Psalm 138, I Will Praise The Lord
1. I Will Boldly Praise The Lord For Who He Is (v1-3)
2. The Greatest Of Greats Will Praise The Lord (v4-5)
3. In My Weakness I Will Praise The Lord (v6-8)
Psalm 138, I Will Praise The Lord
Psalm 138, I Will Praise The Lord
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Here, as we look at Psalm 138, I've titled the message This evening. I will praise the Lord and this Psalm is a Psalm of David, in which he declares that he will praise the Lord.
He's talking to the Lord about some things that are going on in his life and have been happening in his life and throughout the song.
He's making this determination this decision.
I will praise the Lord, and as he addresses the Lord, we get to see a bit of the passion of David for the Lord, we get to see a bit of the reasoning and logic behind his decisions, and I pray that David's example would inspire us to come to that same determination.
To make that same declaration that we would be in a place where we will say I will praise the Lord and we would make that and follow that example that David has set for us.
In this Psalm, and so, we're going to walk through three points in this chapter to help us join with David in praising God.
Point number one is found in verses 133. Point number one is I will boldly praise the Lord for who he is.
I will boldly praise the Lord for who he is, verse one says.
I will praise you with my whole heart.
Before the gods, I will sing praises to you.
Now here in the first few verses of this song, they're pretty interesting verses to spend time in because there is some challenging pieces of translating and interpreting these first few verses, and I want to spend a few moments just kind of talking through that a little bit.
Because I think these.
These kinds of things are good examples and reminders for us of the reality of the complexity of the word of God and and that not everything has a simple, easy one answer, solution, or one answer to resolve all conflicts, but that there's room for.
Variety and discussion in a lot of what we see recorded in the scriptures.
Now that's not to say that everything is up for discussion and up for debate.
That there is nothing that is solid truth and all of that.
Of course, I'm not saying anything like that, but at the same time.
We do need to keep in mind and and realize that there are a lot of things in the scriptures that we are not fully aware of and do not fully understand and and that we can have the opportunity to have differing opinions and and discussions about these things without having to be.
An issue of, you know, questioning God's word or questioning the authority of the Bible or or anything like that and so here in verse one.
David says, I'll praise you with my whole heart before the gods.
I will sing praises to you and the idea here of being before the gods is what causes some discussion.
Some concerns, some different ideas between people in looking at this verse.
What is David?
Talking about here, when he refers to the gods and that before the gods he will sing praises to the true and living God.
So there's a few options that can be discussed and not really.
Elaborating on this in great detail, I think there's probably some examples already that you can think of in your head, but when David is referring to the gods, he might be referring to false gods.
Idols and idolatry, of course, was prevalent.
Then, as it is prevalent today, it might take different forms in our society versus David society, but idolatry of course is worshipping something aside from the true and living God, and so there are always false gods that can be.
The context for this Psalm as you read through it, seems to be the the deliverance in a time of battle where some kings have come against David in battle and he had to call out to the Lord, and God brought deliverance.
And so in response to that.
He is writing this Psalm and praising God and rejoicing in God's work in his life, and so it could be that David here is saying before those false gods of those enemies of those kings who came against me.
As the enemies of Israel perhaps would bring their false gods to battle that David is saying in their face.
As they stand opposed.
As they stand defeated, I will praise you.
Before the gods, before those false gods, those idols.
Who came against us and?
Were held up by the.
Armies that came against us.
Another idea that is put forth for this, perhaps it's false gods, but perhaps it's a reference to the kings that are referenced or being discussed in verses four and five.
As you look at verse four and five, you see that he's talking about the kings of the Earth and how they will praise the Lord, and so perhaps.
The Kings are being referred to here as a.
Reference in this word the gods that God in the sense of a ruler, could be an allusion to kings.
There's a earlier passage that talks about judges and refers to them as gods in the Little G sense.
They're not almighty, they're not creators, they're.
They're rulers, they're authorities, and so God in that place refers to judges as.
Lowercase G gods and so it's possible that the gods that David is referring to here is really talking about the rulers, the authorities that he'll refer to again in verse four and five, and so that's a possibility before those kings who came against him before those kings who were the enemies and leading the armies.
It could be that.
He has them in mind.
