—Ebenezer Erskine, 1680-1754. God is concerned in all that concerns his servants. "Psalm 138 celebrates the name, the steadfast love, the faithfulness, and the intimate care of God in the myriad places in which we find ourselves in life -- our sanctuaries of safety; our chaotic social, political, and economic world; our daily trials and troubles." 2. The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. 7. Let a man once know the ways of Jehovah, and he will find therein abundant reason for song; but the difficulty is to bring the great ones of the earth into ways so little attractive to the carnal mind. TITLE. God’s rescues demand our grateful songs: his deliverances our new anthems of exultant praise. I will praise thee. 1. 1-3. The proud he knoweth afar off. 1. A promise that covers it: "the Lord will perfect. interpret "the great ones of the earth", and compare Psalms 138:4 below, and Ps 82:1 119:46, etc. 3. LET US LOOK AT THE SPEAKER. Thou strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. With my whole heart. "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork"; from them may his eternal power and Godhead be clearly seen. Ver. These are but the fringes of th… Where humility is the corner stone, there glory shall be the top stone. Good men are sometimes in the midst of troubles: these are many, and continue long. Ver. By punishing them in hell. He is said to be too stern, too terrible, and therefore "modern thought" displaces the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and sets up an effeminate deity of its own making. “To be sorry for sin is no atonement for it, but it is the right spirit in which to [turn] to Jesus, who is the reconciliation and the Saviour.” (Spurgeon… —Joseph Addison Alexander. Ver. This mysterious transaction having taken place in the incarnation and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, we behold all the perfections of God united and harmonizing in a way that they never did, or could, by any other means: we see justice more inexorable, than if it had executed vengeance on the whole human race; and mercy more abundant, than if it had spared the human race without any such atonement. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tod/psalms-138.html. 6. For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. Though we may keep a well friend waiting should he send for us, yet we will give a sick friend leave to call us up at midnight. And strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. They are to be presented with an eye to God in Christ, for he is the temple: the place of divine indwelling, sacrifice, intercession, priesthood, oracle, and manifestation. 1865-1885, Finding the new version too difficult to understand? His utmost dexterity shall be displayed. Our confidence does not cause us to live without prayer, but encourages us to pray all more. He knows well enough how vile he is even at the greatest distance. This verse and Psalm may easily be interpreted of God's mercies in Christ, so far above what could be famed, or said, or believed, or apprehended of him. Psalms 138 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary is from the most widely read and often quoted preacher in history, Charles Haddon Spurgeon The Lord hath respect unto the lowly, and will make them sing. Thus it is that God has magnified his word; and thus it is that he will magnify it, to the end of time; yea, through eternity will it be acknowledged as the one source of all blessings that shall ever be enjoyed. Spurgeons's The Treasury of David". He went to his work of testimony with fall assurance of success: he meant to speak only the words of Jehovah's mouth, and he felt sure that the kings would hear and praise Jehovah. He who has gone so far will surely persevere with us to the end. Therefore do we praise him with our, whole heart, even in the presence of those who depart from his Holy Word, and, set up another God and another gospel; which are not another, but there be some that trouble us. His loving kindness. He would not submit to act as one under restraint, because of the opinions of others; but in the presence of the opponents of the living God he would be as hearty in worship as if all were friends and would cheerfully unite with him. Ver. His mind is so taken up with God that he does not mention his name: to him there is no other God, and Jehovah is so perfectly realized and so intimately known, that the Psalmist, in addressing him, no more thinks of mentioning his name than we should do if we were speaking to a father or a friend. The title tells us both the author and the audience of the psalm: To the Chief Musician. So that men need not fear that any of them shall at any time, or in any case whatsoever, move in the least contrariety thereunto. 2. He is a man like ourselves; but as we look on him, we note how bright his eye, how radiant his countenance, how calm yet how joyous his tone, how happy in his conviction he seems to be, as he keeps saying to himself, "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me." Since we have it written upon our hearts that God will perfect his work in us, and we see it also written in Scripture that his mercy changeth not, with holy earnestness entreat that we may not be forsaken. What worshipper of idols could ever say that of his god? Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the LORD. "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". Ver. Speedy answers should have special praise: "In the when I cried, thou", etc. Psalm 138 – God’s Promise to Honor His Word and to Complete His Work This psalm is titled A Psalm of David. Ver. Ver. —John Goodwin, 1593-1665. Ver. b) They do not go out of them to find pleasure. An incident of the road to the city. Our soul shall become Christly. Ver. The swine are trampling on the pearls at this time, and nothing restrains them; nevertheless, the pearls are pearls still, and shall yet shine about our Monarch's brow. d) That he will do this within us. I believe David referred to the false gods of the neighbouring nations, and the deities of the surviving Canaanites. It does not appear, nor is it material to enquire, upon what occasion David penned this psalm; but in it, I. It corresponds also to the greatness of the benefaction, in the expression, before the gods, —demanding of these, whether they would verify their godhead by pointing to any such boon conferred by them on their servants. That part of an army which is upon action in the field is sure to have their pay, if their masters have any money in their purse, or care of them; yea, sometimes when their fellows left in their quarters are made to wait. Clarke's Commentary on the Bible. When they are miles away he knows all about them. The wisdom of God is seen in helping in desperate cases. Walking with God is like walking among beds of spices, which send forth a fragrant perfume. The whole of his procedure in the day of judgment is there laid open: the laws by which we shall be judged: the manner in which the testimony, whether against us or in our favour, shall be produced; the grounds on which the sentence of condemnation or acquittal shall be passed; yea, the very state to which every person, either as acquitted or condemned, shall be consigned; all is so clearly made known, that every person, who will judge himself with candour now, may assuredly anticipate his fate. Ver. Psalms 138:1-8; Psalms 139:1-24; Psalms 140:1-13; Psalms 141:1-10; Psalms 142:1-7; Psalms 143:1-12; Psalms 144:1-15; Psalms 145:1-21. “But greatness, majesty, splendour, are not the Divinest parts of the Divine nature, as this singer had learned. Those Psalms were the united utterances of national devotion. 7. Right hand salvation. Gaze fixed on Holy Temple. Ver. He has so magnified his faithfulness, that his love, his mercy, his grace, would all sooner fail than his faithfulness—the word of his mouth and what he has revealed in the Scripture. The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me. Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, Ver. To have a crown on earth, and a crown above, is a rare thing; but David says that these kings “shall sing in the ways of Jehovah: for great is the glory of Jehovah;” and they shall be overpowered by that glory,— melted, subdued, wooed, won, converted by its power. He is resolved to praise the Lord, and to do it with the whole force of his life, even with his whole heart. Condescension of thought marks all the dealings of God with his people. I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me. d) Realizing God himself, for it is to God he speaks. "As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ": 2 Corinthians 1:5. We see this in nature. Our hope for the final perseverance of the believer lies in the final perseverance of believer's God. Oh how infinite is the distance between him and us! It may be when there are some extraordinary works of God in the world, thunder and lightning, etc., we are ready to be afraid, and oh! Were our hearts as they ought to be when we read the Word, we would tremble at that more than at any manifestation of God since the world began in all his works; and if so be thou dost not see more of the glory of God in his Word than in his works, it is because thou hast little light in thee. This is the fact which would revive fainting David. 2. Verses 1-8. What think you, sirs, was God's design in election, in redemption, in the whole of the gospel dispensation, and in all the ordinances thereof? 2. Thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in. 2. Psalm 138’s distinctive emphasis on kings offering praise may mean that this psalm was composed by or for a king or governor. All men love their own works, many dote upon them: shall we think God will forsake his? Thou makest me brave in my soul (with) strength. Forsake not the works of thine own hands. d) It would shield him from evil from those about him. d) They are in a case for singing. This Psalm is wisely placed. : For Jahve is exalted and he seeth the lowly, and the proud he knoweth from afar. Now, the humble soul, being the image of Christ, who is the express image of his Father, God cannot but have a regard unto him. 4. The Christian stays not till he comes to heaven for all his comfort. This is the first of a series of eight Psalms (Psalms 138:1-8; Psalms 139:1-24; Psalms 140:1-13; Psalms 141:1-10; Psalms 142:1-7; Psalms 143:1-12; Psalms 144:1-15; Psalms 145:1-21), probably the last composed by David, a kind of commentary on the great Messianic promise in 2 Samuel 7:1-29. Whole Psalm. Ver. Sometimes God melts away the spirits of his enemies. We are not only to adore the true God, but to do so in his own appointed way: the Jew looked to the temple, we are to look to Jesus, the living temple of the Godhead. 