Doctrinal and Practical Remarks on Psalm 138 – Wm. Plumer

Doctrinal and Practical Remarks on Psalm 138 – Wm. Plumer

William S. Plumer’s Doctrinal and Practical Remarks on Psalm 138:1-8

1. Nothing can release us from the obligation to utter the praises of God for all his benefits; and no good man wishes it were otherwise, v. 1.Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 8.28.37 AM

2. In all acts of worship, in praise particularly, the heart is called for. Reluctance in this service obviously spoils it all, v. 1. Holy mirth as well befits the grateful, as holy sorrow, the penitent.

3. Whoever would worship God aright must be prepared to resist servile fear, the fear of man, the dread of reproach and the vain show of false worship. He must be afraid of nothing so much as of offending God, v. 1.

4. Public worship is no less a duty than private worship. God openly bestows his favors; our acknowledgments ought to be before heaven and earth, vv. 1, 2.

5. If the best and most intelligent Christians of modern tiles extol the Scriptures, they do but follow the example of ancient worthies and of God himself, v. 2.

6. Prayer is a mighty power in the world. It has been so from the beginning, v. 3. Even where the thing asked for is not obtained, the Lord bestows something better. Henry: “Those that trade with heaven by prayer grow rich by quick returns.”

7. It matters little how sharp our trials, if our fortitude and courage are proportioned to them, v. 3. Strength in the soul is the best strength in the world.

8. It has always been true and is now truth that good days, the best days of the church, are yet to come, v. 4. Dark as things often are, the day-star has arisen and shall yet be followed by meridian splendor.

9. As it is a great dishonor to religion when its professors make long faces and give the impression to others tha they have gloomy work in God’s service; so it is much to the honor of God when his servants show by their songs of gladness and by their whole manner that they serve a good Master, vv. 4, 5. Such do mightily glorify the God of their salvation.

10. Unspeakable is the condescension of God, v. 6. He takes the poor from the dunghill and set him among princes. The penitent, who by crime or imprudence has lost the friendship of men, is visited even in his dungeon, and made glad in the Lord. On nothing does God set a higher value than on genuine humility. He, who has that, is never a reprobate.

11. Nor is anything a greater offense to God than pride, v. 6. He has set his face against it. He will not endure it in man or angel.

12. Sometimes the number, greatness or strangeness of the sufferings of God’s people make their friends cold and shy; but it is far different with the Lord, v. 7. He is more abundantly and graciously with them then than at any other time. Blessed be his name.

13. The Old and New Testaments do well agree in doctrine and promises, respecting the final victory of all believers. He, who begins a work of grace, will finish it, v. 8; compare Phil. 1:6.

14. We cannot have too strong or too abiding a sense of the kindness of God, v. 8. “There can be no doubt that the way to maintain good hope in danger is to fix our eyes upon the divine goodness, on which our deliverance rests.”

15. The Almighty is too great and glorious in all his perfections to make a creature or begin a work, and then change his counsel and review his own wisdom, v. 9. Weakness may give up a plan devised by folly; but it is far otherwise with God.

Plumer, William S. Psalms, A Critical and Expository Commentary with Doctrinal and Practical Remarks, The Geneva Series of Commentaries (Carlisle: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), 1159-60.