonies. And so the good Lord comes to the songless, and with holy power He brings the gift of "saving health." "And my song"! For when life is healthy it instinctively breaks into song. The happy, contented
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Gratitude for Deliverance from the Grave
"I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death."--Psalm 118:17, 18. HOW very differently we view things at different times and in differing states of mind! Faith takes a bright and cheerful view of matters, and speaks very confidently, "I shall not die, but live." When we are slack as to our trust in God, and give way to misgivings and doubts and fears, we sing in the minor key, and say, "I shall die. I shall
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 38: 1892

Bound to the Altar
Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.' (Psalm cxviii. 27.) Periodically in our Halls we have had what we call Altar Services. At such times, and more especially during the Self-Denial and Harvest Festival efforts, Soldiers, friends, and others who are interested in God's work are invited to come forward with gifts of money to lay upon the special table which, for that occasion, serves the purpose of an altar. Those who have been present at these Meetings will not need
T. H. Howard—Standards of Life and Service

The Entry into Jerusalem.
THE fame of Christ's acts had been diffused among the thousands of Jews [652] that had gathered from all quarters for the Passover. The resurrection of Lazarus, in particular, had created a great sensation. As soon as the Sabbath law allowed, [653] they flocked in crowds to Bethany to see Jesus, and especially to convince themselves of the resurrection of Lazarus by ocular evidence and inquiry on the spot. Perhaps on Sunday morning, too, before Christ went to Jerusalem, many had gone out. [654] The
Augustus Neander—The Life of Jesus Christ in Its Historical Connexion

On the Soul and the Resurrection.
Argument. The mind, in times of bereavement, craves a certainty gained by reasoning as to the existence of the soul after death. First, then: Virtue will be impossible, if deprived of the life of eternity, her only advantage. But this is a moral argument. The case calls for speculative and scientific treatment. How is the objection that the nature of the soul, as of real things, is material, to be met? Thus; the truth of this doctrine would involve the truth of Atheism; whereas Atheism is refuted
Gregory of Nyssa—Gregory of Nyssa: Dogmatic Treatises, Etc

Sabbath Morning Hymn.
"This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it."--Psalm 118:24 "Hallelujah! Schoener Morgen." Schmolk. [[66]Jonathan Krause] transl., Jane Borthwick, 1858 Hallelujah! Fairest morning, Fairer than my words can say, Down I lay tbe heavy burden Of life's toil and care to-day; While this morn of joy and love Brings fresh vigor from above. Sunday, full of holy glory! Sweetest rest-day of the soul, Light upon a darkened world From thy blessed moments roll. Holy, happy heavenly
Jane Borthwick—Hymns from the Land of Luther

The Monk Nilus.
Nilus was born at Rossano, in Calabria, in the year 910, of an old Greek family. His pious parents, to whom only one child, a daughter, had been given, besought the Lord that he would give them a son. This prayer was heard, and that son was Nilus. They carried the child to the church, and consecrated him to the service of God. On that account, also, they gave him the name of Nilus, after a venerated monk of the fifth century, distinguished by his spirit of vital Christianity, and to whose example
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places

Letter X (In the Same Year) the Same, when Bishop
The Same, When Bishop He exhorts him to adorn the dignity which he had obtained without preceding merits, by a holy life. 1. Charity gives me boldness, my very dear friend, to speak to you with great confidence. The episcopal seat which you have lately obtained requires a man of many merits; and I see with grief none of these in you, or at least not sufficient, to have preceded your elevation. For your mode of life and your past occupations seem in nowise to have been befitting the episcopal office.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

The Evolution of Early Congregationalism the Stone which the Builders Rejected is Become the Head of the Corner. --Psalm cxviii
CHAPTER I THE EVOLUTION OF EARLY CONGREGATIONALISM The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner.--Psalm cxviii, 22. The colonists of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Haven were grounded in the system which became known as Congregational, and later as Congregationalism. At the outset they differed not at all in creed, and only in some respects in polity, from the great Puritan body in England, out of which they largely came.[a] For more than forty years before
M. Louise Greene, Ph. D.—The Development of Religious Liberty in Connecticut

Epistle vii. To Anastasius, Patriarch of Antioch .
To Anastasius, Patriarch of Antioch [1310] . Gregory to Anastasius, &c. I have found what your Blessedness has written to be as rest to the weary, as health to the sick, as a fountain to the thirsty, as shade to the oppressed with heat. For those words of yours did not seem even to be expressed by the tongue of the flesh, inasmuch as you so disclosed the spiritual love which you bear me as if your soul itself were speaking. But very hard was that which followed, in that your love enjoined me to
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

The Effects of this Fourth State of Prayer. Earnest Exhortations to those who have Attained to it not to Go Back, nor to Cease from Prayer,
1. There remains in the soul, when the prayer of union is over, an exceedingly great tenderness; so much so, that it would undo itself--not from pain, but through tears of joy it finds itself bathed therein, without being aware of it, and it knows not how or when it wept them. But to behold the violence of the fire subdued by the water, which yet makes it burn the more, gives it great delight. It seems as if I were speaking an unknown language. So it is, however. 2. It has happened to me occasionally,
Teresa of Avila—The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus

