The Action of Compassion

The Action of Compassion

Pastor Don Carpenter

Facets of Compassion

Let’s suppose for a moment that it was Friday night and you wanted to go to a movie. You’re running late for the movie because you got home late, and then once you put down the keys, you forgot where you placed them. It was frustrating but you did find them. You finally jump into the car and you’re on way making good time until you come up behind a blue car. You are on a two lane road with a solid yellow line down the middle which means no passing. The car in front of you is doing twenty in a thirty five mile an hour zone. You want to grab some popcorn before going into the movie. You are starting to wonder, where did the person in front of you get her license. What’s going on in your mind at this point?

Would it make a difference to you, if you knew that woman was heading home from the hospital to an empty house. She had driven to the hospital an hour earlier. Her husband of 40 years and her only son had arrived at the hospital dead after being in an automobile accident. She didn’t have anyone she could call on to come and drive her home. She didn’t want to leave her car at the hospital. She was crying and driving 20 miles an hour in a 35 mph zone right in front of you.

If you had of known this information, you would have still been late for the movie, but you probably would have had some compassion. You probably would have prayed for her. What you would have done is that you would have put yourself in her place and thought what you would have needed if you had been her.

Last week we discovered that the English word “compassion” is packed with so much meaning, that there are 5 Greek New Testament words that are all translated the same way. Last week we looked at three of those words as we learned how to cultivate the feeling of compassion. We learned that it was a personal choice to feel compassion. We also saw that our feeling of compassion was tied into our perception of things. We need to see people through the eyes of Jesus in order to experience the feeling of compassion that Jesus had. We also saw that compassion came when we shared common experiences.

Today we will look at two words that move us to the action of compassion. As we examine these words we will discover that we have a story of compassion to share with others, a debt of compassion to pay forward, an example of compassion to follow. Let us take a closer look and see how we can put compassion into action.

We Have a Story of Compassion to Share With Others

Our Situation was hopeless – like the demoniac of the Gadarenes

Mark 5:1–5 KJV

And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. 

And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 

Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 

Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. 

And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

Ephesians 2:1–2 KJV

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

 • Every one of us were, and maybe still are, as hopelessly enslaved as that demoniac.  

 • Sin enslaves, whether it is the bottle, the bed, or the pride of life.  Every one of us were enslaved both to the lifestyle and consequences of sin.

Romans 3:12 KJV

They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

 • The ravages of sin will kill us if we are not delivered

James 1:13–15 KJV

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Hope Appeared When Jesus Appeared

Mark 5:6–7 KJV

But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, 

And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

 • Our first encounter with Christ can be very unsettling.

 • To see His holiness is to see our wretched condition.

 • Jesus is not the enemy

Jesus Sets the Captive Free!

Mark 5:8–13 KJV

For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. 

And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. 

And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 

Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. 

And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 

And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

John 8:32 KJV

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

The Mission now is to show compassion by sharing the story of Christ’s compassion toward you.

 Mark 5:15–19 (KJV)

 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 

 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. 

 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. 

 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. 

 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words Compassion, Compassionate

 eleeo (?????, 1653), “to have mercy

 • If you are born again, you have at least one story of compassion. God reached down to you in your wretched state and pulled you out. He HAD MERCY/ PITY/ COMPASSION

 • Someone in your life needs to hear that they too have hope because you found hope. Have compassion on them by sharing the story of the compassion Jesus had on you.

We Have a Debt of Compassion to Pay Forward  

We have a debt we cannot pay.

Matthew 18:21–25 KJV

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 

Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 

Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 

And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 

But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

Romans 3:23 KJV

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 6:23 KJV

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus Forgave Our Debt

Matthew 18:26–27 KJV

The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 

Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Romans 5:8 KJV

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16 KJV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

We Must Put Compassion into Action by Forgiving the Debt of Others.

 Matthew 18:28–33 (KJV)

 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 

 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 

 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 

 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 

 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 

 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

Matthew 6:12 KJV

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Ephesians 4:32 KJV

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

“Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin.

It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.”

SOURCE: Frederick Buechner, “Wishful Thinking.” Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1973.

