Revere the Word (Psalm 138:1–2) - Radical

Revere the Word (Psalm 138:1–2)

I give you thanks, oh Lord, with my whole heart. Before the gods, I sing your praise. I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your Word.
– Psalm 138:1–2

Did you hear that? There’s this very familiar language in these psalms giving thanks with our whole heart, singing God’s praises, bowing down, giving thanks to God’s name for his steadfast love. I prayed about that according to Psalm 136, his faithfulness. Then listen to the last phrase of Psalm 138:2. “For you have exalted above all things your name and your Word.” What a picture of the supremacy of God’s Word and name.

Psalm 138:1–2 Exalts God’s Name and Word

Now, we often think about God’s name being exalted above all, but Psalm 138:2 makes clear it’s not just his name, it’s his Word. God actually puts his Word on the same plane as his name in supremacy. There is a sense in which the Word of God here alongside the name of God is exalted above all, above all things.

So what does this mean? Does this mean we worship God’s Word? Well, that certainly seems like what Psalm 138:2 is saying, that God’s Word is worthy of our worship. Now, obviously, we know God alone is worthy of our worship, but that’s the beauty of this verse, isn’t it? His Word is the revelation of who God is. So when we look at our Bibles, we should look at this book with reverence and awe, and wonder. We think about how the psalmist talks about trembling before God in worship. Then you think about a place like Isaiah 66. “This is the one whom I esteem, he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my Word.”

Psalm 138:1–2 Encourages Us to Revere God’s Word

I just want to ask you the question based on Psalm 138:2, do you revere, stand in awe of, tremble at the Word of God? I think about Nehemiah 8. As Nehemiah opened up the book, as Ezra the scribe opened up the book. All he did was start reading from it and people stood up and shouted, amen, and they bow down with their faces to the ground, the Word eliciting, driving their worship.

Oh God, we pray for reverence and awe and wonder and worship as we read your Word, as we meditate on it, as we see your character revealed in it, as we see who we are according to your Word and how you redeem us and save us by your grace. Oh God, we pray that you make us a people who do not treat your Word casually, do not handle your Word lightly. We revere your Word that we rise in the morning, we meditate on it day and night, and we are careful to do according to all that is written in it.

Praying for the Dowaniya People

And God, we pray for people who don’t have your Word. We pray for Bible as peoples all around the world. We pray specifically today for the Dowaniya people, indigenous Buddhist people group living in Northeastern India near the Myanmar border. None of them followers of Jesus, none of them who have a copy of your Word in their language. God, we pray that you would cause the Gospel to go to the Dowaniya people of India. We pray that it would cause your Word that’s exalted above all things to be translated among the Dowaniya people that they might know you, that they might worship you according to your Word, that they might be saved. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by your Word. God, we pray for your Word to spread to the Dowaniya people.

Even as we pray that in a land of so many Bibles, those of us who are praying right now on this podcast, we pray that you’d help us to realize, cherish and treat your Word as the treasure it is, is that which you have exalted above all things. We pray this according to your Word in Psalm 138:2 in Jesus name, amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

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