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Daily Bread - Thanksgiving For The Lord's Favor

Scripture For Today

Psalms 138  KJV with revisions 

1 I will praise [you] with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto [you].

I will worship toward [your] holy temple, and praise [your] name for [your] lovingkindness and for [your] truth: for [you]  [have] magnified [your]  word above all [your] name.

In the day when I cried [you]  [answered] me, and [strengthened] me with strength in my soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise [you] O Lord, when they hear the words of [your] mouth.

[And] they shall sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord.

Though the Lord be high, yet [has] he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he [knows] afar off.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, [you] [will] revive me: [you] [shall] stretch forth [your] hand against the wrath of [my] enemies, and [your] right hand shall save me.

The Lord will perfect (accomplish) that which [concerns] me: [your] mercy, O Lord, [endures] for ever: forsake not the works of [your] own hands.


This past Sunday was a great worship day at First Baptist Dallas, TX with the theme of Freedom Day. First, we were given a great lesson from Psalms 138 by our Sunday School teacher (Sunday School is still called that at FBC Dallas), which really spoke to Deb and me. I would like to share some of the high points of the text:

This is one of the Davidic Psalms because it is attributed to King David of ancient Israel (he wrote many of the Psalms).  David is praising and giving thanks to the Lord for His favor upon his life. How oftend do you stop and just praise and thank the Lord for His abundant blessings in your life even in the midst of trouble?  I think few do and woe is me.

Verses 1-3

In these verses David's heart is full of love and praise for the God he serves WITH ALL HIS BEING. We are commanded to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and body. How many do that?  Doesn''t our love for Him have a lot of the world mixed in with it, that is, we love Him up to a point, but we also love many things in this world that competes for His love - right? 

David says he will praise the Lord before the gods. That is a play on words for David believed in a monotheistic God - the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - no other. What he was saying is, all these other gods of man's imagination, I will lift You up and praise you BEFORE all of them even though they are idols. 

Even though there was no temple in David's day, he says he will bow toward God's holy temple and give thanks to His name and for His lovingkindness and truth. This is the kind of man King David was - humble not arrogant or proud nor narcissistic. God said David was a man after his own heart and this was the reason - he was humble before God and man. 

David certainly knew something about God's lovingkindness (mercy) and truth for the Lord had forgiven him of the sin of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah, her husband. By the law David should have been put to death, but God showed him mercy when he repented of his sin. In Psalms 51, which was written after his sin with Bathsheba, he says, "Against You Oh Lord only have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight"; "You desire truth in the innermost part."  David had an intense love for the Law of God and he knew he had seriously violated it and was worthy of capital punishment. If anyone knew the mercy of God first-hand, it was David. Note: David was not saying he did not sin against both Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah, but that His priority sin was against the Lord he served. 

What about us, do we realize as Paul wrote that we are all vessels of mercy (Romans 9:23) in that God by His will chose to forgive us of our inherent sin via the cross and shed blood of Jesus Christ?  The mercy of God is His treating us like we never sinned and His grace is His unmerited favor - two things we do not deserve. David calls that the lovingkindness of God. 

Notice in Verse 2b David says something few understand or contemplate:  God has magnified His Word according to all His name. The KJV says, "above His name". The Hebrew text says EQUAL to His name. The WRITTEN WORD is equal to His mighty name - the Name of the Lord and His Word are the same.  Do you tremble at the Word of God?  How much do you revere and respect it?  How much time do you spend reading and studying it?  

Isaiah 66:2b says, "But to THIS ONE I will look, to him or her who is humble and contrite of spirit and WHO TREMBLES AT MY WORD".  I don't think many tremble at the Word of God today in the sense of great respect for it and for fear of not obeying it or mishandling it.  

When we stand before the Lord to give account of our lives, He is going to primarily deal with us in three principal ways - Did we allow Him to be Lord of our lives? What did we do with His word and how did we treat the Holy Spirit who is given to every believer? If He is Lord of our lives, we will take care of the other two essentials. 

Verses 4-6

David seems to be speaking in futuristic language in these verses when he says, all the kings of the earth will give thanks to the Lord when they hear (by faith) the words of His mouth.  They will also sing of His ways - His great glory. 

We know that did not happen in his day nor is it evident in our day. The modern world is strongly in opposition to the God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus, and Bible-believing Christians. David was perhaps looking forward to the millennial reign of Jesus Christ when the nations will bow before Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. That principal should be practiced in our prayers - praying for the day when the nations will know the Lord by faith IN HIM VIA HIS WORD.  The Word of God is not going away even during His millennial reign for many will need to be taught the Law of God within the gospel truth - how Christ is the fulfillment of the Law in all of its aspects. In fact, the overcomers in their spiritual flesh will be assisting in this teaching.  

