Ep.279: Psalm 138: Though I Walk in the Midst of Trouble.

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.

In Psalm 137, the poet refused to sing for his captors in Babylon. Psalm 138 places the poet in Jerusalem, singing, praising, and worshipping in the temple.

Psalm 138 follows a trajectory we have come to know and love in the psalms. The poet opens with thanks and praise because God heard and delivered him (vv. 1-3). Then he says that God is worthy of world-wide praise because he looks after the world, not just Israel (vv. 4-5). Finally, the poet gives a personal testimony, saying:
  Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
      you preserve my life.
  You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes,
      with your right hand you save me (vv. 6-7).

The psalm ends with hope and a request: 
   The Lord will vindicate me;
      your love, Lord, endures for ever–
      hold fast the works of your hands (v. 8). 

The poet’s prayer is that this God of everlasting love will hold him tight, and never let him go. 

Let’s pray. 

We praise you, Lord, with all our hearts,
  before the gods we sing your praise (v. 1). 

We praise you above the gods of consumerism that rule our greedy society. Black Friday sales and Christmas discounts and Boxing Day extravaganzas are nothing compared to the glory of your name. As Jesus said, “Is not life more than food and your body more than clothes?” (Mat 6:25). 

We praise you above the gods of violence that rule the military-industrial complex. Armed drones roam the skies. Satellites spy on the earth. Ballistic missiles are armed and ready. But you are God of the world, king over the presidents of America, China, and Russia. 

  May the kings of the earth praise you, Lord,
    when they hear what you have decreed (v. 4). 

  Though you are exalted, God, you look on the lowly. As the poet says,
    Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
      you preserve my life (vv. 6a, 7). 

Thank you for not running credit checks to determine if we’re worthy. Thank you for not charging interest on our outstanding balance. Thank you are not mercenary, your motives not mixed, nor your advertising false. Thank you that as we walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve us.   

Thank you that your love endures forever,
    That you do not abandon the work of your hands (v. 8). 

We are the work of your hands, you are the breath that we breathe, you are the light in our darkness. Heal us of our sin sickness. Give our churches light and life. Restore our nations to sanity, our leaders to reality, our philosophers to wisdom. Do not forsake the world you made. Then with the poet:
  We will praise you with our whole heart,
      singing your praise before the gods (v. 1).    


I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”. 

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