14–20 June 2015.
Psalm 138 launches into a great hymn of praise to God, thanking and worshipping him for his wonderful love and faithfulness. Like many of the other psalms of universal praise (like Psalm 65 or Psalm 117), this psalm tells how the whole earth will join together in praising God.
This isn’t an invitation. Rather it’s a declaration of what the world will actually do! All the earth’s kings, its nations, its peoples, they will all praise God! That’s because it isn’t enough for God just to be praised by tiny Israel. Instead, those other nations will finally leave their own gods and sing praises to Yahweh, worshiping his glory.
Why does God deserve this universal praise? Verse 3 tells us that it’s because God is the one who answers our prayers. God cares for us, listens to us, and he comes to help us.
God doesn’t just limit his love to the Israelites. His love extends to all people in all nations, and (as verse 6 tells us) especially to the weak. God doesn’t focus just on so-called “important people”, on the rich and powerful. Instead God has a special love for the weak and poor. He hears us, and he helps us.
Isn’t this incredible, amazing news! Even though God is the great, eternal and infinite creator and ruler of all things, he still cares about you and me. In a world where other people think they’re too important to care about us, or too busy to listen, God always makes time for you and me.
That’s why after stressing this great universal praise, in verses 7–8 the writer comes back to God’s amazing love for him. With words that sound so much like Ps 23, the writer marvels at this amazing truth: the infinite God, the ruler and defender of all things, takes the time to care about him.
In the same way, we might not always feel so special, and other people may even reject us and tell us we aren’t important at all. But the Creator of the whole universe does care. He cares even for you and me!
Pastor Stephen Lakkis