Thanksgiving & Praise to the Lord
Topic: Morning Sermons Scripture: Psalm 138:1–138:8
Psalm 138 is the last of a group of eight psalms ascribed to David. These eight are the last of David’s psalms in the Psalter. Overall, about half the psalms are ascribed to him.
Many commentators believe that this psalm is David’s grateful response to God for His promises to him that are recorded in 2 Samuel 7. God promised a kingdom that would endure forever through the reign of a future king. This promise is what David had in mind when he wrote, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me” (v. 8). It is, therefore, basically a thanksgiving psalm to God for this blessing. The psalm is also messianic since it is before this coming Messiah that the kings of the earth will bow down when they come to praise God (vv. 4-5).
Since this is a worship psalm and its dominant note is thanksgiving, we are reminded that at the start of worship is thanksgiving. Worship is acknowledging God as the great God He truly is and praising Him for it. We are confessing God’s attributes. But we are reminded in this psalm that we should also be thanking God for what He has done.
What is David praising God for? The answer is God’s “steadfast love,” and “faithfulness” (v. 2). Verses 4 and 5 describe the coming day of messianic blessing when the promised King will come to rule his throne forever. That day will come. Philippians 2:9-11 tells us that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
The last stanza (vv. 6-8) describes God’s concern for the lowly and His disdain for those who would vainly exalt themselves. David knows that God preserves his life, that He stretches out His hand against his enemies, and that He delivers him by the power of His strong right hand (v. 7). But the most important line is verse 8a, which says, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.” This is the Old Testament version of Philippians 1:6, which assures us that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.”