Another idea of the gods is it could be angelic beings, either lightside or Darkside, right fallen angels.
Or angels that are faithful and true to God that there could be this reference to the gods as a reference to the the spiritual realm.
And David proclaiming that he will praise God before whoever is watching in the physical or spiritual realm now.
Those are a few ideas or some others that you could kind of wrestle with or think about or try to put forward.
Then you could, you know, put more weight in one or another depend.
Being on which way you're thinking about it or coming at it, but it's not a huge deal.
It's not a dealbreaker by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it's useful to illustrate the idea that there is room for a variety of ideas, and that that's OK.
And and it's really important for us as we approach the scriptures to to understand there are things that are deal Breakers.
There are things that we must hold to the clear.
Teaching of the Scriptures and it's a clear teaching of the scripture when it's clearly stated and declared.
But then also when it's repeated that what we hold to as doctrine is not just found in one verse in one book of the Bible, but but that what we hold to as doctrine, that is, we are holding fast to this truth.
As the truth.
Of God, and there's no negotiating it.
Is that the things that are taught clearly that are consistent throughout all of the scriptures, and so specifically looking at the New Testament, you want to see that doctrine taught in the Gospels.
You want to see the church practicing it in the book of acts, you want to see the apostles writing about it in the epistles that that you want to see those.
Instructions those teachings, whether it's a doctrine or a command you want to see that kind of consistency for the things that we hold tightly to and will not budget on.
But there's also a lot of things in Scripture that are.
Left up to a little bit of context, imagination, interpretation and variation amongst us as believers.
And that's OK that we don't have to have.
Here is the one answer to.
What the gods means.
Now we can all kind of come to our own.
Conclusion and have our personal idea.
I think it means this and that's appropriate, and that's OK.
And again, this is not a huge example in the sense of this is hotly debated, but but there is options here.
There is very easy.
Missions, and so it gives us that opportunity to be reminded of and to consider this reality as we approach the scriptures.
We want to look at the totality of scriptures and balance what we're reading with the totality of scriptures to understand the scriptures by the scriptures and and to come to our conclusions about God.
And his revelation of himself to us through the entirety of his word.
Balancing out the exact passage that we are in, and so a lot of things we could continue on, but there's more examples to consider, so I don't want to continue down that path any further.
So the point is, there's room for a variety of ideas, but there's also here something that's not negotiable, and that's the beginning of verse one.
I will praise you with my whole heart.
And we don't have to come up with five different ways.
You know that whole what whole heart could mean.
Like we we understand clearly there what David is talking about and clearly throughout the scriptures you can see as the Lord said, the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, right that your whole being your whole heart, your whole mind.
All that you are all that you have you in totality.
Would be praising God and pursuing God thankful to God, worshipping God, loving God.
That is something that is consistent and not negotiable that you know when it comes to what does it look like to have a relationship with God?
That's what it looks like to praise God with my whole.
This is what we are called to.
This is the example that David is setting for us.
I like what Charles Spurgeon says about this.
He says in the presence of the opponents of the living God, he would be as Hardy in worship as if all were friends and would cheerfully unite with him if others do not praise the Lord.
There is all the more reason.
Why we should do so?
And should do so with enthusiastic eagerness.
Whichever interpretation you prefer as you look at the gods that David will sing praises before them, they will.
He will worship God before these other gods, whichever when you kind of lean towards or choose or fall down on that, that that's yours.
The idea is the same, and that is that there is this.
Opposition to David and to the work of God and David is saying, I don't care who's opposed.
To me, and so you could also kind of take it in and all the of the above kind of approach, right?
Whether it's false gods, whether it's kings of the Earth, whether it's spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places, I don't care, I will praise you with my whole heart before any audience, before any opposition.
Because why well verse two goes on to say I will worship towards your holy temple and praise your name for your loving kindness and your truth.
And so the reason for David's praise is not hindered. It's not changed.
Because of opposition, it's not changed because of any kind of opponents, whether it be spiritual or physical or otherwise.
In his loving kindness towards David.
And God in the truth that he has revealed is worthy of praise.
And so David has determined I will worship you.
I will praise you.
No matter who's watching, no matter who's around, no matter who opposes, I will worship toward your holy temple.
Now the worshipping toward the Holy Temple really kind of gives us that idea that David is away from Jerusalem at this time.