We Have an Example of Compassion to Follow  

Jesus Our High Priest Was also our Example

 Hebrews 5:1–2 (KJV)

 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: 

 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

 Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament)

 ??????????? (metriopathe?): deal gently with 

Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament III. Exegesis of the Letter

Metripatheo (??????????) means to be moderate or tender in judgment toward another’s errors. It speaks of a state of feeling toward the ignorant and the erring which is neither too severe nor too tolerant. The high priest must be careful lest he become irritated at sin and ignorance. He must also take care that he does not become weakly indulgent.

 • Toward the ignorant

 • Toward the wayward

 • Because you are surrounded by your own weakness.

Our Compassion on Doubters Can Make a Difference in their Rescue

Jude 22–23 KJV

And of some have compassion, making a difference: 

and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

 Look at sinful men as mad, and you will pity them and bear with them.

 Charles Spurgeon


We live in a cold cruel world, but we have been called, as Christ Followers, to feel and practice the same compassion He modeled for us. We have a story of compassion to share. We have a debt of compassion to pay forward. We have an example of compassion to follow. May God help us as we put our feelings of compassion into action.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:55 AM March 9, 2023.

You Came Down To My Level

You Came Down to my Level – Praise Beyond Expectation

Pastor Don Carpenter

Praise Eruption / Psalm 138:6–8

 William Barclay told of a bright young woman who contracted a crippling disease that left her partially paralyzed. She had been an outdoor person, loving sunshine and sports, but now her world had turned into shadows. One day a friend brought her a book on the theme of Christian joy, written in a vivid, radiant style. As the girl took the book in her gnarled fingers, she spoke quietly, “Certainly, I know this book.”

 Her friend replied, “Have you read it before?”

 “Yes,” replied the cripple. “You see, I wrote it.”

Jones, G. C. (1986). 1000 illustrations for preaching and teaching (p. 277). Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Welcome to the final sermon on Psalm 138: “Praise Eruption”. This God inspired song was written as an explosive emotional response to the ever increasing amount of skeptics, heathen, and doubters that plagued the Psalmist on a regular basis. As we reflect on this Psalm, we can learn from David. We saw his initial response to the opposition was a bold declaration of intent to praise. As he moved from that we say him give a detailed personal account of God’s hearing, answering, and delivering during an evil day. Last week we saw how the psalmist who was also a prophet, reflected upon a day when all the kings would be believing kings. He told of a day yet to come when every knee would bow and every tongue would sing praise. Today as this song reaches a climatic end, David focuses on a compare and contrast device. He tells us about the reasons that hope and praise would be unlikely, but shows that God comes through anyway. Many of us can echo this same sentiment back to God with a heart erupting with praise… Oh God You Came Down to My Level! We can offer an anthem of praise beyond expectation!

Even Though God Is High…

 Psalm 138:6 (KJV)

 Though the LORD be high…

Psalm 113:5 KJV

Who is like unto the LORD our God, Who dwelleth on high,

Isaiah 6:1 KJV

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Yet He Has Respect to the Lowly

 Psalm 138:6 (KJV)

 Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: 

John Phillips in his commentary makes this observation:

 “Though the Lord be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly: but the proud He knoweth afar off.” How high He is. “I saw … the Lord … high and lifted up,” said Isaiah. He is higher than the highest heaven, His throne is exalted above the stars. Between Him and the highest archangel of glory is a gulf so vast as to be infinite.

 How lowly we are. When Isaiah saw the Lord he became aware at once of his own despicable condition. “Woe is me,” he said, “I am undone.” Prophet that he was, gifted man that he was, confident before kings as he was, one glimpse of the Lord and Isaiah was filled with a sense of his unworthiness and shame. Even his lips, the words he spoke, horrified him. Yet the Lord had respect for him and lifted him up.1

1 Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 138:6). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp

Isaiah 57:15 KJV

For thus saith the high and lofty One That inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

James 4:6 KJV

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

1 Peter 5:6 KJV

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

He Still Sees What the Proud Are Up To

 Psalm 138:6 (KJV)

 Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: But the proud he knoweth afar off.

