Summary: The older David became, the more pronounced his praise became.
Introduction: This marvellous Psalm was penned by King David under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We never have to worry about the content of the Bible! It is all God-breathed, it is all profitable, and it is all good! When God breathed out each and every word of the Bible, He did not leave any part of it up to man to pen what he thought God was saying, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)
Here, David makes a great statement about his praise. He says in verse 1, "I will praise thee with my whole heart..." David had learned that praise was not supposed to be a half-hearted thing. It was to be done with the whole, entire heart! This is mentioned in the Bible three times:
- "I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works." (Psalm 9:1)
- "Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation." (Psalm 111:1)
- "I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee." (Psalm 138:1)
Perhaps, David had learned that half-hearted service produced half-hearted praise. This is oh-so-true today! Our praise, what there may be of it, becomes as insincere as is our trust in the Lord and His Word.
The older David became, the more pronounced his praise became. He said, "But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more." (Psalm 71:14) Perhaps, hindsight really is 20/20! I know that David believed that because of verse 8, "The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands."
David was looking at the precious promises of God and saying that he knew that the Lord would truly do just as He had promised! The little word "perfect" means "to complete and bring to pass fully."
So, just what was David wanting to teach us in this Psalm?
1.Real praise comes from the heart. - Psalm 138:1
"I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee."
- The "whole heart" means "the complete and entire heart."
- The heart refers here to three specific things:
- David was thoroughly convinced in his MIND that God's Words were true and not mixed with any untruth! We would do well to believe the same way!
- David was thoroughly determined in his WILL that the Lord would perform that which He had promised. He did not decide not to believe the Lord because of his set of circumstances. Again, we would do better if we did not decide before hand how the Lord is or is not going to deal with us in our situation.
- David was thoroughly determined that his EMOTIONS would not get in the way. So many times, we feel a certain way and that alone makes many of our determinations for us. You cannot fully trust your feelings. They tend to be deceptive! "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)
* "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered." (Proverbs 28:26)
- Whole-hearted praise must come from the whole heart! Which part of your heart does not believe God?
2.David believed God's Word. - Psalm 138:2
"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."
- God had already proven the trustworthiness of His Word. The word "magnified" simply means "to be fulfilled beyond all expectations"!
* "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." (Ephesians 3:20)
- It is not up to us to answer prayers for God. He is the One Who gives the very best answers!
3.Believing God gave him encouragement. - 138:3
- "Strengthenedst" means "encouraged me and made me bold."
- We can get lost in our own feelings and come to the place where we start believing what we tell ourselves.
- To be encouraged means to have purpose restored. Once your true purpose is restored, there is strength to be received.
- When you choose to believe what you are telling yourself, you may end up very discouraged and without purpose.
- The Lord gave David purpose, and He did it through His Word.