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Sermon: Praise God with Your Whole Heart, Psalm 138

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Praise God with Your Whole Heart

Psalm 138

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • October 28, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2018


  1. Psalm 138.0 | David Praised and Worshiped the Lord

    0 A Psalm of David.
    1. David knew how to praise the Lord.
      1. He did not get that way by occasionally praising the Lord, but
      2. praising the Lord was David’s life.
        1. He praised the Lord when life was going well.
        2. He praised the Lord when life was not going well.
    2. It seems to me that he used any occasion,
      1. regardless of the goodness or the badness of the moment,
      2. to praise and to worship the Lord.
        1. It was like he looked for an excuse to praise the Lord.
          1. “Today everything is going well in my kingdom. Praise the Lord.”
          2. “Today nothing is going well in my kingdom. Praise the Lord.”
        2. If he could do it, I can do it.
  2. Psalm 138.1–2 | Praise and Worship

    1 I will praise You with my whole heart;
    Before the gods I will sing praises to You.
    2 I will worship toward Your holy temple,
    And praise Your name
    For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
    For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
    1. David praised the Lord with his whole heart.
      1. And why not?
      2. Is that not the way it should be?
        1. God gave you your heart.
        2. God gave you your spiritual heart.
          1. Yet, we are only going to praise Him when the mood strikes?
          2. And even then, just kind of in a passing away?
      3. No, let us follow David’s example.
    2. Praise the one true and living God in the face of the dead and false gods.
      1. The Lord prepared a table for David in the presence of his enemies (Psa 23.5).
      2. Therefore, David praised the Lord in the presence of His enemies, and
        1. those gods could not do a thing about it, because
        2. they were not gods.
      3. Those gods could not keep David from worshiping Jehovah God.
        1. Those gods did not even know what David was doing.
        2. By praising the Lord before the gods, David mocked those gods.
          1. It is truly hilarious.
          2. Hilarious because people think those gods are gods
            1. with power over nature.
            2. Yet, no one worships those gods anymore.
              1. Whereas, you and I worship the same God
              2. that David worshiped and praised.
    3. Worship toward His holy temple.
      1. The temple had not yet been built in David’s time.
      2. Therefore, I think he referred to heaven.
        1. He did not worship toward some image that a man had made, but
        2. he looked toward the place
          1. where the one true and living God lives,
          2. toward heaven itself.
    4. Praise His name for:
      1. His lovingkindness and truth
      2. He has magnified His word above all His name.
  3. Psalm 138.3 | His Help

    3 In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
    And made me bold with strength in my soul.
    1. Why did David praise and worship the Lord?
      1. Why would he sing praises right in front of the gods?
      2. How can the Lord show His lovingkindness and truth?
      3. How had He magnified His word?
      4. Here is how.
    2. David had cried out to the Lord.
      1. The Lord answered David.
      2. The Lord answered David by making him bold with strength in his soul.
        1. Is that not why we pray?
        2. We pray because we want boldness in strength in our souls.
          1. Yes, that happens when we cry out to the Lord for it, but
          2. it also happens when we praise and worship the Lord
            1. even when we have struggles in life.
            2. Some people cease to praise and to worship the Lord
              1. when trouble enters their lives.
              2. That is the time to do what David did.
                1. That is why we know of this great man of God.
                2. He found his purpose for existing in his God.
                  1. That is why David praised the Lord in adversity.
                  2. It is also why David praised the Lord in prosperity.
  4. Psalm 138.4–5 | Praise Him Some More

    4 All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O LORD,
    When they hear the words of Your mouth.
    5 Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
    For great is the glory of the LORD.
    1. David expands the praise of the Lord,
      1. to include the nations, not just Israel,
      2. who would praise the Lord.
        1. David expanded praise for the Lord beyond his own life.
        2. He thought that when others, even people in other nations,
          1. heard about the wonders of our God,
          2. that those people would praise Him also.
      3. This goes along with the promise God made to Abraham,