But the proud. Those of lofty rank, and of lofty feelings;—the haughty.

 He knoweth afar off. From afar. Though he is exalted,—though he is in heaven,—yet he is not so far removed but that he sees them, and knows them altogether. Distance from him is no protection for them; nor can the wicked hope to escape notice from the fact that God reigns over distant worlds.1

1 Barnes, A. (1870–1872). Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 289). Blackie & Son.

Psalm 1:6 KJV

For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Even Though I Walk In The Middle of Trouble…

 • David turns his words back to addressing God personally in praise.

 Psalm 138:7 (KJV)

 Though I walk in the midst of trouble…

But the proud. Those of lofty rank, and of lofty feelings;—the haughty.

He knoweth afar off. From afar. Though he is exalted,—though he is in heaven,—yet he is not so far removed but that he sees them, and knows them altogether. Distance from him is no protection for them; nor can the wicked hope to escape notice from the fact that God reigns over distant worlds.1

1 Barnes, A. (1870–1872). Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 289). Blackie & Son.

 • I know how this will turn out- a declaration of worship directed to God himself.

You (God) will revive me

Psalm 119:50 KJV

This is my comfort in my affliction: For thy word hath quickened me.

He has nothing to worry about. His despondency and despair will be banished the moment he sees the situation in the light of God’s omnipotence and omniscience. No matter that he walks in the midst of trouble—an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God is with Him.1

1 Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 138:7a). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

You (God) Will Rescue Me

 Psalm 138:7 (KJV)

 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: Thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies…  

Psalm 91:2 KJV

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: My God; in him will I trust.

God will stretch out His hand against the wrath of His enemies. The stretching forth of God’s hand is a well-known Old Testament synonym for judgment. No power in the universe can withstand the stretching out of God’s hand.

It was stretched out in the days of Daniel, when proud Belshazzar mocked the living God by using the sacred vessels of the temple for a drunken feast. What a display of pomp and world power was manifested in the palace that night. Everyone who was anyone was there: the great of the land, lords and ladies, the chiefs of the military. What a feast! What revelry! What ribald mocking of Jehovah! What scenes of debauchery! Then suddenly, silently, out of the sleeve of the night came the outstretched hand of God. Across the palace wall that hand moved, leaving behind it a message none could read. That was all it took to reduce proud Belshazzar’s pride. God is able to humble the haughtiest of persons.1

1 Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 138:7a–b). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

Your (God’s) Right Hand Will Save Me.

 Psalm 138:7 (KJV)

 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.

Matthew 25:41 KJV

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Psalm 20:6 KJV

Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; He will hear him from his holy heaven With the saving strength of his right hand.

Even Though I am Flawed…

Psalm 138:8 KJV

The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: Forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Isaiah 42:16 KJV

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, And crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

Here is the ultimate secret of God’s seeming delays in delivering us from the apparent triumph of the enemy: He is working on us. He uses adverse circumstances to perfect us, to accomplish some wise and wonderful purpose He has in mind for us.11 Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 138:8)

You (God) will Finish the Work You Started In Me.

 Psalm 138:8 (KJV)

 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: Forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Philippians 1:6 KJV

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

1 Peter 5:10 KJV

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me. He will complete what he has begun. He will not begin to interpose in my behalf, and then abandon me. He will not promise to save me, and then fail to fulfil his promise. He will not encourage me, and then cast me off. So of us. He will complete what he begins. He will not convert a soul, and then leave it to perish. “Grace will complete what grace begins.” See Notes on Phil 1:6.11 Barnes, A. (1870–1872). Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 289). Blackie & Son.

Your (God’s) Mercy Endures Forever

 Psalm 138:8 (KJV)

 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: Forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Psalm 136:1 KJV

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 100:5 KJV

For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; And his truth endureth to all generations.

Jeremiah 32:40 KJV

And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

We Are the Work of Your (God’s) Hands

 Psalm 138:8 (KJV)

 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: Forsake not the works of thine own hands.

 • Therefore the prayer that reveals frail faith will not only be tolerated, but answered in the affirmative.

