Friday, August 29, 2008

Psalm 138 - You give me strength and give me success!


Reading: NLT Psalm 138:1 A psalm of David. I give you thanks, O LORD, with all my heart; I will sing your praises before the gods. 2 I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. 3 When I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me the strength I need. 4 Every king in all the earth will give you thanks, O LORD, for all of them will hear your words. 5 Yes, they will sing about the LORD's ways, for the glory of the LORD is very great. 6 Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud. 7 Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will preserve me against the anger of my enemies. You will clench your fist against my angry enemies! Your power will save me. 8 The LORD will work out his plans for my life-- for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for you made me.


Verse 1. The false gods were the gods of other countries, like Babylon and Assyria. These “gods” could also be the pagan political rulers who claimed many times to be gods or sons of gods. "*Praises" are words that say how great somebody is. So the psalmist is saying that in the presence of idols that the pagans depend to give them power and the great men who claim to be walking demi-gods, he will sing the greatness of The LORD.

In these circumstances the *psalmist writes about the *LORD. The *LORD is a special name for God. It is the "*covenant" name for God. A *covenant is when there is a promise given between two people. This promise can be conditional or unconditional. The LORD has unconditionally promised to love and give help to the people He has chosen. "With all my *heart" is a Hebrew (and English) way to say, "as well as I possibly can".

Verse 2. "Your name" means more than just "God" or "*LORD". It means everything that God is. The "unfailing and faithful love" is a special Bible word. It means the love that God has for his people:
· will never finish;
· will always send help.
These promises are fully guaranteed by God. He will keep His word.

Verse 3. God gave David strength. This is what David would write. Often, when he wanted help, he prayed to the *LORD. The *LORD always answered him. Not by keeping him from having problems but by giving him the strength to get through the problem. David knew that this strength to endure was not his strength but the LORD’s strength given him.

Verses 4 and 5. The day is coming when every leader of every land will hear the word of the LORD. They:
· thanked him (verse 4); and
· sang about it (verse 5).
God has *glory because he is infinite in greatness both in character and in deeds. He is very, very great. So spiritually speaking the greatness and wonder of the LORD shines as the sun shines! That is what "*glory" means.

Verse 6. This is about two groups of people. One group is people that need help. God is high above us in eternity. But he can still see who needs help. He also sees the *proud people. These people think that they are so good that they do not need help and reject God’s word concerning their need.

Verse 7. "The right hand of God" is a Hebrew way to say "what God does on the earth". We could translate it, "by the power of God". God will ultimately protect us from our enemies and give us victory over the satanic forces of darkness. The pagan kings and their gods will not have the ultimate victory in my life. This belongs to the LORD.

Verse 8. This great LORD will accomplish His plan for my life. He will cause every one of his people to know true eternal success.
Christocentric Perspective – Christ is the fulfilment of all the promises of God. It is through Him that the ultimate enemy Satan has been defeated. His death on the cross, burial, and resurrection has brought the power of God into history through the Holy Spirit in the lives of the Church. The great commission will take the message of Christ and disciple every nation. The gates of hell will not prevail against Christ’s church and the His purpose for us will be totally fulfilled.
Moral Perspective - I should trust in and give praise for the faithful love of the LORD.
Eternal: In the eternal kingdom we will dwell before the Lord and see His Glory face to face. We will be filled with thankfulness and see every enemy of our soul totally crushed and powerless. We will give praise to the LORD out of the fullness of our heart and with every atom of our being. This intense and total worship will fulfil us more than anything else we have ever experienced. This is our ultimate destiny as believers in Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Lord let me see your greatness, express wonder and praise for your greatness, and give to me the strength I need to get through all the struggles I face today. Let me know this is your strength and not mine.

Contemplation: In Christ is the victory!

Action: I will not fear what I read in the paper about politics but I will rejoice in the promises of God to me in our Lord Jesus Christ.

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