He's perhaps on the battlefield.
He is not there, you know, direct access to the Tabernacle to the where, the Ark of the Covenant is, and so the Jewish practice.
Was that when they were distant from the Tabernacle or the temple?
That they would face themselves, they would position themselves in the direction of the temple as a way of identifying God.
We are worshipping you.
We can't be at the place that you designated for us to worship you.
And so the best we can do at this time is we're going to face that direction.
We're going to Orient ourselves as a declaration.
Not worshipping another God.
We're not bowing down before anything else or anyone else.
We we're bowing down to you still, we just can't be physically in that place.
And so he.
We'll worship toward the Holy temple.
And I'll come back to the living, kindness and the truth in a minute.
But the last part of verse 2.
Says you have magnified your word above all your name.
Now this is the next.
Portion of the passage that is a bit challenging.
For you have magnified your word above all your name.
There is some.
Difficulty in translating this, and obviously I don't know Hebrew, so I'm relying upon others work and and their scholarship, and in this kind of thing, but but you can see some of the difficulty as you walk through various translations of it, but just looking at it for what it is here in the new king.
For you have magnified your word above all your name.
If we hold it to that and we believe OK, this is the right way to translate.
The passage that is there in Hebrew.
What what would?
This mean what does this mean?
That God has magnified his word above?
His name, and there's quite a bit of discussion that you can wrestle with, and some people kind of hold to and.
Build like doctrines and ideas and teachings and ways of life on this kind of thing where it's worded in such a way that.
Takes us down a line of thinking that may or may not be the best way or the the way to understand that, and so this passage is a good reminder of why.
Why we don't just always stick to 1 version of the Bible and and this is the you know authorized.
I use that word intentionally.
This is the authorized.
The authentic, you know.
I heard a pastor say one time I I use the new King James version because that's the one that.
Jesus used right like.
We don't have the one that Jesus.
Not to be confused with, we believe that the word of God is inspired, right that the original manuscripts written by the authors were 100% perfect and complete and without issue, but but that there also is.
Copies of manuscripts and there's things that go along with that. And no, no reason to question the veracity of God's word, but but just recognizing the reality that there are copies. And then there's translation. And anytime you're moving from one language to another language.
There's things that just don't translate exactly the same that don't translate well and that you just cannot appreciate unless you speak both languages and are fluent in them, right?
And so there is room for the opportunity for this translation to.
You know, maybe.
They didn't get it quite right on this one, but maybe there is some room for discussion in wrestling with this part of this verse and say, you know, I don't know if that.
That's the the way that I want to think about this.
And what would that mean if it were true.
And do you want to go down that line of thinking right?
So what am I talking about here?
Well, let's look at some of the other translations and how they word this.
So the HCSB.
Puts it this way.
That's the Holman Christian Standard Bible you have exalted your name and your promise above everything else.
You've exalted your name and your promise above everything.
Alice, now that's quite a bit different.
Then you have magnified your word above your name, like the idea of the new King James kind of says, OK, your name is this high.
And then you've magnified your word to put it higher than or more than, greater than your name.
And then now you start wrestling with the word of God and the name of God.
And you know what?
What exactly does that mean?
But the HCSB puts it a little bit differently, where the idea is, it's not competition between the name of God and the word of God, but putting them on par with each other but above everything else.
And so this is another way of translating this passage.
Who are translating these things experts in the language have differing ideas, and so they all approach it differently, and that's why you get a little bit of variation between the translations.
So the new living translation says for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.
So there's some similarities there.
We're talking about promises instead of the word right?
But but instead of this being above, and like exaltation, the new living translation takes it more like the the promises have the the backing or have the stamp of guarantee.
By the name of God.
And so the name of God gives credibility to the promises of God and God.
Going to fulfill his promises because his name is on the line and his name, you know will not be.
Shadowed or shaded by.
Failure to complete a promise that he has made and so that's kind of the.
The idea that's bound up in the new living translation.
The English standard version the ESV says for you have exalted above all things, your name and your word, and so the translators of this version fell more in line with the HCSB that hears all things.
They're at this level and your name in your words.
And above all these other things.
And then the new international.