Prayer is one of the means—and an essential means—by which the saints are to be kept unto salvation. The doctrine of the “perseverance of the saints,” is not inconsistent with prayer, but rather prompts to it; and he who professes to rely on that doctrine, and feels so safe that he does not need to pray, and does not pray, gives certain evidence that he has never been converted, and has no true religion.11 Barnes, A. (1870–1872). Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 290). Blackie & Son.

Psalm 100:3 KJV

Know ye that the LORD he is God: It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Psalm 64:8 KJV

So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: All that see them shall flee away.

Psalm 119:49 KJV

ZAIN. Remember the word unto thy servant, Upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

Ephesians 2:10 KJV

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Isaiah 64:8 KJV

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; We are the clay, and thou our potter; And we all are the work of thy hand.

Pastor John Phillips tells the following story:

Years ago I met a potter who made his home in Bethlehem. His little place was on a side road off the beaten track where he had found a field of suitable clay. I went in and there he was with a piece of clay in his hands. He was working it over, holding it first in this hand, then in that, as he punched and pounded it. It was cold, hard, stiff, and he was making it warm, soft, malleable.

Next he put that piece of clay on his wheel, drew up his stool, moistened his hands, and went to work. For awhile he exerted pressure on that clay with his hands from the outside, and that outside pressure made it grow. The clay grew taller and taller as he kept the pressure on. Without that pressure it would have remained a shapeless lump, but with it the clay grew.

Then he moistened his hands again and with his thumb made a hollow in the top of that clay cylinder. As soon as the hollow was deep enough he began pressing inward and downward with his fingers until he could get his whole hand inside the cavity. He was now putting pressure on the inside. That inside pressure gave the clay shape and form and capacity. Without it, it would have remained a cylinder of clay, incapable of holding anything.

The potter then took his vessel off the wheel and put it in the furnace, a very primitive furnace, fired by pieces of wood. I didn’t stay for the whole process, but for hour after hour that clay was there, in the furnace and the heat. All the time the potter was there, feeding the furnace, knowing just how hot to keep it. He never allowed it to get too hot or too cold. At last it was finished. The potter took out the finished piece and put it on display on a shelf outside his shop—a tribute to the skillful-ness of his hands. All through that process the potter was perfecting his work; now it was on display. That is what David discovered: “Thou wilt perfect that which concerneth me; Thy mercy, O Lord, endures for ever. Forsake not the works of Thine hands.” – John Phillips

It is true, this world is no friend of the truth or of the real God. Our response that opposition must be like King David… let us make a declaration of intent to praise. Let us tell the story of our day of deliverance. Let us remember that one day every knee will bow and every king shall sing praises. Let our hearts burst with praise when we realize that the High God came down to our level and gave us a reason to praise beyond expectation.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:52 PM February 23, 2023.

World Wide Praise

World Wide Praise

Pastor Don Carpenter

Praise Eruption / Psalm 138:4–5

 A little five-year-old girl had been attending the church kindergarten. Each day before the children were dismissed, the teacher had them sing the Doxology, which the little five-year-old loved to sing, but in her own words. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures, here we go!”

—Christian Parent

1 Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (p. 244). Bible Communications, Inc

It is good to teach the children to praise, even if they do not fully understand. Bible believers are faced with skepticism and opposition on every side. The Biblical response is to PTLA! Praise the Lord Anyway! God manifests His presence in praise! 

 God reaches the world as His people open up and passionately praise Him!

Welcome to the third message in our series through Psalm 138 entitled “Praise Eruption!” So far we have seen David’s response to the doubt, paganism, and idolatry of his day first by making a bold declaration of intent to praise. This praise would be so clear and passionate as to serve notice to all the false gods who the real God really is.  

Psalm 138:1–2 KJV

I will praise thee with my whole heart: Before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. 

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.

David’s next response was to recount his experience during the Evil Day. He cried out to God, God answered, and God strengthened his very soul. 

Psalm 138:3 KJV

In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, And strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.

This morning we will discover that in the next layer of David’s praise eruption, the sweet psalmist told of a time, yet in the future, when the world’s leadership would someday praise God along with the rest of the believers. Think of that my friends. As the Gospel spreads, both the lowly and the affluent are won to the truth. Everyone that encounters faith in Christ bows the knee and the ground is level at the foot of the cross.

