Psalms 138

1 I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods I will sing praises unto thee.
2 I will worship the temple of thy holiness and praise thy name above thy mercy and thy truth; for thou hast made thy name to be magnificent and raised up thy spoken word above all things.
3 In the day when I called, thou didst answer me and strengthen me with strength in my soul.
4 All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hearken unto the spoken words from thy mouth.
5 Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD.
6 For the LORD, who is high and lifted up, looks upon the humble, but the proud he does not know.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me; thou shalt stretch forth thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
8 The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; thy mercy, O LORD, endures for ever; forsake not the works of thine own hands.

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Psalms 138 Commentary

Chapter 138

The psalmist praises God for answering prayer. (1-5) The Lord's dealing with the humble and the proud. (6-8)

Verses 1-5 When we can praise God with our whole heart, we need not be unwilling for the whole world to witness our gratitude and joy in him. Those who rely on his loving-kindness and truth through Jesus Christ, will ever find him faithful to his word. If he spared not his own Son, how shall he not with him freely give us all things? If God gives us strength in our souls, to bear the burdens, resist the temptations, and to do the duties of an afflicted state, if he strengthens us to keep hold of himself by faith, and to wait with patience for the event, we are bound to be thankful.

Verses 6-8 Though the Lord is high, yet he has respect to every lowly, humbled sinner; but the proud and unbelieving will be banished far from his blissful presence. Divine consolations have enough in them to revive us, even when we walk in the midst of troubles. And God will save his own people that they may be revived by the Holy Spirit, the Giver of life and holiness. If we give to God the glory of his mercy, we may take to ourselves the comfort. This confidence will not do away, but quicken prayer. Whatever good there is in us, it is God works in us both to will and to do. The Lord will perfect the salvation of every true believer, and he will never forsake those whom he has created anew in Christ Jesus unto good works.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 138

\\<>\\. This psalm is generally thought to have been written by David upon his being advanced to the throne; on account of which he praises the Lord, who had supported him under many exercises, and had made good his promise to him, at least in part; and he firmly believed the accomplishment of the rest, that he would perfect what concerned him, Ps 138:8. It seems as if this psalm was composed between his being king over Judah and over all Israel. Though Theodoret understands the psalm as a thanksgiving of the Jews upon their return from Babylon, which David prophesied of. The Syriac version calls it a thanksgiving with a prophecy; as indeed it is a prophecy of the Messiah's kingdom, and of the calling of the Gentiles in the latter day, as appears from Ps 138:4.

Psalms 138 Commentaries

The Jubilee Bible

(from the Scriptures of the Reformation)

edited by Russell M. Stendal

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