A devotional on Psalm 138
1 I will praise you, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing your praise;
What a grand way to wake up every day! What a noble declaration and resolution! Praise here is the word yadah illustrated by casting a stone or an arrow. It is the shooting up of hands in worship and thanks. This believer commits to train and dedicate the entirety of his heart, mind, and soul – WIE – his Will (desires), his Intellect, and his Emotions. All of them are to praise God. Those that step out of line he shall wrangle back in place to make them obedient to Jesus Christ.
The gods elohiym are angels, idols, rulers, and judges. We are familiar with its use to denote our triune God.
2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your loving kindness and your truth, for you have exalted your word above your name.
Theologian Trapp says, ““Wheresoever I am, the face of my soul shall turn, like the needle of a dial, by sacred instinct, towards thee.” I love the thought of identifying east wherever I am. From thence shall come my Lord soon and very soon. In humble worship, may I frequently orient my soul to God.
God’s track record of lovingkindness (Heb. chesed) – goodness and kindness holds hands with God’s truth (Heb. emeth.) This latter term refers to stability, faithfulness, sureness, firmness, and trustworthiness. Those are worthy of praise indeed.
God magnifies and promotes his word (Heb. imrah) higher than his shem – reputation, position, honor, and authority. You can take his word to the bank. Further, this word is God’s power in your mouth and on your lips. We win the souls of fellow men with our words (Is. 52:7). We conquer and overcome the enemy by the blood of the lamb and the testimony of our word (Rev. 12:11.)
3 On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.
The psalmist’s reliance on God is not unfounded. It is built one block at a time; one experience at a time. Our souls can and should go from strength to strength every day. The more we align our WIE with God’s word and heart, the stronger we get. “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect,” Ps. 18:32.
4 All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth,
5 and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.
6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.
- My friend Spurgeon says, “If this Book be not the real solid foundation of our religion, what have we to build upon? If God has spoken a lie, where are we, brethren?” That strikes the soul like a sword. In John 6:60-70, Jesus watched as many disciples walked away from his teaching. He then turned to the 12 and said, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” to which Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” Peter spoke for us all saying Jesus was the greatest king, the only one worth living and dying for. If we didn’t live and die for Jesus, there was nothing else worth living and dying for.
- We have seen consistently that song erupts in the wake of God’s activity. How is your song quotient today, friend?
- God boasts about his love for the lowly. He esteems them greatly and identifies with them. “You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty,” Ps. 18:27.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Jah oversees me, preserves me, shields me, and rescues me with skill and strength (right hand.) He has a plan for my life and nothing with separate me from him or thwart his plan from unfolding in my life. This is the plenary panacea for anxiety. Our anxious thoughts arise from thinking that things won’t go as planned. “Then what shall we do?” we worry. This gives me tremendous peace for myself, for my children, for my spouse, my friends, for everyone. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me. That’s a rock-solid promise we can stand and live on!