All the Kings Will Praise God

 Psalm 138:4 (KJV)

 All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, When they hear the words of thy mouth.

Psalm 72:11 KJV

Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: All nations shall serve him.

Psalm 102:15 KJV

So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, And all the kings of the earth thy glory.

Albert Barns makes this observation:

 All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, etc. That is, kings, princes, and rulers shall learn the words of promise; shall be made acquainted with the words which thou hast graciously spoken, and with their fulfilment, and shall be led to praise thee. This refers to a time, of which frequent prophetic mention is made in the Scriptures, when kings and rulers shall be converted to the true religion, and when they shall act an important part, by their example and influence, in maintaining and diffusing it. Comp. Ps. 68:31, 32; Isa. 49:23.11 Barnes, A. (1870–1872). Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 288). Blackie & Son.

The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, preached these words about this passage:

 According to the connection this is spoken of kings. “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.” It will be a novel spectacle to see kings singing in the ways of the Lord. As a rule they have not much troubled themselves therewith, but they have often troubled those who love the ways of God, and opposed them, both by their laws and by their example. There will be another order of things in the earth yet. These days will be shortened for the elect’s sake, and the time shall come when kings shall fall down before the King of kings, and all people shall call Jesus blessed. Oh that the time may speedily arrive when a choir of kings shall with loud voice magnify the name of the Lord.11 Spurgeon, C. H. (1881). Singing in the Ways of the Lord. In The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (Vol. 27, p. 473). Passmore & Alabaster.

The Kings Will Praise In Response to Hearing God’s Word

 Psalm 138:4 (KJV)

 All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, When they hear the words of thy mouth.

 37 The power of the word is not in people’s ability to summarize the message they’ve heard. Rather it is the power of God’s word piercing the soul.

 R. C. Sproul

 Saved from What? (2002)

Malachi 1:11 KJV

For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same My name shall be great among the Gentiles; And in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: For my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

Pastor John Phillips said this in his commentary about this verse:

 The kings of the earth will hear the words of His mouth, as David says. They will say, “Never man spake like this man.” They will come, like the queen of Sheba, from the ends of the earth to see Him, to listen to Him. Each will return saying, “Behold, the half was never told me.”11 Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 138:4–5). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

Psalm 102:15–16 KJV

So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, And all the kings of the earth thy glory. 

When the LORD shall build up Zion, He shall appear in his glory.

The Kings Will Sing In Response to God’s Revealed Glory

Psalm 138:5 KJV

Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: For great is the glory of the LORD.

 God’s glory is and must forever remain the Christian’s true point of departure. Anything that begins anywhere else, whatever it is, is certainly not New Testament Christianity.1

 A. W. Tozer

 • There is coming a Day when all will turn to THE KING

Isaiah 57:15 KJV

For thus saith the high and lofty One That inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

This is looking forward to a time when Jesus reigns as King of Kings and the whole world will acknowledge it!

Philippians 2:9–11 KJV

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

John Phillips masterfully captured the thought of this verse:

 And they will sing! When the rulers of the world meet in conference now, they do not open their sessions with song. They neither sing nor pray. There is not much to sing about and most of them do not believe in prayer. The rulers and delegates of the nations meet to discuss the storm clouds that hang, now here, now there, over the world, or to discuss this crisis or that outrage or this famine or that economic woe. What with the hostilities, rivalries, and jealousies of both superpowers and lesser powers, there is not much to sing about (though there is plenty to pray about) when the nations convene in conference. They squabble now. They will sing then.11 Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 138:4–5). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

 • They will respond to the revealed Glory of King Jesus.

For great is the glory of the Lord. Great is his character; great his dignity; great his honour; and all this will be seen to be so when those of most exalted rank thus worship and adore him. The most lofty on earth shall acknowledge that there is one who is more exalted than they are, and their own dignity and splendour shall thus contribute to deepen the impression of the honour and glory of God.11 Barnes, A. (1870–1872). Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 289). Blackie & Son.