In the Navy, for you have so exalted your solemn decree that it surpasses your fame, and so this is a slightly different idea, that your name, taking that as a reputation or the the fame of God.
And so he's saying, God, your word has even superseded in reputation your name.
Because even if people don't know your name, you don't.
They don't understand your fame.
They know of your word.
They know what you have said and what you have done, and they've seen that take place so you can kind of think about, for example, after the children of Israel cross through the Red Sea.
And and then you know there was the the stories that went out all through the land of Canaan.
Even so, that rehab the harlot knew of the God that you know, rescued them and and did all these miracles in Egypt and brought them out of the land of Egypt and and so there was, you know, this fame that preceded, but the idea here is that your word.
Your solemn decree has even surpassed your fame, that they've heard about you.
But but your word.
Everybody knows your word, even if they don't really know you, even if they haven't heard of you.
And so all of these things just to highlight the fact that there is a variety of ways to look at these things.
And this is one of the things that are that's really amazing to me about the word of God, that you can kind of think about it.
And I don't know, you know if you want to think about it this way.
But if if you're looking at a TV screen.
Sometimes in an image that you're looking at.
The the image is not exactly perfect.
Even when it's not perceptible to you. In fact, when you're streaming video over the Internet, putting it on your 4K TV the the stream is compressed and lots of data is lost in that image that's being shown on your screen, but you can't tell the difference many times.
You can tell when the Internet really bogs down and it's buffering and then you see all the the artifacts right then, then you notice, but even at its best.
The image that you see is not the perfect image.
There's all kinds of data that was lost because it was compressed.
To get to you over the Internet or over the airwaves and and so there is this video that you're seeing.
There's this image that you're seeing and you can't tell that anything has been lost.
Because there's so much detail in the image already that you're seeing that you don't miss the things that are lost, and I think.
That's a perhaps.
A good visual for us to consider when it comes to the scriptures.
That there's all these things that.
We could wrestle with right, there's.
Translation things, there's transcripts, things. There's different variations, but but when you take it in the hole in its entirety, yes, you could get bogged down and spend 1000 years debating.
You know, verse two and and be all.
Tripped up over that.
But you take in the whole word of God.
And there is so much detail.
Even in all the little stuff that you might get bogged up in, even if you just kind of.
The rest of the scriptures.
Still have so much.
Data that you have a clear picture.
Of what God has said, you have a clear picture of who God is, the opportunity for forgiveness and relationship with him.
It's found repeatedly throughout the scriptures that messages are, you know, built in such a way that it's it's durable, and so that even when there is these kinds of things and we can have room for and we don't.
Have the exact you know, perfect understanding of every piece, but that's OK when it all comes together, we still see a very clear pick.
Picture of God, his love for us, his plan of salvation, the opportunity to know him.
And there's room.
Yes for some discussion and and we can wrestle with different things, and that's kind of the fun we get to wrestle with and explore.
The depths of the Lord that are not fully clarified and brought forth, and so it leaves room for us to dig in and to to seek the Lord, and to seek to understand these things even further.
Here's to wrap it up. 1 commentator's approach. He says the translation and interpretation of the last parallel line.
In verse 2.
K That's what we've just been talking about.
The translation and interpretation is debatable and enigmatic, or its mysterious.
It is questionable whether decree is the best translation for the Hebrew word promise is a better choice and a more fitting translation of the line for you.
Exalted above all things, your name and your promise.
So you can see where he stands on it.
Right, he falls.
Follows the idea that the the word is more of a promise.
And there is always a variety of ways that any particular word can be translated, and so promise is a valid way to translate that and so.
Putting the name of God and the promise of.
God above everything else and, but acknowledging that there's some mystery here, there's some room for us to think about these things and meditate on these things.
And the Lord can speak to us personally about them, but we don't have to convince everybody else necessarily right?
We could have a good discussion about it, but we don't have to be.
Right about it that that we can look at these things and balance them.
Out with the rest of Scripture.
And all of this doesn't have a ton.
To do with.
The mean subject.
Tonight I will praise the Lord, right?
But it does in the sense that we need to remember that there is.
There's a lot of room and this is just two verses in one Psalm that we're talking about.
But there's a lot of room for us to have a little bit different perspective on things.
Different takes on things and be able to.
To still worship God together and praise God together and have fellowship and relationship with one another.
