PSALM 138#A thanksgiving to God, who came to the rescue of the psalmist. Divine rescue was not the result of the psalmist’s virtues but of God’s loving fidelity (Ps 138:1–3). The act is not a private transaction but a public act that stirs the surrounding nations to praise God’s greatness and care for the people (Ps 138:4–6). The psalmist, having experienced salvation, trusts that God will always be there in moments of danger (Ps 138:7–8).
Hymn of a Grateful Heart
I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;#a. [138:1] Ps 9:1.
in the presence of the angels#In the presence of the angels: heavenly beings who were completely subordinate to Israel’s God. The earthly Temple represents the heavenly palace of God. to you I sing.
2I bow low toward your holy temple;
I praise your name for your mercy and faithfulness.
For you have exalted over all
your name and your promise.
3On the day I cried out, you answered;
you strengthened my spirit.
4All the kings of earth will praise you, Lord,
when they hear the words of your mouth.
5They will sing of the ways of the Lord:
“How great is the glory of the Lord!”
6The Lord is on high, but cares for the lowly#b. [138:6] Lk 1:51–52.
and knows the proud from afar.
7Though I walk in the midst of dangers,
you guard my life when my enemies rage.
You stretch out your hand;
your right hand saves me.
8The Lord is with me to the end.
Lord, your mercy endures forever.
Never forsake the work of your hands!