 • By lifting up the name of the Lord in praise, and testimony, even the high and lofty of this world will hear our voices and see the glory of God, and turn to Him in the midst of our praise. Charles Spurgeon preached this admonition over 150 years ago:

 Well, dear brethren, that time has not come yet, and therefore let us sing all the more. If the kings have not begun to sing, let us sing. And well we may. We have full permission to do it, for the next verse encourages us—“Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly.” He will be just as pleased with the song of the peasant as with that of the prince, with the psalm of the workman as with that of the monarch. We, too, may come, though obscure and unknown, and we may bring our two mites which make a farthing; and if they are all the praise our soul can give, the Lord will count that we have not given less than kings themselves. Let us make up for royal silence.

11 Spurgeon, C. H. (1881). Singing in the Ways of the Lord. In The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (Vol. 27, p. 473). Passmore & Alabaster.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:38 PM February 16, 2023.

A Mind to Work

A Mind To Work

Pastor Don Carpenter

Pray / Plan / Build / Nehemiah 4:1–6

“Slow Sammy” Ridiculed but Smarter than His Detractors Thought

A young fellow by the name of Sammy liked to hang out at Mom and Pop’s Grocery Store. Pop didn’t know what Sammy’s problem was, but the other boys would tease him all the time, calling him “Slow Sammy”, and punching him on the shoulder as they passed. To mock him for being slow, they would offer him a dime and a nickel, telling him he could have just one. They said he always took the nickel because it was bigger. One day after Sammy took the nickel, Pop pulled him to one side and said, “Son, don’t you know they’re making fun of you? They think you don’t know that the dime is worth more than the nickel. Are you really grabbing the nickel because it’s bigger, or what?” “No,” Sammy said, “but if I took the dime they’d quit doing it!” Not all ridicule is founded upon fact.

Satan does not play fair! When a Christian becomes burdened to do a work and spends time in agonizing prayer, then sets out to motivate people to follow his or her vision, Satan starts to mobilize his forces too. Often, after believers unite behind a visionary leader and invest some blood, sweat, and tears in labor, Satan brings some mockers from the sidelines to jeer and belittle the tremendous effort and vision that is on display. Discouragement is like a gut punch. It is designed to end the fight. If we are to see victories for the kingdom of Christ, we must learn from Nehemiah how to react in the face of discouragement.

Fight Discouragement With a Mind to Work

 Nehemiah 4:1–3 (KJV)

 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 

 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? 

 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.

A. God’s enemies will be very angry with you

  1. Wroth = charah = burning of anger

  2. Indignation = provoked to rage

 3. Mocking

B. God’s enemies will declare your task to be pathetically impossible

1. “Feeble” Jews

2. Will they fortify it for themselves? = What are they getting out of it? – motives questioned and attacked

 3. Will they sacrifice? – sacrifice would be offered upon completion of the wall, dedicating it to God

 4. Will they make an end in a day? = Will they finish in one day?

 5. Will they revive the stones?  – When the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem, fire caused the limestone walls to crumble. These stones were then neglected for almost a century, rendering them unfit for building.

C. God’s enemies will belittle the progress that you have already made

D. We believers often face personal attacks as we try to reach the world for Jesus.

E. We can suffer personal attacks as we try to stand for what is right based upon principle.

Develop a Mind to Work through Passionate Prayer

Nehemiah 4:4–5 KJV

Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: 

And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.

A. Do not engage the enemy in your flesh

James 1:20 KJV

For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

B. Do not bottle up emotions and become bitter

Hebrews 12:15 KJV

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

C. Direct your emotions to God

Romans 8:15 KJV

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Hebrews 4:15 KJV

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

 1. Recognize that when God’s work and worker is mocked, God will act. “…provoked Thee to anger…” – vs 5

 2. Pray specifically and boldly

God moves when His People Have a Mind to Work

 Nehemiah 4:6 (KJV)

 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

A. The gaps were sealed

B. The wall was half its eventual height

C. It is because the people had a mind to work

1 Corinthians 16:15 KJV

I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

 1. Mind = inner man, source of thoughts and emotions

 2. The people were consumed with the work

 3. Unified by God

Philippians 2:13 KJV

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

D. The enemies could not stand against a people who were willing to put action to their desires.


Dr. Park Tucker, former chaplain of the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, told of walking down the street in a certain city, feeling low and depressed and worried about life in general. As he walked along, he lifted his eyes for a moment to the window of a funeral home across the street. He blinked his eyes a couple of times wondering whether his eyes were deceiving him.