And again, yes there are non negotiables we don't budget on those things.
There is still that clear message, but in the midst of that clear message, there's also many other things that God will give clarity to us eventually.
But here in our motorball mortal bodies, we don't have the final say on every detail of every verse of every passage of the whole Bible, and so good opportunities for us to dig deeper to wrestle with ideas.
It's good for us.
It helps us to grow as we wrestle with these different concepts and.
Seek to understand the Lord more clearly by balancing out one passage with the rest of the scripture.
Going back to the point though, point number one, I will boldly praise the Lord for who he is.
So this is the part that's not negotiable.
David says I will praise you with my whole heart.
I will praise you with my whole heart.
I will praise your name for your loving kindness and.
For your truth.
And then summing up that whole discussion there of the last part of.
Verse two, you have magnified your word above.
All your name.
I'll tip the cart my cards a little bit and show you where I land on the whole discussion.
I will boldly praise God.
Here's three reasons why David says he boldly praises God for his loving kindness.
For his truth and for his faithful.
His promises, his name are exalted, unchanging.
You can wrestle with how to word it exactly, or the best way, and all of that, but I would summarize it by saying David is talking about the faithfulness of God.
How his name his reputation is on the line and his word will be fulfilled.
His promises will be completed that he has given to us.
And so here we learn from David some reasons.
To boldly praise the Lord.
Even in the face of opposition, no matter who's watching, no matter what situation we're in.
We can boldly praise God because.
None of those situations that we face, none of those things that change in our lives change his loving kindness.
None of the things that we experience in life changed his truth and none of the things that we walk through and endure in this life change his faithfulness.
And so there is always the opportunity.
For us to boldly praise God, well, David is really triggered to praise God by verse three, he says in the day when I cried out to you, you answered me and made me bold with strength in my soul.
And so David here is really explaining the roots and the the source for writing this song.
He was in difficulty.
He was in trouble.
He cried out to God.
And God answered him.
And we talked about this a while back.
I forget what Summit was in, but there's many times where David is really reflecting and just expressing this shock this awe and it kind of strikes him as surprising every time that God hears and got answers.
And so here again.
He's in a situation.
He cries out to God and he says, and you answered.
Not only did you answer me, but you made me bold with strength.
In my soul.
And so God helped him through the situation.
Very potentially a battle.
A conflict with some enemies of Israel and in the midst of that God helped.
He answered, and he gave David boldness and strength.
To be able to go forward in what God had for.
And that included praising the Lord.
And so here David provides for us.
A good example.
Of being one who relies upon the Lord calls out to the Lord, sees repeatedly the reality of the Lord, the characteristics of the Lord, and is then inspired and encouraged to praise the Lord with boldness with joy.
No matter who's watching, no matter what's going on.
Because none of that changes who God is and so he makes this determination.
This declaration, I will praise you.
I will boldly praise the Lord for who he is while moving on to point #2. We're going to look at verse four and five point #2 is the greatest.
Will praise the Lord.
Not only is David praising the Lord because he has a relationship with God and God answered his prayer, but he goes on now to reflect on the idea that he's not alone, but that all will praise the Lord.
Verse four says.
All the kings of the.
Earth shall praise you, O Lord.
When they hear the words of your mouth.
Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord.
For great is the glory of the Lord.
David says all the kings of the Earth shall praise you.
In talking about the kings of the Earth in David's Day.
The Kings were the ones who had all the authority.
Whatever realm their working over whatever territory they had, kings had the power.
They were the greatest in the nation.
They were the ones who had the the opportunity to do what they wanted.
They had the the popularity they had the authority.
They were the greats.
Of their region.
And then they would conquer other regions to be expanding.
You know their greatness and to be the great.
Of a bigger.
Piece of land and territory and more people.
And so the the idea here of the greatness that I'm making reference to in the points here, is the kings of the Earth.
They considered themselves great.
The people considered themselves great.
But David here is reflecting on the greatest people of the day, the highest authorities, the most powerful people, the kings of the Earth.
Shall praise you.
The highest authority on Earth, David says.
Will praise God.
And that's something interesting to think about.
Because even as we extend that to today.
Who are in the highest positions of authority we.
Don't necessarily automatically correlate that position.
