Psalms 138

Of David.

1 I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise.
2 I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness, for you have so exalted your solemn decree that it surpasses your fame.
3 When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.
4 May all the kings of the earth praise you, LORD, when they hear what you have decreed.
5 May they sing of the ways of the LORD, for the glory of the LORD is great.
6 Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me.
8 The LORD will vindicate me; your love, LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your 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.

Cross References 25

  • 1. Psalms 95:3; Psalms 96:4
  • 2. Psalms 27:6; Psalms 108:1
  • 3. S 1 Kings 8:29; S Psalms 5:7; Psalms 28:2
  • 4. Psalms 74:21; Psalms 97:12; Psalms 140:13
  • 5. Psalms 108:4; Psalms 115:1
  • 6. Psalms 119:9; Isaiah 42:21
  • 7. Psalms 18:6; Psalms 30:2; Psalms 99:6; Psalms 116:4
  • 8. S Psalms 118:5
  • 9. Proverbs 28:1; S Acts 4:29
  • 10. Psalms 28:7
  • 11. Psalms 72:11; Psalms 102:15
  • 12. S Psalms 51:14; Psalms 71:16; Psalms 145:7
  • 13. Psalms 21:5
  • 14. S Psalms 113:6; Isaiah 57:15
  • 15. S Psalms 40:4; S Matthew 23:12; Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6
  • 16. Psalms 23:4
  • 17. S Psalms 41:2
  • 18. S Exodus 7:5
  • 19. Psalms 7:6; Jeremiah 51:25
  • 20. Psalms 20:6; Psalms 60:5; Psalms 108:6
  • 21. Psalms 17:7,14; Psalms 71:20
  • 22. Psalms 57:2; Philippians 1:6
  • 23. S Ezra 3:11; Psalms 100:5
  • 24. S Psalms 51:11
  • 25. S Job 10:3,8; Job 14:15

Chapter Summary


\\<>\\. 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