But sure enough, what he saw in the window of that funeral home was this sign, in large, bold words: “Why walk around half-dead? We can bury you for $69.50. P.S. We also give green stamps.” Dr. Tucker said the humor of it was good medicine for his soul. Many people are walking around half-dead because worry has built a mountain of problem over which there is no path, and they have surrendered to fate.

Don’t walk around half dead… bind together with other believers who have a mind to work.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:51 PM February 14, 2023.

Our World Needs a PRAISE ERUPTION!

David was faced with a society that mocked the one true God. His response was not to fret, or even argue with the skeptics and unbelievers. His response was a clear and intentional burst of heartfelt praise and worship. Join us Sunday mornings at 11 as we explore David’s story of this experience in Psalm 138.

Whole-Hearted Praise: A Declaration of Intent

Pastor Don Carpenter

Praise Eruption / Psalm 138:1–2

 Praise is a natural and necessary response to fully enjoy the object that is praised. For example, when watching a football game on television, it is a natural response to praise a tremendous play. To shout WOW! after an acrobatic catch in the end zone is not only natural, but necessary to fully enjoy the spectacular play. If you do not believe that it is necessary, the next time you watch a football game try to not express yourself at all. You will quickly find that you do not enjoy the action nearly as much as you do when you have the freedom to express yourself in praise and excitement.

1 Michael P. Green. (2000). 1500 illustrations for biblical preaching (p. 270). Baker Books.

A healthy and passionate praise life is essential for a believer to live up to their potential as a Christ -follower. Jesus explains that to the woman at the well.  

John 4:24 KJV

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Today we start a four week series on Psalm 138 entitled “Praise Eruption”. In this passage, David gives us a clear path to having the right attitude directing praise back to God where it belongs.

It is interesting to note that David was responding to an onslaught of criticism, attacks and ridicule from unbelieving idol worshippers. We certainly know what it is like to try to serve God in a culture that is becoming more and more hostile to Bible truth. This morning we will see that our response does not need to be one of hostility toward unbelievers, or isolation from critics. We can follow the Sweet Psalmist’s example and embrace whole hearted praise.

In the first two verses of Psalm 138, David sets to music his declaration of intent.

I Will Praise Thee With My Whole Heart

 Psalm 138:1 (KJV)

 I will praise thee with my whole heart…

 • Praise is directed to none else but God

Psalm 95:3 KJV

For the LORD is a great God, And a great King above all gods.

Psalm 96:4 KJV

For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all gods.

Barnes Notes puts it this way:

 I will praise thee with my whole heart. Reserving nothing in my heart to give to idols or to other gods. All that constitutes praise to God as God, he would address to him alone. He would use no language, and cherish no feeling, which implied a belief that there was any other God; he would indulge in no attachment which would be inconsistent with supreme attachment to God, or which would tend to draw away his affections from him. See Notes on Ps. 9:1.1

1 Barnes, A. (1870–1872). Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 287). Blackie & Son.

 • This praise must be without distraction

 • This praise must be with passion

John 4:24 KJV

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

 • This praise must be with a clean heart

Hebrews 12:1 KJV

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

So when we approach worship in the church, the house of God, let us prepare ourselves for whole hearted worship so that we can tap into our own passion witnessed by the Holy Spirit that dwells within us so that everyone present will know that this is much more than a ritualistic rote experience.

I Will Sing Praise Unto Thee

 Psalm 138:1 (KJV)

 …Before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.

 • Before the gods

Psalm 97:7 KJV

Confounded be all they that serve graven images, That boast themselves of idols: Worship him, all ye gods.

Psalm 96:5 KJV

For all the gods of the nations are idols: But the LORD made the heavens.

