Psalm 138: 4-6
All kings of the earth will acclaim You, LORD,/ for they have heard the words of Your
And they will sing of the ways of the LORD,/ for great is the LORD’s glory.
For high is the LORD yet the lowly He sees/ and the lofty, from a distance, He knows.
It is difficult to know what verse 4, and by extension verse 5, are saying. Well, I guess it’s pretty clear to hear what they are saying but it doesn’t seem to match what is actual. Have most kings heard the words of God’s mouth? By “God” I mean the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What complicates this further is that it is difficult to trace the move from the individual thanksgiving to God to the claim that all the kings of the earth will acclaim God. In places like these it is important that you not shut off your brain and let the words tumble over you. Better to pray and ask for understanding and insight. And search for answers.
The kings of the earth are specifically taken with the ways of the LORD, His typical dealings with His creation. What does God do? Or, more to the point of this psalm: Whom does God see? How does God distinguish Himself – that’s how “glory” is used here, as distinguishing mark, – in His dealings with people?
Let me explain the glory of God, the psalm writer says. This is what separates Him from all others. This is the fact about Him that you never would have arrived at intuitively: “High is the LORD yet the lowly He sees.” And on the flip side, “the lofty, from a distance, he knows.”
Much of life is taken up with making an impression, getting your name out there, becoming a topic of conversation, highlighting your strengths, living big…OK, you see it too.
But this psalm is celebrating the fact that there is no intervening, er…marketing step in God’s rescues. “I called, You answered me.” Not because I became a big-timer, but simply because I called.
I think the words of God’s mouth that the kings will sing of will be similar to those found in Isaiah: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit.” THAT will be the great “Aha” which will be displayed as the big theme that ran throughout history. Not that it’s been hidden (vv 2b; 4b), but it has been incredible.
Easy to say, tough to fathom: GOD SHOWS NO PARTIALITY
Bible Reading: Acts 3: 11-26