Psalm 138 (NRSV)
Verse 1I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;
Verse 2I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.
Verse 3On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.
Verse 4All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth.
Verse 5They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.
Verse 6For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away.
Verse 7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.
Verse 8The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
In this psalm of thanksgiving and praise, the psalmist declares a lasting dependence upon God and rejoices in the repeated deliverance that has been experienced in the past. This is one who clearly knows the steadfast love and faithfulness of God not only through the stories of others but through personal experience. Even in the midst of current troubles the psalmist expresses trust in God’s on-going presence and help, and in so doing invites hearers to do the same. But just in case, this trust is bolstered by calling on God to remember God’s character, pleading with God to remember “the work of God’s hands” in the past. The invitation to us is clear. When life is hard, we too can remember God’s past faithfulness, dare to remind God of our need, and trust that God will hear our prayers.
Holy God, generations before us have given witness to your steadfast love and faithfulness. Open our eyes to your work in the world and add our voices to that witness. Grant us courage to call on you in times of fear and doubt. Amen.