Psalm 138 Commentary
One man once commented that humans are praise machines by design. If we don’t praise others, we praise ourselves. We praise things, skills, inventions, ideas, or events; past or present. Even when we buy cars or cell phones, the overriding factor is praise, for ourselves or others.
What will people think of me when they see me holding this kind of phone? We are simply playing around with the word praise. Or, I will not look great in this dress. It is the same word. The tallest buildings are constructed for praise. Career development is driven by praise. Shame is simply negative praise.
Can we be surprised that the Bible talks about praise so much? Some believers feel the sole purpose for man’s existence is praise. Praising God, to be specific. They are not fools.
David will praise the LORD with all his heart. No lip service for social media; only serious business.
David is living in a world of countless gods. They are responsible for all sorts of things such as weather, fertility, and good fortune. In fact, just about any natural element had its own god. David elevates the LORD God above all these gods.
Nothing has changed. Money is still an important god among many others. The stomach is another – representing all sorts of appetites. They can easily take the place of God in the saint’s life. Praising God from the heart is to truly appreciate God’s throne above all other pretenders.
David bows down in worship towards God’s physical symbol – the temple. He then utters his praise, both musical and non-musical declarations. He has his own reasons. The LORD God is faithful and loving. His word is gloriously great.
There is more. From the top, the LORD stoops down and reaches out to the lowly. He is there with them. He sees from afar. This statement may draw the thought that the LORD is still there even when we feel he is very far. He knows it. He is in charge. He preserves the saint’s life.
David’s last words in this psalm are yet another praise phrase. It is an acknowledgment of the LORD God as the creator of humanity. Let not God abandon His creation. David is God’s creation. It is a simple statement but it is flowing from a deep understanding that David is not the product of some god called ‘Big Bang’ or Evolution, or indeed any other.
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