Praising God is work of which the greatest of men need not be ashamed.
A debt of gratitude is due Him for the wonders of His grace, the revelation of His Word, and the confidence derived from the promises that there is no experience that can overwhelm us if we look toward Him.
1 I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.
2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
3 In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
4 All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.
5 Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD.
6 Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
Psalm 138 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 138 – The Most High Regards the Lowly
This is the first of a cycle of Davidic psalms, based on II Samuel 7. God’s promised favors are the theme of devout thanksgiving. No idols could have achieved such generous and great results. Even God had outdone Himself by magnifying His word above His name. Prayer had played its part, for in the day that it was offered it had been answered. Even kings in their various spheres would add their praises, Psalm 138:4. Yet this would be only the beginning of wonders. God can never rest with an incomplete or an unfinished work. When He puts His hand to the salvation of a soul, He pledges Himself to perfect the good work until the day of Jesus Christ, Philippians 1:6. Trust God, amid all disappointment and heartache. He will wipe away all tears, explain all mysteries, and place the topstone on the structure of your life. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 138:8—The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me.
What a comfortable assurance! We often despair of ourselves. We awake to see that much on which we have prided ourselves, instead of being gold, silver, and precious stones, was mere wood, hay, and stubble. We discover, as Saul of Tarsus did, that the structure of righteousness which we have been raising is but as dross in the holy eye of God. We find ourselves falling through a bottomless pit of self-despair. Finally, we turn to the Lord Jesus, and say, What we cannot do for ourselves, and what no one can do for us, Thou must undertake. And there steals upon us the comfortable assurance that we have only to be faithful and true to his least prompting, and He will perfect.
What an argument! First, we plead the mercy of God, the patience that endures for ever, never surprised, never surrendering its cherished purpose, never renouncing heart and hope, but always enduring amid rebuffs of neglect and the proud rebellion of self-will. Because thy love is without measure or end, we believe that Thou wilt yet be conqueror, O Christ! Thou wilt have thy way. We despair of ourselves. We hope infinitely in thy mercy.
Secondly, we plead that we are the work of his own hands. Has He done so much, and will He not finish? Has He implanted a hunger that He will not satisfy? Has He led to the point of Pisgah vision, and will He not give the land? A mother might forsake her child, but God cannot forsake those whom He has made the subjects of his thought and care. He cannot have created within us longings and desires that reach to the Infinite, merely to tantalize. “If it were not so, I would have told you” (John 14:2). Yes, we shall be perfected, some day, somewhere. —Our Daily Homily