"I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee" (Psalm 138:1).
When we sing or testify of our praise to God, it should not be perfunctory praise or repetitive rote praise. It should be sincere and wholehearted, personal praise. We should especially praise Him for revealing to us eternal truth, as written in His inspired Word. Further, we should not hesitate to praise our true God, even amidst all the false "gods" of this world. As the next verse says, He has magnified His Word above all His name! That is, the Holy Scriptures are our greatest physical possession of all the things in this world, for they alone will "not pass away" (Matthew 24:35). His Word is "For ever . . . settled in heaven" (Psalm 119:89).
This phrase, "the whole heart," occurs a number of times in the Bible, especially in the psalm of the Word, Psalm 119. Note the testimony of the psalmist in this great psalm.
- "Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart" (v.2).
- "With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments" (v.10).
- "Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart" (v.34).
- "I entreated thy favor with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word" (v.58).
- "The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart" (v.69).
- "I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes" (v.145).
Thus, we should "keep His testimonies" (v.2), "keep thy law" (v.34), "keep thy precepts" (v.69), and "keep thy statutes" (v.145) with our whole heart, for the good and sufficient reason that He is our Lord and has given us His eternal Word, magnified above all His name. HMM