Psalm 138

Psalm 138

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Give Thanks to the Lord

Of David.

138   I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing your praise;
  I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
    for you have exalted above all things
    your name and your word.
  On the day I called, you answered me;
    my strength of soul you increased.
  All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD,
    for they have heard the words of your mouth,
  and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
    for great is the glory of the LORD.
  For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly,
    but the haughty he knows from afar.
  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.
  The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands.

(ESV)


Psalm 138 Commentary

by Hank Workman

It’s a bold declaration:  I will praise you with my whole heart.

Let’s consider just this statement alone.  There are many things about the heart found in Scripture.  It is where our treasure is found (Matthew 6:21).  We are to trust our God with all our heart and not our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).  We are commissioned to guard this heart of ours in Proverbs 4:23 and Philippians 4:7.  This is because our hearts are deceitful and mislead us time and again (Jeremiah 17:9-10).  Because of this, God will test our heart (Psalm 26:2) and it is He who has the ability to create a new heart within (Psalm 51:10).

When we choose to seek Him with all our heart (Jeremiah 29:13) God Himself will strengthen our hearts (Psalm 73:26) even when we are so brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18).

I will praise you with my whole heart.

This means we bring all of ourselves, our entire heart before Him in praise.  For it is only He who can align our hearts with His.  It is only He who can bring joy in the middle of such brokenness.  It is only He who places His desires in our hearts then gives these to us as we continue to submit before Him.  We are called to give thanks to our God, praise Him, in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  This means the good and the bad, the great and the sorrowful, we are to bring our hearts before Him giving thanks for who He is and the mighty power He holds.  It is not just a change in our own thinking but a change in the trajectory of the course we walk and vision.

“We need a broken heart to mourn our sins but a whole heart to praise the Lord’s perfections.” – Charles Spurgeon

There can be no divided emotions or motives or devotion when we bring our entire heart before our God in praise.  So as you consider your own heart, bring before Him countless praise for who He is, how He is working despite the hardship and know that God revels in our praise even when our hearts are hurting.  He loves you. Has direct plans for you.  And only He can work in our hearts where they are ready to praise no matter what.


Psalm 138 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

Psalms 138:8 NASB

David knew and believed that the Lord was working in his life. His words are a direct reflection of this confidence. In the NT, Paul writes a similar phrase when describing how God interacts with us to fulfill what He’s promised.

I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 HCSB

I found myself wondering, what is “work?” In David’s case, what does he means when he writes that the Lord will accomplish “what concerns me?”

The Salvation process is an ongoing work. We must first understand that we will never see the entirety of that work until the completion of what’s written in Scripture – Jesus’ Second Coming (Mat 24). The Holy Spirit will work in our lives to conform us to the image of Christ, but this is not the complete picture of Salvation. Many today choose to define Salvation as checking a box on a piece of paper that asks them to believe in Jesus Christ. Others define Salvation as a prayer they recited at a young age. These are not unproductive in and of themselves unless we view them as a complete Salvation experience. They are severely incomplete.

Salvation includes a relationship with God consisting of many ups and downs. It includes the Holy Spirit leading us to unsearchable depths of holiness. It includes Christ’s Second Coming when He will judge evil and suffering and destroy Satan forever. It includes the rising of the saints with Christ and it includes the completion of God’s plan through the marriage of His bride (the church) with the bridegroom (Jesus Christ). This is what it means to trust that God will carry out a “work” until completion.

That which began when the scales were removed from our eyes will continue on and on until the fullness of God’s glory is revealed and we are able to bask in His wonder and glory forever and ever! What a day that will be! In the meantime, Jesus instructs us to continue on with patient endurance.

But the one who endures to the end will be delivered.  14  This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come.

Matthew 24:13-14 HCSB
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