        18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Genesis 22.18).
    2. When they hear His words, they shall praise Him.
      1. It has happened! David was right.
      2. Look at us right here in this assembly.
        1. Most, if not all of us, are of the nations, not of the Jews.
        2. Yet, what are we doing today in this assembly?
          1. However, David referenced the kings of the earth praising God.
          2. That also happens all the time.
            1. So far every single one of our presidents
            2. at his inauguration has sworn with God’s help to do his duty.
    3. David said they will even sing of His ways,
      1. seeing that great is the glory of the Lord.
      2. For example, the song Battle Hymn of the Republic

        “At one time it was sung as a solo at a large rally attended by President Abraham Lincoln. After the audience had responded with loud applause, the President, with tears in his eyes, cried out, ‘Sing it again!’ It was sung again.“ (

        1. Remember the words of that song glorifying God (Song number 802)
        2. just as Psalm 138 says would happen:

          Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,
          He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
          He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword
          His truth is marching on.

          [The following verse is not in our song books]
          I have seen Him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps;
          they have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
          I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps
          His day is marching on.

          He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
          He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
          O be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant my feet
          Our God is marching on.

          In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
          with a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
          as He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
          while God is marching on.

          Glory! Glory, hallelujah!
          Glory! Glory, hallelujah!
          Glory! Glory, hallelujah!
          His truth is marching on.

  5. Psalm 138.6–7 | The High One Regards the Lowly One

    6 Though the LORD is on high,
    Yet He regards the lowly;
    But the proud He knows from afar.
    7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
    You will stretch out Your hand
    Against the wrath of my enemies,
    And Your right hand will save me.
    1. Those nations will observe in the life of David and of others,
      1. that although the Lord is on high,
      2. He is in heaven above in the most glorious way,
        1. yet, He pays attention to the lowly,
        2. like David as a mere shepherd out in the field tending sheep,
          1. elevating him to the throne of Israel.
      3. The gods of men go the other way.
        1. They start as wood or stone and
        2. want to dwell in the heavens.
    2. Just how high is the Lord?
      1. Verse 1, He is above all the gods.
      2. Verse 2, He is worthy of worship.
      3. Verse 2, He is worthy of thanksgiving.
      4. Verse 3, He answers prayer, making us strong inwardly.
      5. Verse 4, He is greater than all the kings of the earth who sing of Him!
        1. Yet, He notices the lowly.
        2. He helps them.
    3. Whereas, the Lord knows the proud from afar.
      1. He knows who they are.
      2. However, He does not include them.
    4. David said that though he walked in the midst of trouble,
      1. though he walked in the valley of the shadow of death,
      2. the Lord would revive David.
        1. The Lord would stretch out His hand against the wrath of his enemies.
        2. The Lord’s right hand would save the shepherd/king.
          1. For the Lord was with David.
          2. His rod and His staff comforted the shepherd/king.
  6. Psalm 138.8 | His Help Again

    8 The LORD will perfect that which concerns me;
    Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever;
    Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
    1. The Lord had saved David many times in the past,
      1. leading him to confess
      2. that the Lord would perfect or complete that which concerned David.
        1. Even as he had received the Lord’s help in the past,
        2. so David knew that he would receive the Lord’s help in the future.
          1. I think this is something that we need to know.
            1. Why do we worry?
            2. Why do we fear?
          2. We forget what the Lord has done for us in the past.
    2. The Lord had brought David through life
      1. with all its ups and downs.
      2. David knew that the Lord would not suddenly forget about David.
        1. He knew that the Lord would continue working in his life,
        2. perfecting David’s life.
      3. We have this promise of the Lord perfecting us elsewhere.
        1. Isaiah 66.9

          9 “Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?”
          says the LORD.
          Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God.
          (Isaiah 66.9)
        2. Philippians 1.3–6

          3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ… (Philippians 1.3–6).
    3. David remembered that the mercy of the Lord endures forever.
      1. We would do well to remember
      2. that the Lord’s mercy endures forever.
        1. The Lord does not show mercy whimsically, but
        2. He shows it consistently.
    4. Knowing all these things that David wrote in Psalm 138,
      1. he turned to God and
      2. asked Him not to forsake the work of His hands.
        1. David did not want to be forgotten, and
        2. I think that David knew he would not be forgotten,
          1. that is why he wrote this Psalm.
          2. He found that the Lord always helped him in every situation of life.


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