Promise Kept

by Scott Vance on April 15, 2021

Psalm 138
This is one of my favorite Psalms because it expresses thanksgiving, praise, and amazing confidence in the Lord.  It’s the first of a final collection of psalms attributed to King David, (Psalms 138-145).  We’re moving to the grand finale of the Psalms which focuses on praising the Lord, but before we get there, there is a short collection of psalms attributed to David.  This collection is bookended by praise and confidence in the Lord, (Psalms 138 and 145) but between those psalms, we hear the psalmist’s heart as he cries out to the Lord as he struggles with his enemies.  Given the start and finish of this little collection, it seems the main point that the psalmist wanted us to know is that the Lord is present with all who love Him.  We see that confidence in Psalm 138.
The psalm can be broken down into three parts, each of which focuses on a confession.  In verses 1-3, the psalmist confesses his faith in the Lord.  In verses 4-6, the kings of the earth will confess the greatness and glory of the Lord.  And in verses 7-8, the psalmist confesses faith in the Lord in the face of his enemies.
The psalm begins with a fierce determination to honor and praise the Lord before the gods.  We know that king David praised the Lord regardless of his circumstances and was willing to voice his praise of the Lord Almighty in the face of false gods.  This was something David experienced in his own life.  Remember, at one point David, while fleeing from king Saul, lived among the Philistines (1 Samuel 27).  He felt the tension of worshipping the Lord while the Philistine culture around him worshipped their gods and yet he remained faithful to the Lord.
The end of the psalm is amazing as well and it’s important to notice in verses 7-8 that the word for “hand” or “hands” is used three times.  The first two times the word “hand” is used, the emphasis is on deliverance from enemies.  The third time “hand” is used, the psalmist is imploring the Lord not to let go of His people, the works of His hands.
What the psalmist is calling to mind is the promise of God not to abandon or let go of His people (Deuteronomy 4.31, Joshua 1.5).  The psalmist is trusting that the Lord will fulfill or perfect His purpose in his life, in the life of God’s people, and looking ahead, in our lives.  The Lord’s steadfast love remains, it endures forever and can never be taken from those who call on His name.  This promise is ultimately expressed in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
We all know that there are times in life when we face difficulties, challenges, and even times when we feel a sense of overwhelming darkness.  Yet, even in those times, we can pray with confidence, knowing that the steadfast love of the Lord, His very presence, is with us.  He holds us and He who is faithful will not forsake or abandon the work of His hands.
The apostle Paul expresses the same confidence in this promise as the psalmist when he tells the Philippians,
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  (Philippians 1:6 ESV)
Since we are held in such trustworthy hands, let us confidently confess our faith in the Lord, and let us do our part to pursue what the Lord Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6.10.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On Earth as it is in heaven.
God bless you and know that you are prayed for constantly.


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