Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
<<A Psalm of David.>> I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.
Ps 138:1-8. David thanks God for His benefits, and anticipating a wider extension of God's glory by His means, assures himself of His continued presence and faithfulness.
1. I will praise thee with my whole heart—(Compare Ps 9:1).
before the gods—whether angels (Ps 8:5); or princes (Ex 21:6; Ps 82:6); or idols (Ps 97:7); denotes a readiness to worship the true God alone, and a contempt of all other objects of worship.
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
2. (Compare Ps 5:7).
thy word above all thy name—that is, God's promise (2Sa 7:12-16), sustained by His mercy and truth, exceeded all other manifestations of Himself as subject of praise.
In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
3-5. That promise, as an answer to his prayers in distress, revived and strengthened his faith; and, as the basis of other revelations of the Messiah, it will be the occasion of praise by all who hear and receive it (Ps 68:29, 31; Isa 4:3).
All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.
Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD.
5. for great is the glory—or, "when the glory shall be great," in God's fulfilling His purposes of redemption.
Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.
6, 7. On this general principle of God's government (Isa 2:11; 57:15; 66:2), he relies for God's favor in saving him, and overthrowing his enemies.
knoweth afar off—their ways and deserts (Ps 1:6).
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
8. God will fulfil His promise.