Weds 31st May - Psalm 145
A psalm of praise. Of David.
1 I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
2 Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
5 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[b]
6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.[c]
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.
- Psalm 145:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, the verses of which (including verse 13b) begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
- Psalm 145:5 Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac (see also Septuagint); Masoretic Text On the glorious splendor of your majesty / and on your wonderful works I will meditate
- Psalm 145:13 One manuscript of the Masoretic Text, Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac (see also Septuagint); most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text do not have the last two lines of verse 13.
Meditation on Psalm 145
Turn on your televisions, your radios, your smart phones and watch and listen to the news – but brace yourself for many horror stories, of man’s inhumanity to man, of wars and rumours of wars, of famine, of earthquakes, of floods – the list could go on. Try and put yourself into any one of these situations and then read Psalm 145:1b, which says, ‘I will praise your name for ever and ever.’
This is a psalm without any requests. There is only one reference to ‘the wicked’. The rest of the psalm is a psalm of praise and when you watch and listen to the news, do you ever ask ‘How can people in such circumstances praise the Lord? And yet, we so often hear testimonies from Christians living in such situations who do just that – they praise the Lord.
It is the only psalm that has as its title ‘A psalm of praise.’
As you read through it, it’s not difficult to see why it has such a title.
- “I WILL” Verses 1-2
Three times in these opening verses is the definite statement of David.
- “I will exalt you, my God the King”
- “I will praise your name”
- Every day I will praise you”
To exalt someone is to lift them up; to recognise that they are worthy of such respect and honour; to glorify their name and tell it to others, whether individually or collectively.
Notice that the psalmist is referring to God as ‘MY… King’
The psalmist has a personal relationship with God whereby he exclaims three times, “I will…”
The psalmist says, “I will praise your name for ever and ever.” How can he do that when he isn’t around for ever and ever. While that may be true, he can look forward to being in the presence of Lord for ever and ever.
As believers in the Lord Jesus, we can look forward to the day when we will praise Him for ever and ever as we spend eternity in His presence.
- THE GREATNESS OF GOD Verses 3-7
It is because of His greatness that He is worthy of being exalted and worthy of our praise every day.
Why should we praise Him every day? What for?
- His greatness is beyond our understanding and comprehension.
- He is talked about from one generation to another. Kings and Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers come and go. They may be talked about after they have gone but we talk about ‘my God, my King’ today and tomorrow and on down through the generations. How did you get to hear about God? How did you know to make a commitment to Him? It’s because you heard someone speak about Him – perhaps a family member of a friend or in a church. Do we talk about Him to others?
- We talk about His glorious splendour, His majesty. There is none like Him.
- We meditate – think about – His wonderful works. From Genesis to Revelation we read of His wonderful works. He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Listening to a scientist recently, she admitted that there is still so much that we don’t know, so much more to be discovered. He is the Redeemer who, in His Son, Jesus, opened the way for us to come into His presence.
- We learn of the power of His awesome works. But the psalmist adds, “I will proclaim your great deeds.” Do I do that so that others will learn of what He has done, is doing and will yet do?
- We celebrate His goodness but notice that it is not just goodness but ‘abundant goodness.’ It overflows towards us and there is enough to go round.
- We sing of His righteousness. Note that our singing is ‘joyful’.
What a God we have – He is our great God.
- THE GOODNESS OF GOD Verses 8-10
We don’t need to explain His goodness – just meditate on it and be thankful.
- gracious – undeserved favour
- compassionate – think of the example of Jesus in His dealings with so many different people
- slow to anger – He has every right to be angry because of the way we have treated Him but His anger is almost His last resort as He waits patiently for us to turn to Him
- loving – ‘For God loved the world so much…’ What more can we say?
- good to all – He wants His best for each one of us and for all peoples around the world. Isn’t that why we affirm at the end of each service, ‘God is good – All the time.’
- THE KINGDOM OF GOD Verses 10-13a
Because of His greatness and His goodness we acknowledge that God is King over all the earth. His Kingdom demonstrates His mighty acts.
His kingdom is glorious. We watched the coronation of King Charles lll and talked about the splendour of the occasion – the colourful pageantry, the precision of everything that happened, the celebration of those who were there, millions around the world who watched the event. There were those, and still are, who were against the whole thing, just as there are many people around the world who have no time for God or His Kingdom. But they need to understand that ‘His kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom.’
And, what’s more, His dominion ‘endures throughout all generations.’
God is not going away.
- THE PROVISION OF GOD Verses 13b-16
Just to note, in passing, verse 13b was not in the original translation but was discovered many years later in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
David, who was the king of Judah and Israel, knew from personal experience about the character of God. He spent so much time before being crowned running away from Saul. He experienced first hand that God provided for Him, because…
- God is trustworthy
- God is faithful
- God is caring of all – those who are really struggling and cannot cope
- God provides food – He is not interested in just the spiritual aspect of our lives but also the everyday, practical provisions that we need
- God is very generous in His providing
As an old hymn says: ‘How good is the God we adore, Our faithful, unchangeable friend, His love is as great as His power and knows neither measure nor end.’
- THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD Verses 17-21
Yet more of the characteristics of this great God come out in these final verses.
- He is righteous. But more than just that brief statement. ‘He is righteous in all His ways.’
- He is faithful. But more than just that brief statement. ‘He is faithful in all He does.’
- He is near. But more than just that brief statement. ‘He is near to all who call on Him…in truth.’
- He fulfils the desires of those who fear Him. This is not a fear that drives us away. Rather, it’s a reverence that draws us close to Him because we know He can be trusted.
- He hears us. Around the world at this very moment there are millions of people, men, women, children, who are talking with God, praying to Him, crying to Him – ‘He hears their cry…’
- He watches over those who know Him as their Saviour and King. How can He do that when there are so many time differences around the world? Because ‘He never slumbers or sleeps.’
But… remember that before we came to faith in the Lord Jesus we were among those who would face the final judgment of God against our sin. We would ‘die in our sins’, and face an eternity without Him.
So this God, our King, will be the Judge when the wicked are dismissed from His presence with the chilling words, “Depart from me….I never knew you.”
This compels us to do all we can to ‘tell of the power of your awesome works, to proclaim your great deeds.’
David ends with a personal testimony and a prayer for all people.
Here is our challenge to do the same.
“My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.”
“Let every creature praise His holy name.”