Letter xx. To Pope Damasus.
Jerome's reply to the foregoing. Exposing the error of Hilary of Poitiers, who supposed the expression to signify "redemption of the house of David," he goes on to show that in the gospels it is a quotation from Psa. cxviii. 25 and that its true meaning is "save now" (so A.V.). "Let us," he writes, "leave the streamlets of conjecture and return to the fountain-head. It is from the Hebrew writings that the truth is to be drawn." Written at Rome a.d. 383.
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

Of the Conformity of Our Will to that Will of God's which is Signified to us by his Commandments.
The desire which God has to make us observe his commandments is extreme, as the whole Scripture witnesses. And how could he better express it, than by the great rewards which he proposes to the observers of his law, and the awful punishments with which he threatens those who shall violate the same! This made David cry out: O Lord, thou hast commanded thy Commandments to be kept most diligently. [360] Now the love of complacency, beholding this divine desire, wills to please God by observing it; the
St. Francis de Sales—Treatise on the Love of God

'My Strength and Song'
'The Lord is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation....' EXODUS xv. 2. These words occur three times in the Bible: here, in Isaiah xii. 2, and in Psalm cxviii. 14. I. The lessons from the various instances of their occurrence. The first and second teach that the Mosaic deliverance is a picture- prophecy of the redemption in Christ. The third (Psalm cxviii. 14), long after, and the utterance of some private person, teaches that each age and each soul has the same mighty Hand working for
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A New Kind of King
'On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm-trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when He had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. These things understood not His disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Lively Stones. Rev. W. Morley Punshon.
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."--1 PETER ii. 5. There is a manifest reference in the fourth verse to the personage alluded to in Psalm cxviii. 22, 23: "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes." And this passage is applied by Christ to himself in Matthew xxi. 42: "Jesus saith unto them, Did
Knowles King—The Wesleyan Methodist Pulpit in Malvern

To Pastors and Teachers
To Pastors and Teachers If all who laboured for the conversion of others were to introduce them immediately into Prayer and the Interior Life, and make it their main design to gain and win over the heart, numberless as well as permanent conversions would certainly ensue. On the contrary, few and transient fruits must attend that labour which is confined to outward matters; such as burdening the disciple with a thousand precepts for external exercises, instead of leaving the soul to Christ by the
Madame Guyon—A Short and Easy Method of Prayer

Lydia, the First European Convert
WE MAY LAUDABLY EXERCISE CURIOSITY with regard to the first proclamation of the gospel in our own quarter of the globe. We are happy that history so accurately tells us, by the pen of Luke, when first the gospel was preached in Europe, and by whom, and who was the first convert brought by that preaching to the Savior's feet. I half envy Lydia that she should be the leader of the European band; yet I feel right glad that a woman led the van, and that her household followed so closely in the rear.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

The Great Privilege of those that are Born of God
"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin." 1 John 3:9. 1. It has been frequently supposed, that the being born of God was all one with the being justified; that the new birth and justification were only different expressions, denoting the same thing: It being certain, on the one hand, that whoever is justified is also born of God; and, on the other, that whoever is born of God is also justified; yea, that both these gifts of God are given to every believer in one and the same moment. In one
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The First Day in Passion-Week - Palm-Sunday - the Royal Entry into Jerusalem
At length the time of the end had come. Jesus was about to make Entry into Jerusalem as King: King of the Jews, as Heir of David's royal line, with all of symbolic, typic, and prophetic import attaching to it. Yet not as Israel after the flesh expected its Messiah was the Son of David to make triumphal entrance, but as deeply and significantly expressive of His Mission and Work, and as of old the rapt seer had beheld afar off the outlined picture of the Messiah-King: not in the proud triumph of war-conquests,
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Fourth Commandment
Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day and hallowed it. Exod 20: 8-11. This
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

In the Last, the Great Day of the Feast'
IT was the last, the great day of the Feast,' and Jesus was once more in the Temple. We can scarcely doubt that it was the concluding day of the Feast, and not, as most modern writers suppose, its Octave, which, in Rabbinic language, was regarded as a festival by itself.' [3987] [3988] But such solemn interest attaches to the Feast, and this occurrence on its last day, that we must try to realise the scene. We have here the only Old Testament type yet unfilfilled; the only Jewish festival which has
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Letter Xlvi (Circa A. D. 1125) to Guigues, the Prior, and to the Other Monks of the Grand Chartreuse
To Guigues, the Prior, And to the Other Monks of the Grand Chartreuse He discourses much and piously of the law of true and sincere charity, of its signs, its degrees, its effects, and of its perfection which is reserved for Heaven (Patria). Brother Bernard, of Clairvaux, wishes health eternal to the most reverend among fathers, and to the dearest among friends, Guigues, Prior of the Grande Chartreuse, and to the holy Monks who are with him. 1. I have received the letter of your Holiness as joyfully
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

A vision of Judgement and Cleansing
'And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? 3. Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the Angel. 4. And He answered and spake unto those that stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him He said,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

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