Psalm 138

The Word Made Fresh

(Of David.)

1With my whole heart I will give thanks to you, LORD.
In front of false gods, I will sing your praise.
2I bow down toward your sacred temple
and give thanks to you for your unfailing love and faithfulness,
for your name and your word are above all things.
3You responded to me on the very day I called to you,
and my soul’s strength was renewed.
4All the kings of the earth shall praise you, LORD,
for they have heard your words.
5They shall sing of your ways,
for your glory is great.
6The LORD is high, but has regard for the lowly,
and stays far from the haughty.
7Even though my way is filled with troubles
you keep me safe from my enemies.
You reach out and rescue me.
8I Know the LORD’s purpose for me will be fulfilled,
for the LORD’s steadfast love endures forever.
Do not turn away from the work of your hands!


Superscription: the 65th “psalm of David.”

1-3: A personal prayer of thanksgiving by an individual, perhaps of royal lineage, who has received spiritual strength as an answer to prayer. The reference to the temple post-dates the psalm beyond the time of David, however. The prayer is offered “in front of false gods,” emphasizing the LORD’s prominence above all the deities of other religions.

4-5: As a result of answered prayer somehow all the kings of the earth have cause to praise God as well.

6-8: It is the “lowly,” those who are humble, who are granted an audience by God. The proud are kept at a distance. Dependence on God and God alone for deliverance is a sign of humility, and so the prayer ends with an expression of confidence that God will secure the future. “The work of your hands” in verse 8 is perhaps a reference to Israel.


This little psalm expresses the author’s confidence that everything is in God’s good hands. Nearly every psalm has something to say about enemies, and that is an indicator of the psalmist’s high position as a leader. This psalm is a reminder to begin the day by putting it all in God’s hands, trusting that whatever befalls us, God will never forsake us.