Focal Passage: Psalm 138:1-8
The focal text for this study is Psalm 138:1-8. David begins this amazing psalm to the Lord with a heart of praise and worship. John MacArthur states, “the psalmist moves from individual praise (vv. 1-3) to international praise (vv. 4-5) then finishes with invincible praise” (vv. 6-8).
When a person really sees God in His majesty he should be moved to a posture of obedient worship. As I read verses 1-3, my mind went to Isaiah 6 with the prophet being ushered into the throne room of God.
The reality of experiencing the presence of God in all of His holiness carried Isaiah to a place of absolute reverence (Woe is me.) to a position of unwavering obedience (Here am I Lord, send me).
The prophet felt completely inadequate before God, but God’s presence gave him strength to respond. Paul saw this same reality in the person and name of Jesus in Philippians 2:9-10, “For this reason God also highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow- of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”
In (Psalms 138) verses 4-5, David gives the reader a clear understanding of God’s sovereignty. The writer of the Psalm speaks of “all the kings giving thanks” with inexplicable certainty. David believed that the glory of God was so great and magnificent, that the world will “sing of the Lord’s ways.”
The Apostle Paul understood and proclaimed that, “every knee would bow” with absolute confidence in the greatness of the glory of God. He did not stop there but declared in Philippians 2:11, “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
I remember my pastor once saying, “My friend, you will either bend your knees before the Lord in obedience to His name, or He will eventually bend them for you in judgment.” That was an impactful statement for a bunch of young men sitting in a pew with their high school peers. I remember my brother being moved to bend his knees before the Lord that evening as he gave his life to Christ.
When we look at (Psalms 138) verses 6-8, we can’t ignore the connection of our humility and God’s ultimate glory. God does not need our humility for His glory, but He desires it.
We are challenged in I Peter 5:5, “And all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” The psalmist tells me that I can walk into the thick of danger with the promise of God’s presence.
Peter tells me that God resists (turns away from) the proud. In verse 6, David says that God sees the prideful person from a distance. In verse 7, the right hand of God is pictured as the saving power of God in our lives.
We do not serve a God that is distant and impersonal. As verse 8 so beautifully promises, “The Lord will fulfill His purpose and His steadfast love is forever.” B&R