by Mrs. Folake Adedamola
The Psalm is indeed short but nonetheless powerful and rich.
The chapter shows us a Psalmist who knows his God and flaunts Him as such.
- He recognises the supremacy of the One True God: before the gods, I will sing praises to you. Though there be many other gods, the Lord is the sovereign One unto whom our worship should go. Exodus 15:11 poses the all-important rhetoric: who is like you oh Lord among the gods?
- He understands the qualities of his God: lovingkindness, truthful, honourable (the One who upholds His word even higher than His name. Numbers 23:19 comes to mind here). It is indeed wisdom to have as much in-depth understanding as possible of the God we serve. How well you know Him is a determinant of how much your life can be enriched through Him. For instance, when you comprehend that the Lord is faithful (1Cor. 1:9), then, you will have the assurance that regardless of circumstances surrounding you, He will come through for you.
- He praised him according to how He wanted to be praised: I bow before your holy Temple as I worship (vs. 2, NLT).
The Psalmist clearly understands a sure way to the Father’s heart – Praises
Give it to King David, he knew how to receive from God. We could see at the end of the chapter that he made a request. I love how the MSG puts it: finish what you started in me Lord….don’t quit on me now. However, he first gave God some generous doses of praises: thank You, everything in me says “thank You”. How do you commune with God? Do you ensure that your thanksgiving exceeds your request?1st Thessalonians 5 verses16 & 18 tell us that
Rejoice always, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Allow me reiterate this: the WILL of God in Christ for you and I is to rejoice, pray and give thanks. In Jesus name, we receive the ease to fulfill this will always. Amen.
What is the basis of your thanksgiving? One irrefutable fact is this: if you struggle to give God praise always, always, it may mean one thing: a shallow reflection. Many people base their thanksgiving on earthly, fleeting possessions such as financial riches, career advancements, marriage etc. I’m not saying it is wrong to thank God for these things, by all means, please acknowledge Him as your source of them (I even thank Him for credit alerts). However, the reasons for rejoicing in the Lord should go deeper than ephemeral substances. Let’s learn from the Psalmist. What did he thank God for? I will praise…Your name for Your:
He also praised him for:
- His integrity: You have magnified Your word above your name…
- His regards for the lowly
- His ever present help (vs. 7)
And he does this with such boldness! I will praise You with my whole heart, before the gods, I will sing praises to You!
We Believers need not limit our praises only to worldly possessions. Our major focus should be on those indestructible and infinite blessings such as Salvation, grace, His glory, His faithfulness. Thank Him for choosing you. Bless His name for qualifying you. Praise Him for being your God. The result? …and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NKJV
Who is your source? One outstanding feature of not just Psalm 138, but all the Psalms is highlighting God as the source. Specifically in this Psalm, it is easy to draw an inference that the Psalmist totally relies on his God. He let God be God in his life.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me…
What a faith! What an assurance! How much faith do you have in God? When it seems there’s a storm, how do you react? Do you panic and forget all about who you are in Christ or do you proceed boldly knowing with assurance that yet in all these things, you are more than a conqueror through Him who loved you? (Rom 8:37 NKJV)
We even have a better assurance than the Psalmist did.
The Psalmist knows that the Lord will perfect that which concerns him, that is an assurance that no matter what, all would be well with him. This assurance was mostly based on God’s mercy: Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever. We, on the other hand, have this mercy but we have something which is even greater: Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant (Heb. 12:24). Jesus, our advocate (1st John 2:1; Heb. 9:24).
In summary, through this Psalm, we are taught to:
1. always unashamedly praise God, anywhere and everywhere
2. acknowledge the Lord always
3. always remember who our God is and who we are in Him
4. totally rest in Him and be still even in the face of storm
May His praise always be in our mouths in Jesus’ name.