Charles Spurgeon in his sermon “Open Praise and Public Confession” gives us this bit of wisdom on this passage:

 Sing with whole-hearted praise: “I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.” This seems a very singular thing to do; here is a man indignant with these false gods, one would suppose that he would begin to argue on behalf of the true God, that he would raise a controversy on behalf of Jehovah; but he does nothing of the kind. At least, this is not the first thing that he does; but he begins to praise God, and to sing that praise aloud: “I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.”

 This was a very singular method of procedure, yet a very wise one; for, first, his song would openly show his contempt for the false gods. What does it matter to him what these idols really are? Men call them gods; so, for the nonce, he calls them gods, too; and he begins to sing, not to them, but to his own God, the only living and true God. He pitches the tune, he lifts up the strain, he sings a psalm, and this is the theme of his music: “Glorious art thou, O Jehovah!” And he does this in the very presence of the idol gods and their worshippers; as much as to say, “I take so little notice of them all that I will not even be disturbed about them. I was singing the praises of Jehovah, and I shall go on singing them. I was full of holy joy, and I intend still to be so. These gods of the heathen are nothing, but our God made the heavens; therefore, I will not rob him of his glory, or deprive him of his full revenue of praise, by turning aside even for a single moment to pay any attention to these mere blocks of wood and stone.” It was a wise way of acting on the part of David, and it was also a generous way, because he did not in words pour contempt upon the idols, but he showed his contempt for them by presenting his praise to Jehovah alone.1

1 Spurgeon, C. H. (1899). Open Praise and Public Confession. In The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (Vol. 45, pp. 13–14). Passmore & Alabaster.

 • Others will hear

Psalm 40:3 KJV

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

 “Before the gods [the elohim] will I sing praise unto Thee.” The word elohim in this context means the rulers, rather than “gods.” David had nearly always borne fearless testimony before rulers—before Saul, before Goliath. The only time David was ashamed to bear testimony for God was when he pretended to be mad before Ahimelech, king of Gath—but David was in a backslidden condition at that time or he would not have gone to Gath in the first place1

1 Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 138:1b). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

I Will Worship

 Psalm 138:2 (KJV)

 I will worship toward thy holy temple…

 • Toward thy holy temple

In verse 2a toward thy holy Temple may indicate, as Dahood thinks, that the psalmist is not in Jerusalem but in some foreign country, and is bowing in the direction of Jerusalem. But verse 1a seems to indicate that he is in Jerusalem (see also comments on 5:7).1

1 Bratcher, R. G., & Reyburn, W. D. (1991). A translator’s handbook on the book of Psalms (p. 1119). United Bible Societies.

 • Worship is directed somewhere specific…. where God is, not where God is not.

Zechariah 1:3 KJV

Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, And I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.

 • Worship does not have to be in a place, but directed toward a place.

1 Corinthians 3:17 KJV

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

I Will Praise Thy Name

 Psalm 138:2 (KJV)

 … And praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

 • Not just any name

Acts 4:12 KJV

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Psalm 115:1 KJV

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But unto thy name give glory, For thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.

Philippians 2:9 KJV

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

 • For thy lovingkindness

Psalm 63:3 KJV

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise thee.

Micah 7:18–20 KJV

Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, And passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, Because he delighteth in mercy. 

He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; And thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. 

Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, Which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.

 • For thy truth – the existence of absolute truth

John 1:17 KJV

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

 • For thy word which is magnified above all they name.

John 17:17 KJV

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Author and Christian Apologist C.S. Lewis said this:

“It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with” (C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms [New York: Walker & Co., 1985], p. 95).9991

1 Michael P. Green. (2000). 1500 illustrations for biblical preaching (p. 270). Baker Books.


We live in a world full of sinners and skeptics, people who hate the name and message of Jesus Christ. This darkness and oppression can start to quench the fire in a believer’s heart. We must be like David and make a declaration of intent…

 • I will praise thee!

 • I will sing praise before the false gods and doubters!

 • I will direct my worship toward the house of God!

 • I will praise the Name of Jesus – the only source of Salvation

And this is our intent… to serve notice to the world that we will not stop until we are fully involved in whole hearted praise.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:28 PM January 31, 2023.