7. Ver. 7. God's work in us will abide unto perfection because God's mercy towards us thus abideth. Though a walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: —. Concerning this there is abundant room for praise. Singing to the self. David himself rehearses the words of Jehovah. In the midst of trouble thou wilt revive me. Ver. I will praise thee with my whole heart — With uprightness of intention, and fervency of affection. O that Jehovah's glory were revealed even now! Ver. —Joseph Addison Alexander. So God has spoken of magnifying his word above all his name. Satan, knowing this, sets all his wits to work to deface this and disfigure it by unsound doctrine. But the proud he knoweth afar off. But mightier far is the word by which a lost world is redeemed. He does not want them to come near to him. A sermon on perfection of the Christian. With strength in my soul - Thou hast endued my soul with many graces, blessings, and heavenly qualities. 2. Thy holy temple. Ver. Well may the servant do his work cheerfully when his master is so careful of him as with his own hands to bring him his breakfast into the fields. Gathered to hear the words of Jehovah's mouth. Many modern critics are to the word of God what blowflies are to the food of men: they cannot do any good, and unless relentlessly driven away they do great harm. Ver. Some (LXX., Luther, Calvin, etc.) Then, set the Lord Jesus Christ before your eyes, that you may worship God and draw near to the footstool of mercy through him, that you may offer an acceptable sacrifice, and praise his name for his lovingkindness and for his truth. Accordingly, it is to the doctrine in afflux, that is to the word, that we are bidden to yield ourselves. 1. And then ascend to heaven, and behold the myriads of the redeemed around the throne of God, uniting their hallelujahs to God and to the Lamb: to this state were they all brought by that blessed word, which alone could ever prevail for so great a work. Psalms 138 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this seven volume magnum opus was first published in weekly installments in The Sword and the Trowel Hi, Sign out. So, in that case, not only the Incarnate Word in the person of Jesus; but also the written word in the Scriptures of truth. 1. It would be paying these dead idols too much respect to cease singing because they were perched aloft. The refrain of the former Psalm is in his ears, and he repeats it as his own personal conviction and consolation. Ver. The sick man may draw whole stores of comfort from the same source, for he can believe the ONE by whom the body was fearfully and wonderfully made will think over the sufferings of that body, and alleviate them, or give strength for the endurance of them if they must be borne. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me. Even so, the true hearted believer of these days must not fall into the will worship of superstition, or the wild worship of scepticism, but reverently worship as the Lord himself prescribes. What praise! Study the bible online using commentary on Psalm 138 and more! There is nothing which God expects us to do for him, which is not there most explicitly declared: nothing which he engages to do for us, that does not form the subject of a distinct promise. Ver. 5. The LORD hath respect unto the lowly. Eye of worshippers fixed on him. He will be interested about her babe; if she commit it to him, he who made the universe will, with his infinite mind, think upon her cradle and the helpless creature that is rocked to sleep therein. Ver. Think of that,— kings singing in the ways of the Lord, crowned princes becoming choristers in God’s service. Psalms 138:6. II. The worshipper's argument. in the day. I will worship toward thy holy temple. Nor is it the knowledge only of truth that we obtain, but the operation and efficacy of it on our souls. Ver. Thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. They who walk in the ways of the Lord will glorify him, and he will be glorified in them. Ver. We have collected a vast mass of literature upon it, but space will not allow us to put it all into our notes. 1. The worshipper's song. 2. DIVISION. 2. If the Lord begins to build, and does not finish, it will not be his honour. So looking to Jesus, he is our temple. But David declares that God had heard him in the day of his trouble, and strengthened him with strength in his soul. —it will be a sheer effort. What an assembly! A Psalm of David. 2. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD. 3. Every man has a standard to which he may refer, for the rectifying of his judgment in every particular: so that nothing can be added for the instruction of our minds, or the regulation of our future expectations. He has enough of them. All my interests are safe in Jehovah's hands. 5. They "walk in the midst" of them; faint, yet pursuing; sometimes they "run with patience", etc. Though the Lord be high. For a similar expression, see Psalms 23:5, see also Psalms 95:8; Psalms 96:5, for places in which the Hebrew word "gods" is used probably for idols. Psalms 138:4. Thou makest me brave in my soul (with) strength. His condescension. Whatever its origin, all believers can sing and pray this psalm today with a realistic faith that lives between grief and joy, between unemployment and meaningful work, between loneliness and deep friendship, between an unrealized goal and its successful achievement. He believed that God would stretch out his hand, as men do when they make a supreme effort, and put forth all their force: “Thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies.” David also expected ultimate preservation: “‘Thy right hand shall save me.’ Thou wilt do it; dexterously, readily, gladly, wilt thou do it: ‘Thy right hand shall save me.’”. They are found in this part of the psalter, in consequence of having been made the basis, or rather the body, of a system or series (Psalms 135:1-21; Psalms 136:1-26; Psalms 137:1-9; Psalms 138:1-8; Psalms 139:1-24; Psalms 140:1-13; Psalms 141:1-10; Psalms 142:1-7; Psalms 143:1-12; Psalms 144:1-15; Psalms 145:1-21; Psalms 146:1-10) by a later writer. —Christoph Starke. Especially do we delight in God's great love to his own elect, such as he showed to Israel as a race, and more especially to David and his seed when he entered into covenant with him. c) They sing as they proceed in service, in worship, in holiness, in suffering. Some do understand this of Christ the essential Word, in whom he has set his name, and whom he has so highly exalted, that he has given him "a name above every name." God loves to show his wisdom when human help and wisdom fail. Here is a double wonder—kings in God's ways, and kings singing there. The LORD will perfect, etc. (third clause). Hengstenberg. —Joseph Caryl. What a preacher! Note the combination. His truth. 6. Study the bible online using commentary on Psalm 138:8 and more! —Joseph C. Philpot. He looks back with thankfulness upon the experiences he had had of God's goodness to him . To my mind it is one of the most remarkable expressions in the whole book of God. They know where they are going. It does not appear, nor is it material to enquire, upon what occasion David penned this psalm; but in it, I. Sweet awakening to know the beauty of his face and strength of his hand! Faith's firm foundation: "Thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever. The palaces which we build are ever like that in the story, where one window remains dark and without jewels, while the rest blaze in beauty. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD. TITLE. The verb is by some translated made me proud, i.e., elated me, not with a vain or selfish pride, but with a lofty and exhilarating hope. Ver. 1. Ver. This is the "word" that he hath "magnified above all his name", as displaying at once the exceeding greatness of his power, the resources of his manifold wisdom, and the blended glories of holiness and love. The idol gods had their temples; but David averts his glance from them, and looks earnestly to the spot chosen of the Lord for his own sanctuary. I will worship toward thy holy temple. God bids us serve him, and he will enable us to serve him, Ezekiel 36:27 : "I will cause you to walk in my statutes." 1. They are low in their own esteem, and he makes them high in his esteem. Ver. His "word" being here annexed to "lovingkindness and truth", must needs be that part of his word to which these two are applicable, i.e., his promise, the matter whereof is mercy or lovingkindness, and in the performance of which is truth or fidelity. —to a mere inarticulate wail of grief? And yet he has "magnified" something "above his name" —his word — his truth. 2. The first step is all the difficulty, and if you and I have been changed from enemies into sons, and had one spark of love to God kindled in our hearts, that is a mightier change than any that yet remains to be effected in order to make us perfect. 8. Ver. c) That he will do this in providence; if it be properly a concern of ours. For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. Because Christ "The Word" is the embodiment and most glorious manifestation of God. When God revives us, trouble will never harm us. They know whence they came out. God, as the Heavenly Father, takes an interest in everything about his people; he takes this interest in matters which they think beneath his notice, or of which they, from their ignorance, do not know the importance. All the kings of the earth shall praise thee. He will be saved, —saved dexterously, decidedly, divinely; he has no doubt about it. 4. The soul's noblest attitude: "Toward thy temple. It is a happy circumstance that, if God be away at any other time, yet he is pledged to be with us in trying hours: "when thou passest through the rivers I will be with thee." —John Morison. Our foes fall when the Lord comes to deal with them; he makes short work of the enemies of his people, —with one hand he routs them. 8. Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. Forsake not the works of thine own hands. ; but this interpretation, too, seems to give no special force to the passage. He hath respect unto the lowly. He was a king, yet he expected trouble; and do you complain when it comes to your cottage, after it had been to David’s palace? I will praise thee. 8. But the proud he knoweth afar off. It is not enough that the Spirit hath made him to see it aright—this is not enough if he have not also made him to speak it aright. Ver. Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. 2. The first clause of the verse is the assurance of faith, and this second one reaches to the full assurance of understanding. David vexed with rival gods, as we are with rival gospels. Reverence the honoured word. They who praise God will walk in his ways. So great are God's promises, and so faithful and complete is his performance of them, as even to surpass the expectations which the greatness of his name has excited. 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