Read: Psalm 138:1 – 2; Romans 14:11; Hebrews 10:24 – 25; 12:22 – 24;
1 Corinthians 11:10
Psalm 138 begins with a description of how we should worship. We should worship with thanks. We should worship with praise — the Hebrew word refers specifically to the praise that is expressed in music and singing. We should worship with a whole heart. We should worship “before the gods.” The Hebrew word for “gods” is used of God, but also of kings, judges, pagan idols, and angels. We should worship by “bowing down towards the Temple” which means there is a prescribed means of worship.
Think About It: According to Hebrews 10:24 – 25 and Romans 14:11, what is involved in worship under the New Covenant? Where, and before whom, do we stand when we worship, according to Hebrews 12:22 – 24?
Prayer: For a greater awareness of and reverence for those before whom I stand when I worship.
Read: Psalm 138:2; Psalm 119:9 – 11
Psalm 138 continues with an explanation of why we should worship, describing those things for which we should give thanks. The remarkable statement, “Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy Name,” means that God’s Word, which includes the Incarnate Word, Jesus, and the Gospel of Grace, is the highest and clearest revelation of Himself to mankind.
Think About It: What are the aspects of God’s nature and work for which I am to give thanks, according to Psalm 138:2? What are some of the ways I have experienced these aspects of God’s nature in my life?
Prayer: Thank God for revealing Himself through His Word.
Read: Psalm 138:3; Psalm 50:15; Psalm 91:15; Isaiah 65:24; Isaiah 41:10
In our worship, we should thank God because He quickly answers our prayers in the time of our greatest need. We should thank God because He strengthens our soul, especially in times of trouble.
Think About It: How quickly does God answer prayer, according to Isaiah 65:24? Have I ever experienced God’s anticipating my request? When and how have I experienced God upholding me with His righteous right hand?
Prayer: Praise God for answered prayer, and for His strengthening power.
Read: Psalm 138:4 – 6; Isaiah 57:14; James 4:6
The kings of the earth joined the psalmist in giving thanks and singing praise to God for His words, and for His great glory, providing an example of how we should worship.
Think About It: Psalm 138:6 describes one aspect of God’s glory. What is “glorious” about this aspect of God? What does it mean to act arrogantly towards God? What does it mean to humble myself before the Lord?
Prayer: Psalm 131:1, 2
Read: Psalm 138:7; Psalm 23:3 – 4; Psalm 71:20; Isaiah 43:2
Another aspect of God’s glory, for which we should praise Him in our worship, is found in Psalm 138:7: He preserves us in the midst of trouble, stretches out His hands against our enemies, and delivers us.
Think About It: Why is it God’s glory to be with us in the midst of trouble — wouldn’t it be better to be completely delivered from trouble? From what enemies do I need God’s deliverance?
Prayer: Praise God that He is a very present help in trouble.
Read: Psalm 138:8; Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:24
Psalm 138:8 presents another aspect of God’s glory for which we should praise Him in our worship: He fulfills His purpose for us. The 16th century rabbi Ibn Yachla interpreted Psalm 138 as being fulfilled during the Messianic age, after the defeat of Gog and Magog and the beginning of the Messiah’s reign from Jerusalem.
Think About It: What is God’s plan for me, and what assurance do I have that it will be fulfilled?
Prayer: Praise God that His steadfast love endures forever.
Read: Psalm 138:8; 1 John 5:14 – 15
The request of Psalm 138:8, “Do not forsake the work of Your hands,” may seem strange in light of the affirmations of God’s faithfulness, lovingkindness, and deliverance which precede it in the psalm.
Think About It: How does John 5:14 – 15 help to explain the request of Psalm 138:8?
Prayer: Do not forsake the work of Your hands.