I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart; I will sing your praises before the gods (Psalm 138:1, NLT).
Psalm 138 can be read as an allegory for the church today.
I know it’s sophisticated prose for today’s Psalms On Saturday, but we can handle it, so let’s begin with the question on everyone’s mind . . .
What is an allegory?
An allegory figuratively represents something else. Psalm 138 was written by David when he was a young king. God’s purposes were for David to become a strong king who united all of Israel.
The nations surrounding Israel didn’t want a strong king or a united nation. Today the forces of evil surround every aspect of culture in America, and do not want a strong and united church following Jesus.
Let’s consider this allegory – the nation of Israel in Psalm 138 is like the Church today.
In verse one, David begins by singing that God alone is worthy of praise. Then he proclaims . . .
I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name (v. 2).
When surrounded by enemies, we should remember God’s promises. David proclaimed God’s promises of elevating Israel above all other nations and that Jesus would be lifted above all other gods.
We see similarities between God’s promises for Israel in Psalm 138 and His promises to us in 2 Peter 1:4 . . .
Because of the glory and excellence of Jesus, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
Then King David proclaims . . .
As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength (v. 3).
Now hear the words of Jesus for us today . . .
You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it so that the Son can bring glory to the Father (John 14:13).
In short succession in Psalm 138, King David makes extravagant claims of God keeping His promises and His eternal protection of Israel . . .
Every king in all the earth will thank you, Lord, for all of them will hear your words (v. 4).
Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me (v. 7).
You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me (v. 7).
The Biblical promises for us are the same . . .
God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places (Ephesians 3:10).
Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence (Ephesians 3:12).
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
I appreciate the allegory of God’s care for Israel and the church today.
Psalm 138 ends with one of the great promises of the Bible. The next time we feel defeated, let’s remember this pledge from God to both Israel and us today.
The Lord will work out his plans for our lives – for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever (v. 8).