KEY TEXT: Psalms 138:2-3 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.
KEY THOT: The psalmist describes himself as a worshiper who bows down towards God’s holy temple in praise & thanksgiving. Worship is an attitude of praise and thanksgiving, especially for two things: God’s name and God’s Word. When we make these two spiritual realities (God’s name and His word) top priorities in our lives, we can experience the blessings of this psalmist.
The psalmist lists two specific blessings (v.3) of putting God's name and God's Word above all other matters:
- God answers our prayer: “On the day I called, you answered me.” Answer to prayer is always conditional. It is never automatic, even under grace: "and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him" (1 John 3:22).
- God emboldens us: "increase the strength of our soul" (NIV: “You made me bold and stouthearted”). When we seek to honour God's name, we know that He will back us up, for His own glory. If we seek the honour of our own name, there is no guarantee that God will exalt us. This knowledge of God's presence emboldens us and increase the strength of our soul, i.e. make us "bold and stouthearted." Christians should be stout-hearted, not faint-hearted, especially when we know what we are doing is for the honour of His name, not ours.