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PSALM 138*

Hymn of a Grateful Heart

1Of David.


I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;a

in the presence of the angels* to you I sing.

2I bow low toward your holy temple;

I praise your name for your mercy and faithfulness.

For you have exalted over all

your name and your promise.

3On the day I cried out, you answered;

you strengthened my spirit.


4All the kings of earth will praise you, LORD,

when they hear the words of your mouth.

5They will sing of the ways of the LORD:

“How great is the glory of the LORD!”

6The LORD is on high, but cares for the lowlyb

and knows the proud from afar.

7Though I walk in the midst of dangers,

you guard my life when my enemies rage.

You stretch out your hand;

your right hand saves me.

8The LORD is with me to the end.

LORD, your mercy endures forever.

Never forsake the work of your hands!

* [Psalm 138] A thanksgiving to God, who came to the rescue of the psalmist. Divine rescue was not the result of the psalmist’s virtues but of God’s loving fidelity (Ps 138:13). The act is not a private transaction but a public act that stirs the surrounding nations to praise God’s greatness and care for the people (Ps 138:46). The psalmist, having experienced salvation, trusts that God will always be there in moments of danger (Ps 138:78).

* [138:1] In the presence of the angels: heavenly beings who were completely subordinate to Israel’s God. The earthly Temple represents the heavenly palace of God.

a. [138:1] Ps 9:1.

b. [138:6] Lk 1:5152.

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