This Bible passage was originally posted in my Facebook Sunday Notes feature on 20th March 2011.
Psalm 138 v1-5
1. I will praise You with my whole heart;
Before the gods I will sing praises to You.
2. I will worship toward Your holy temple,
And praise Your name
For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
3. In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
And made me bold with strength in my soul
4. All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O LORD,
When they hear the words of Your mouth
5. Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
For great is the glory of the LORD.
I have added this analysis today 10th April 2011
Why this Psalm is excellent:
I love the idea of praising God with my whole heart v1. I always think that if God is as big as the Bible says He is, if the Bible is indeed truth, then it is both a duty and a privilege to praise God with everything we have, with everything we are – with our whole heart.
“Before the gods…Iwill sing praises to You” Once again, if the Bible is truth, then the God of the Bible, the All-Powerful, all loving Creator God, deserves praise before any other being referred to as god, or elevated to the status of god by human beings.
“I will praise Your name…for Your lovingkindness and Your truth” God deserves to be praised, among every other thing, because He is so kind, and loving, and merciful towards us, and because He teaches us the truth about how best to live our lives towards Him and towards other people and towards His world.
…For You have magnified Your word above all Your name. Someone’s name in Biblical times referred to their reputation, their social standing etc, their fame. God being God has excellent social standing, and reputation, as you might imagine, and has always been at least reasonably famous! However, this Psalm teaches us that God respects His word so much that He would honour His word even above His own reputation. This is how trustworthy God is, that He would always put His word – His promises first, even above His own glory, name etc, which He Himself calls us to worship.
3. In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul….
This is something that I, and I believe most committed Christians will have experienced, time after time… sometimes it happens, that it feels that you are all but finished, and you are in the grip of despair about… a situation… life generally….your own failures – and you just cry to God, from the depths of your heart…and every time, for me at least, joy will come, and joy will give you a positive perspective on a situation which had previously seemed hopeless. If you’re kinda feeling low, despondent – why not give it a try? You may be very surprised at the results….
4. All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O LORD….(5)…for great is the glory of the LORD.
Kings are generally known for their glory. And yet the glory of the LORD (that is, God) will cause even kings to praise Him. This is because the glory, the majesty of God Most High completely overshadows and outstrips even the most opulent and majestic of earthly kings.
Wow! What an awesome God. I invite you to worship at His feet, as I plan to do, not just now, today, but forever, in Heaven with Jesus, and me and a number of other people! (I’m not saying that Jesus is going to be worshipping at God’s feet, what I’m saying is that Jesus is also going to be there!)
Photo of Western Wall by BRBurton23 on Pixabay