Verse 6 is a comforting verse - for though the Lord is highly exalted yet He regards the lowly - that would be us - His people and the workmanship of His mercy and grace to save us and to give us eternal life.  In Isaiah, God says His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts yet He has regard for us. (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Notice also God says the haughty or prideful He only knows from afar - meaning He has no personal relationship with them neither they with Him. However, he knows about them and what they do. In another place in the Scriptures, it says the eyes of the Lord roam to an fro the earth observing everything that humans do both good and evil - nothing escapes his vision or His hearing, He sees and hears everything taking place on planet earth.

Verses 7-8

I found this verse very comforting and personal - Though I walk in the midst of trouble, God will revive me (Hebrew says "keep me alive").  I thought about my time in Vietnam when my fellow marines - the ones in my squad (12 men) were dying all around me yet I was spared. When I rotated back to the States in the last few days of April 1968, I was the only one in my squad left standing - all the others were killed or wounded. There were times when the only the reason and the only explanation I was not killed was that someone was looking out for me. I now know who that was - the Lord Jesus Christ who became my personal Lord and Savior in April 1971. 

The Lord certainly stretched forth His hand against the wrath of the enemy who was trying to kill me and kept me alive for his purposes - later to become a Baptist pastor, a Bible teacher and Christian author.   

We can all know when we are experiencing troubles whatever they may be, we are not in it alone for the Lord is right there with us. What did tell us - Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world - Matthew 28:20.

Verse 7b - His right hand will save (deliver) me. The right-hand of God always speaks of the power and authority of God. David says God's power and authority will deliver me from trouble and from my enemies. That doesn't mean we will never experience trouble, even serious trouble, but if we trust Him during the difficult times not griping or complaining about our uncomfortable situation, even praising Him, He will deliver us. Here is a key right here for accelerating release from attacks from the enemy (Satan) or from others or just natural causes - PRAISING THE LORD NOT FOR THE DIFFICULTY BUT FOR HIS DELIVERANCE FROM IT.  The truth is a lot of our difficulty is due to our own sins and sometimes the Lord has to spank us to get our attention.  That is why the Scriptures often compare believers to sheep - we can be very stubborn in our sins. 

Verse 8 - another comforting verse - The Lord will accomplish what CONCERNS ME. Two important things to know here:  (1) The Lord will accomplish what concerns me NOT THAT I DO IT, that is if I trust Him to guide and direct my life - all of it. (2) The thing that concerns me is that which is within the scope of His Word and will not just anything I am concerned about. If I am concerned about how I am going to buy that new house or new car that I cannot afford or how I can succeed in some get-rich-quick scheme, God has no obligation to accomplish that for us as that is nothing but the desires of our carnal flesh. However, if I am concerned about legitimate needs whatever it may be - food, clothing, shelter or perhaps my health or the health of a loved me; maybe the salvation of a family member or a friend, God says HE will accomplish those things for us - He will see to it that it comes to pass in HIS timing.  IF Christians would live BY FAITH in the Word of God, they would see more of the hand of God in their lives.  Our lives are being impacted so much by technology that there is very little we have to have faith in - everything is being done for us. Pretty soon we will not even have to drive our cars as technology will drive them for us. 

Finally David takes great comfort in the Lord's eternal lovingkindness and that He will not forsake the works of His hand. What is the works of His hand in this verse - His people, for we are His workmanship created unto good works? 

Once we become a child of God via repentance and faith in the shed blood of His cross and by spiritual birth of the Holy Spirit, we are forever the children of God and nothing can separate us or pluck us out of His hand. (John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39).

Well, hope this Psalms has given you comfort and encouragement.

After Sunday School we attended the worship service where the theme was Freedom Day - honoring those who served our nation in the military.  The FBC choir and orchestra were outstanding as they led us in patriotic songs about our nation as well as some of the old hymns. The sanctuary was packed. When the choir and orchestra sang and played the theme song of each branch of service, the veterans were asked to stand.  There was a large number of veterans in attendance. 

Then we heard a great message by Jeff Struecker, retired U.S. Army Ranger and currently pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Columbus, GA.  Jeff served in the Army for 22 years to include combat experience in Panama, Operation Desert Storm, Black Hawk Down in Somalia (he was one of the squad leaders that was sent to rescue one of the downed Black Hawk helicopters - an actor played his part in the Move, Black Hawk Down). He said on that day he was pretty sure he was going to die, but if he was killed or allowed to survive and return home to his pregnant wife, it did not make any difference because he had accepted the Lord Jesus at age 13 and knew that whatever happened, whether to return home to his wife or go to be with the Lord, he would be okay.  He shared that the men in his squad told him he had something they didn't, which gave him the opportunity to share Christ with them. 

He also did more than a dozen combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq receiving many medals including the Bronze Star with the Combat V. He has certainly been through the fire for his nation and we owe him and all like him a great debt of gratitude. 

FBC Dallas gave him a standing ovation after his message on Faith and Fear. 

It was a glorious day at FBC Dallas, TX.

If you are ever in Dallas, I invite you to come and worship with us as you will find a loving fellowship of some of the best people on this earth.