Those roles with praising God.
In fact, many in those roles.
Are in opposition to God.
Enemy armies would come out against Israel and against David.
These kings were putting themselves in direct opposition to God by attacking Israel.
And these kings who thought they had all authority and could do what they want to wanted to were were fighting against God.
A good example of that is the.
King of Assyria.
We'll get to that as we work into the prophets in the coming months, finishing up the Old Testament this year.
The king of Assyria was given some authority by God to come against the Nation of Israel after it had been split in two.
And the northern Kingdom named Israel God gave Assyria authority.
To take that Kingdom away captive, but God had not granted them.
The authority and permission to come against the Southern Kingdom.
But the king of Assyria decided you know what I want to take the Kingdom of Judah also.
And so he attempted to come against.
He defied the instruction of God and the calling of God, the plan of God, and said No, I'm going to do what I want to do, and I can, because hey, I'm the greatest of greats.
I'm the king of Assyria, the world empire.
I can take this little nation if I want to.
But the king of Assyria.
Found out the hard way, you cannot resist God and win, no matter how great you are.
No, no matter how much authority you have now, no matter how big your army is.
You cannot, and that's the the king who experienced the Angel of the Lord going through their camp in one night.
186,000 of his soldiers were killed in one night by the Lord because he went in defiance against God against the nation of Judah.
And So what David here is reflecting on and considering is those kinds of situations.
The kings of the Earth, the greatest ones, the ones who are in the highest.
Authority, the ones who.
Have the greatest fame, the greatest position.
Greatest of all time, you know, we might think of.
Sports figures or celebrities or those kinds of people today as well in this same arena that David is considering here.
The kings of the.
Earth, those in authority, those popular those praised those celebrated by the world.
They will all praise God, even the ones who are in violent.
Opposition to God.
They will come to a place.
Where they praise God when they hear the words of his mouth.
They will sing of the ways of the Lord.
They will recognize and confess.
Great is the glory of the Lord.
Reminds us of Philippians chapter 2.
Where Paul talking about Jesus, how Jesus humbled himself?
Having equality with God.
He emptied himself.
Became man and was obedient to the point of death.
Even the death upon the cross.
And so Paul says, therefore, because Jesus humbled himself in this way to this degree, therefore God has also highly exalted him.
Jesus humbled himself, God the Father, exalted him, given him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of those in heaven.
And of those on Earth, and of those under the Earth.
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the father.
Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess every celebrity, every authority, every.
Every emperor, every.
Magistrate every governor every.
Every Little League coach every every authority you know it's funny, like Little League coach, right?
Because I mean, it happens that the Little League coach gets on a power trip and thinks I'm the greatest of the greats.
And you know, has this mission to destroy the idea of God in, you know.
Little baseball players lives and they come against they fight against but but it's important to remember, and I think that's what David would have us consider here.
All of those things that we experience, those things that we see.
Those things, perhaps that we encounter and and they affect our lives because these people are running contrary to God.
We we need to remember the greatest of the greats.
Will praise the Lord.
The authorities in our workplaces, the authorities in our communities and our nation, the authorities around us, the enemies of God around us.
God is working out all of these things and no matter how much they fight.
Going back to.
The first part of the first few verses there the reputation.
Of God is on the line.
His word is going to be fulfilled.
And every one of those opponents and enemies and those that seem so great and seemed to have so much authority and seemed like they would never bow.
Every one of them will bow.
Every one of them will confess and praise the Lord and confess of the the greatness of God, and that he is great and that they are not.
Well, finally we'll finish it up in verses 6 through 8 from point #3.
In my weakness, I will praise the Lord.
Though the Lord is on high.
Yet he regards the lowly.
But the proud he knows from afar.
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.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me, your mercy, oh Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the works of your hands.
In contrast to the kings who think they're great.
The greats of this earth.
You have the Lord.
And David says he is on high.
He truly is great everybody else.
Is perhaps thought to be great or thinks themselves great, but the Lord truly is great.
He is on high.
He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the creator of the heavens and the year.
And yet, even though that's.
True he regards the lowly.
And what a contrast between the greats of this earth, right?
The greats of this life.
They don't regard the lowly, they regard themselves and that's why they think they're so great.
But the one who is truly great, he regards.
