"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth: For thou hast magnified thy Word above all thy name."
In Psalm 138, David offers the LORD his wholehearted praise. Interestingly in Psalm 137, the psalmist was having trouble praising the Lord in Babylon. “How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?” (Psalm 137:4). In the following psalm, David is ready to offer praise to God in front of the pagan gods” (v. 1). Because of the Lord’s lovingkindness (loyal love) and goodness in answering David’s prayer, he promises to worship and praise Him (vv. 1-3). David desires all the kings of the earth to acknowledge God’s benefits to the humble (vv. 4-6). And then, David concludes that the Lord will deliver him from his enemies, showing David His eternal mercy in his life as He cares for him (vv. 7-8). Verse 2 is where we will meditate today.
“I will worship.”
Humble David promises that he will “bow down and adore”  the Lord. David’s example teaches us how to fear the Lord as we ought.
“Toward thy holy temple.”
David was careful to direct his worship to the Lord and no other.
“But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple” (Psalm 5:7).
“Thy Holy Temple”
“The psalmist honors the temple because it is Yahweh’s residence on earth”  (FSB).
Which “Temple?” Before Samuel was born, the “Temple” was a tent (tabernacle) in Shiloh where Eli was the high priest. The people came to worship there (1 Samuel 1:9). Later, in David’s time, the “Temple” was still a tent, the tabernacle that Moses built. It was located in Gibeon (2 Chronicles 1:3). David strongly desired to bring the “Temple” to Jerusalem and make a permanent dwelling place for God. David also recognized “the Temple of God” as being in heaven. He said –
“In my distress, I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even into His ears” (Psalm 18:6).
This may have been the “Temple” David was referring to here. Although David was allowed to accumulate the building materials, God did not allow him to build the “Temple,” which was to stand in Jerusalem. David had been a warrior king and was a man with bloody hands (1 Chronicles 22:8). After David’s death, his son Solomon had the honor of constructing the “Temple.”
“And praise thy name for thy lovingkindness.”
David was always quick to praise the Lord for His loyal love shown to him.
“Praise would be the main part of David’s worship; the name or character of God the great object of his song; and the special point of his praise the grace and truth which shone so conspicuously in that name”  (Spurgeon).
This love shows up as God’s mercy, His kindness to His child.
“For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds” (Psalm 108:4).
“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake” (Psalm 115:1).
“For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth forever. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 117:2).
The Lord God is worthy of our praise for His loving, faithful mercy to us.
“And for thy truth.”
David knew that Jehovah was always truthful! He is ever faithful to His promises. He will never lie to us. This is the picture of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who is coming to redeem us. He is “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15).
“For thou hast magnified thy word.”
How does God feel about His Word, and how important is it to Him?
“In God, I will praise His word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me” (Psalm 56:4).
“In God will I praise His word: in the LORD will I praise His word” (Psalm 56:10).
“The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the law, and make it honorable” (Isaiah 42:21).
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18).
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
Notice that God has magnified His Word. He has made His Word great. God made His promises clear to David. What He promised David, He will do. And dear believers, He will accomplish what He has assured us in His Word!
“Above all thy name.”
God has elevated His Word above His name! 
“God has such a high estimation of His word that He has magnified it above His very name, His character”  (EWC).
“It would be as if God is saying, ‘I value my integrity above everything else. Above everything else, I want to be believed.’ The verse does not have to mean that God’s other qualities are moved to second place”  (Boice).
Believers, this puts God’s Word of the highest importance to us. We ought to be busy reading, meditating, loving, and building the Word of God into our lives and character.
Quote: “When we read Scripture without listening to God, Scripture is sabotaged”  (Eugene Peterson).
 BNB – Albert Barnes. Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, the electronic version in eSword.
 FSB – John D. Barry, Douglas Mangum, Derek R. Brown, et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ps 138:2.
 TOD – C.H. Spurgeon. Treasury of David, the electronic version in eSword.
 BNB, ibid. “The word name here would refer properly to all that God had done to make himself known – since it is by the name that we designate or distinguish anyone; and, thus understood, the meaning would be that the word of God – the revelation which he has made of himself and of his gracious purposes to mankind – is superior in clearness, and in importance, to all the other manifestations which he has made of himself; all that can be known of him in his works.”
 EWC – David Guzik. Enduring Word Commentary, the electronic version in eSword.
 Boice’s quote is borrowed from EWC, ibid.
 Peterson’s quote downloaded: July 28, 2022. From: https://www.wow4u.com/qgod10/.