Scripture reading – Psalm 108

 

Psalm 108 is titled by the editors “A Song or Psalm of David.” While the themes contained in the psalm are like many we have studied (praise and thanksgiving), it includes portions of two other psalms. For example, Psalm 108:1-5 is practically a reiteration of Psalm 57:7-11, while Psalm 108:6-13 is nearly identical to Psalm 60:5-12. It would be speculation on my part to ascertain the purpose of the repetition. I am satisfied the verses are repeated because their message was dear to the king’s heart and fulfilled the LORD’s purpose.

 

A Psalm of Praise and Thanksgiving (Psalm 108:1-5)

 

Assuming David is the author, the Psalm opened with the king declaring, “O God, my heart is fixed” (Psalm 108:1). The “heart” of man in Scripture is more than the physical organ. In its broadest sense, the “heart” refers to the mind, thoughts, and the seat of emotions within man.

Upon what was David’s heart fixed? He had determined his heart and affections would not waver from his purpose to “sing and give praise, even with my glory [honor; riches]” (Psalm 108:1). Not only would the king praise the LORD with his voice, but also on musical instruments: “2Awake [stir up], psaltery [lute; i.e., guitar] and harp: I myself will awake early [at dawn]” (Psalm 108:2). He would unashamedly praise the LORD among his people, and “sing praises unto [God] among the nations” (Psalm 108:3).

What stirred David to passionately praise the LORD? It was the knowledge that the LORD’s mercy (lovingkindness and favor) was boundless (“great above the heavens”), and His truth reached “[beyond] the clouds” (Psalm 108:4). Unable to contain his enthusiasm for the LORD, David exclaimed, “5Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: And thy glory above all the earth” (Psalm 108:5).

A Prayer for Deliverance and Restoration (Psalm 108:6-8)

 

Praying for Israel, David implored the LORD, “That thy beloved [Israel] may be delivered [rescued]: save [help] with thy right hand, and answer me” (Psalm 108:6).

I am unsure what occasioned the king’s prayer and who was a threat to the people, but David found courage in the LORD and wrote: “God hath spoken in his holiness [sacredness; i.e., sanctuary]; I will rejoice [triumph; be jubilant]” (Psalm 108:7). Even before his prayer had been answered, he was confident the LORD would give him victory.

The king planned as though his prayer had been fulfilled and declared, “I will divide Shechem [border town of Manasseh and Ephraim], and mete out the valley of Succoth [city on the east side of Jordan]. 8Gilead is mine [land east of the Jordan and known for pastures]; Manasseh is mine [the tribe that was divided on the east and the west of Jordan]; Ephraim whose land was east of Jordan] also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver [the royal tribe of David]” (Psalm 108:7b-8).

 

David Foresaw the Heathen Would be Subject to His Reign. (Psalm 108:9-10)

“Moab is my washpot [he was the son of Lot, and the land was east of Dead Sea]; Over Edom [i.e., Esau’s lineage; land south of Dead Sea] will I cast out my shoe; Over Philistia will I triumph [south of Palestine on the Mediterranean Sea]. 10Who will bring me into the strong city [fortified, walled city]? Who will lead me into Edom [land south of the Dead Sea]?” (Psalm 108:9-10)

Moab, Edom, and the Philistines were enemies of Israel. By faith, David believed the LORD would bless Israel and his adversaries would become subservient to his rule. David’s prayers were answered, and Moab became so vanquished; they were like a washpot for washing one’s feet. Edom suffered the indignity of shame and defeat. Philistia, against whom David waged war from his youth, fell to Israel. No walled city could stand with the LORD on his side.

 

David Appealed to the LORD to Be with Him (Psalm 108:11-13)

David prayed, “Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off [reject; expel]? And wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts [army on military campaign]?” (Psalm 108:11) The king was confident the LORD was his only source for help. He confessed he dared not place his faith in man. Therefore, he appealed to God:

12Give us help from trouble [enemy; attack]: For vain [worthless; futile] is the help of man.” David then asserted his confidence in the LORD and said, “13Through [with] God we shall do valiantly [power; strength; courage]: For he it is that shall tread down [trample] our enemies” (Psalm 108:12-13).

Closing thoughts –

 

Believer, you may not be facing a mortal enemy who desires to destroy you; however, we all face trials that challenge us to determine where we will turn and whom we will trust. Some turn to fear and flee. Some trust in men, only to find they are unable or unwilling to help.

David gave us a model of overcoming faith. He fixed his heart on God, determined to sing and praise Him (Psalm 108:1-4), and believed the LORD would give him victory (Psalm 108:13).

Faith is the Victory!

 

Questions to consider:

1) What attributes of the LORD were the theme of Psalm 108?

2) What commitments did David make to the LORD in the first five verses? 

3) Out of what divine attribute did the LORD speak? (Psalm 108:7)

4) Why did the psalmist not trust man? (Psalm 108:12)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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