The lowly and the proud.
He knows from afar.
They're not unknown to him.
But he's not with them in the way that he is with the lowly.
He regards the little.
He pays attention to the lowly.
And David here is identifying himself as the lowly.
That's why in verse three he cried out to the Lord because he was lonely.
He was not great.
He was in need of help and desperate for God to work.
He regards the lowly.
And and again, it's this.
Ah, it's this surprise.
David always has when when I call out to God.
And he hears me.
Because I'm lonely and it doesn't make sense that the Lord who is on high.
But the Lord, who is the creator, the Lord who?
Is so much higher and vast and greater than we can even begin to fathom or understand that he would pay attention.
To me, David shocked, he's still surprised by this.
The Lord is on high, yet he regards the lowly and that David says that's me, I'm.
I'm existing in loneliness.
I'm existing in weakness.
And I need help and I fall short and I mess up and I I get in trouble and I'm.
Over my head.
Verse seven, he says, though I walk in the midst of trouble, you will revive me.
And here you see David in his faith, trusting God.
And I need help and I face trouble but but that doesn't mean that God has abandoned me.
And that doesn't mean that I abandoned God.
The fact that I face trouble.
But that through the trouble there will be a work of God in the midst of trouble.
You will revive me, that in the midst of that trouble God, you're going to do a work.
You're going to.
Bring life when I feel like I'm dying.
In the midst of this.
Situation you will revive me.
And and there's this confidence in God that.
He will be true to his word, going back to verse 2.
Right that promised the faithfulness.
On the same level as his name, perhaps if you want to take it that way, right?
But but the faithfulness of God represented there.
He's like I, I walk in trouble and and even though that's true.
I'm still going to praise you.
Because I know that you will revive me, that you're going to do a work.
In my life.
Charles Spurgeon commenting on this says the men having been strengthened for one emergency.
Remains vigorous for life.
And is prepared for all future labours and sufferings.
You know, sometimes in the midst of.
Trouble we want out of the trouble.
I guess I shouldn't say.
Sometimes always in the midst of trouble we want out of the trouble, right?
But it's like that old saying.
I I can't say the saying exactly 'cause I'm not old enough to know it for sure, but there's this thing about giving a man a fish or teaching him to fish, right?
Give him a fish, you feed him for the day you.
Teach him to fish.
You feed him for life.
God God has a similar approach to us.
He allows us to walk in the midst of trouble.
He allows us to experience difficulty and affliction in our lives and and his plan many times is not to keep us from all trouble, but to revive us in the midst of trouble.
That's what Spurgeon is commenting on here, because having been revived and strengthened in the midst of that emergency enables us and equips us now for the rest of our lives.
We've learned to trust God.
We've learned to hold fast to God.
We've learned the lessons that he's taught us, and we've been strengthened so that we can face even more challenging things and more difficult things.
And you're like, well, why would I want to face more challenging things?
To bring more glory to God, to show the greatness of God to a greater degree.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you will revive me.
I think this is similar to what Paul is saying.
Outwardly I'm wasting away, but inwardly I'm being renewed day by day that in the midst of challenge, in the midst of difficulty, God is at work internally refreshing and renewing and reviving and and doing something great within.
And verse 17 continues on to say you will stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies and your right hand will save me.
And so David has a confidence.
God is going to deal with the enemies.
It's really not David.
Responsibility it doesn't all fall on his shoulders to deal with these enemies.
Your hand will be against my enemies.
Your right hand will save me.
You're going to deal with them.
And so it's David's confidence that God will.
Work in him.
To revive him, it's David's confidence that God will work for him to put an end to the enemy's attempts and tactics.
And then verse 8 the Lord will perfect that which concerns me.
God, you are going.
To bring to perfection.
The things that concern me.
Everything that has to do with me.
You're working all of these things to bring maturity to bring completion.
To bring perfection.
You're conforming me into your image.
You're making me more like you.
This would be similar to Paul's declaration in Philippians chapter one, as he tells the Philippians that he's praying for them.
He says I'm praying for you being confident of this very thing.
He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
That there will be this ongoing work for now, but then.
At the day of Jesus Christ, that work will be completed.
And Paul could have quoted David there at that point, saying the Lord will perfect that which concerns you.
