Psalms 138

Listen to Psalms 138
1 I give you thanks, O LORD, with all my heart; I will sing your praises before the gods.
2 I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.
3 As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.
4 Every king in all the earth will thank you, LORD, for all of them will hear your words.
5 Yes, they will sing about the LORD ’s ways, for the glory of the LORD is very great.
6 Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.
7 Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me.
8 The LORD will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.

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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