Psalm 138 — Praise in the Face of Trial — Reading the Psalms

A Psalm of David.

1 I will give thee thanks with my whole heart:
Before the gods will I sing praises unto thee.
2 I will worship toward thy holy temple,
And give thanks unto thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth:
For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
3 In the day that I called thou answeredst me,
Thou didst encourage me with strength in my soul.
4 All the kings of the earth shall give thee thanks, O LORD,
For they have heard the words of thy mouth.
5 Yea, they shall sing of the ways of the LORD;
For great is the glory of the LORD.
6 For though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly:
But the haughty he knoweth from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me;
Thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies,
And thy right hand shall save me.
8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me:
Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever;
Forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Sometimes in the psalms the word “gods” can mean rulers or princes, as psalm 82 speaks. That may well be the right use here, but I like to imagine David surrounded by the varying gods of his world and boldly singing the praises of Jehovah. In the face of the world’s terror and temptation, we stand in the praises of a God with an uplifted name.

How did David have the determination to praise in the face of evil? How did David endure? Verse 3 of the psalm helps us understand: “in the day that I called thou answeredst me”. Jehovah answers our petitions and prayers. Jehovah’s faithfulness feeds our trust and confidence. Though great and mighty, by answering our prayer, we see God has respect unto us lowly ones.

David’s beautiful psalm 23, of the Lord being our good shepherd, opens our eyes to see the heart of one trusting in God. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” In this psalm we see “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me.” With a Lord who answers prayer, we stand in the face of fear, confident of revival and renewal. Let us praise and trust in our good God.

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