He will finish the work he started, the work he will bring it to completion.
He's not going to get halfway through the work and give up.
He's not going to run out of funds and say, Oh no, I can't complete that project.
He's not going to get distracted and say, oh, you know, I found another person I like better and I'm going to just work on them.
And you're just going to wallow in, you know your.
Half completed state no.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.
And how can David be so confident of that?
Verse 8 continues on.
He says your mercy, oh Lord, endures forever.
I can hold this truth with confidence.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.
Because God is not on the verge of giving up on me.
But the mercy of the Lord endures forever.
You know the very fact that I'm not perfect that I'm not complete.
Has inherent in that concept.
David is saying I'm not perfect, I fall short.
I make foolish decisions, I make mistakes.
I sin against God.
Now we don't know the exact context of the situation that David was in when he writes the Psalm, and perhaps it seemed like it was some kind of battle and kings were against right.
It could be just throwing out ideas and theories that David was in the midst of that battle, not at the direct leading of the Lord, but finding himself in the midst of a situation where he's in over his head, and.
He cries out to God and God hears him and delivers him, and it inspires this song and David is now after the fact recognizing what your mercy endures forever, like I blew it again.
I put myself in a situation.
Maybe I shouldn't have been there, maybe you weren't leading me in that.
But it wasn't like the last straw, and now you've given up on me.
Pastor Damien Kyle talking about this passage.
Made the point that the devil likes to make you feel like you're always skating on thin ice.
The devil wants you to always feel like oh man, like you just do it one more time and then God is done with you.
You're gonna fall through and you're just going to be wiped out because you've done so much and God is just so tired of putting up with all of your.
Stuff and all of your junk.
Now, the mercies of the Lord endure forever.
As high as the heavens are above the earth.
God's mercies are new every morning, and so David says, I know, the Lord will perfect that which concerns me.
In the meantime, until I'm perfect, I'm going to still be imperfect, and you know what imperfect people do.
They make mistakes, they fall short, they fail, they sin.
But God's mercy endures forever.
He continues on in verse 8 to say do not forsake the works of your hands, for for God to not finish.
The work he began and his people.
Would be for God to forsake.
The work of his hand.
And God is not going to forsake the work of his hand.
He will not abandon.
He will perfect.
He will finish the work.
Because his mercy endures forever in my weakness.
In my frailties and my failures, I will praise the Lord because God is merciful.
And he's not given up.
He's patient, long suffering.
To complete the work in me, allowing me to experience the difficulty.
So that he might revive in me the work.
That he wants to do.
That he might.
Bring forth more of his character and nature in.
That I might reflect his greatness to an even greater degree, and so, Psalm 138 David encourages us and inspires us to praise the Lord boldly because of who he is. No matter what we face.
Recognizing the greatest of greats and all the opposition and all the famous people, they will praise God.
They will bow down and confess and when it seems like nobody else.
Is going to join with us and bowing down before the Lord we can recognize they will eventually.
And so we need to be right with the Lord now and not following in line, you know, with the trend of being in opposition to God, but recognizing they will bow, that's that's up to the Lord to work out in their lives.
We don't have to force that, but they will praise the Lord and in the meantime I'm going to praise the Lord even in the midst of my weakness.
My frailties, my failures.
I will praise the Lord.
Let me thank you.
That we get this opportunity that you're so.
Patient with us and long suffering with us that we can call to you.
But even in the midst of a situation that.
Is troubling and difficult because of our own decisions and our own efforts, and our own causes.
And yet, Lord, we can call to you, and you hear us, and you answer us.
Your mercy endures forever.
And you work in our lives, and you bring us from that place, even if it's the result of failure and mistake.
You bring us forward to become more like you and Lord, there's some things that you allow in our lives, not through faults of our own, not as a consequence of anything, but just as a reality of life and a part of living.
In a fallen world.
And from the midst of that Lord we can.
Call to you.
And you will answer us and you'll work in our lives and you'll make us more like you.
And so Lord.
No matter what we face.
We can come back to this reality.
We can come back to this declaration.
With your loving kindness, your truth and your faithfulness towards us.
But it's astounding.
So may we appreciate that more and more.
And make the declaration light David the determination to praise you.
To give you things and to honor you with our lives, we pray this in Jesus name.