A Bible Devotion from Psalm 138
The Lord Fulfills His Purpose for Me
1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
2 I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
3 On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.
4 All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
5 and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Psalm 138, NKJV
Psalm 138 is a glorious song of praise to the Lord, and a very practical Psalm for us to consider. First the Psalmist begins with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, then he addresses the work of the Lord among the nations, and thirdly he speaks of the Lord's purpose for his life. Every aspect of this Psalm applies to our Christian walk as well.
Verse 3 is one we could wear as a banner over us; it is a verse to memorize and meditate on every day: On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased. God has exalted His name and His Word above all things - in a life of uncertainty and betrayals, God is a solid resting place. His Word is Truth and Eternal! No wonder the Psalmist proclaims, Before the gods I sing your praise. At a time when many served foreign gods, the Psalmist proclaims His faith in the God above all Gods; not a god made by man, but a God who does answer us when we call to Him.
What of the nations? The kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord . . . and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord. That doesn't sound like many kings and rulers in our day - probably not in the Psalmist's day either. When will these verses be true? We are told in many other places in Scripture that at the end of days, everyone (including all kings and rulers from the beginning of time) will bow before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. How is the Lord different from these rulers? Though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.
How can the Psalmist be so confident in verses 7 and 8? Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. Verse 8 tells us that the Lord has a purpose for us, and He will fulfill that purpose. Why did my father walk through battle after battle in World War 2 virtually unscathed when men all around him were dying? God had a purpose for him that extended far beyond World War 2. Because of God's purpose for him, his life was preserved even amidst the battle.
How can we apply Psalm 138 to our own lives? We can call upon the Lord for salvation because we know He is God and has the ability to answer our prayer and grant us strenth of soul. How can we walk through this life in confidence, glorifying the Lord? Even though God is above all Gods, He still regards the lowly. When we come before Him on our knees asking for forgiveness for our sins, we are indeed the lowly. How can we go about our lives without constant fear? God has a purpose for our lives. When that purpose is fulfilled, He will bring us home to be with Him forever. Until that time, we are invincible!
As in Psalm 138, pray today that you will have confidence in God, the humility of calling out to Him for salvation, and the peace that your life is safely in God's hand fulfilling His purpose for you.
More Devotions on the 138th Psalm from my blog, Daily Bible Devotions.
Thy, verses 1-3
All the Kings, verses 4-6
Middle of Trouble, verses 7-8