Psalm 145:  Unsearchable Greatness

The Lord upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down. Psalm 145:14

A Psalm of Praise

 

The only psalm with this title in the entire collection, Psalm 145 praises God for His mighty acts, His gracious character, and the glory of His coming kingdom.  It is King David’s pure praise, offered to God for his many wonderful attributes and qualities. Our loving Lord shows His care for His own, who praise Him in return.

Praise.  The Expository Dictionary of Bible Words (Zondervan, 1985) says: 1. Praise is addressed to God or His ‘name.”  God Himself, His attributes, or His acts are the content of our thoughts, words, and songs.  2. Praise is linked with the believing community’s joy in the person of God… Most praise comes from those who are filled with a sense of joy in who God is and in how deeply He is committed to His people.  3. Praise exalts the Lord.  It is in praise that the believer implicitly acknowledges creaturely dependence on God and explicitly acknowledges God’s greatness and goodness.”  In essence, worship is the expression of respect for Him.  Individual worship is first of all an attitude of profound respect for God, demonstrated in a life of obedience.

Kingdom.  God’s kingdom is portrayed in two ways in the Bible.  First, God’s kingdom is universal in that He exercises sovereign control over His creation.  Yet, mysteriously, God chose to give human beings the freedom to either submit to Him or temporarily resist His will.  Those who surrender to God in faith have been brought, in Paul’s words, “into the kingdom of the Son He loves” (Col. 1:13).

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, Colossians 1:13

The Bible also speaks of God’s kingdom in a second, future sense.  One day all mankind will acknowledge God’s sovereignty and surrender – many unwillingly – to His control.  When that happens God’s kingdom will be established here on Earth in its fullest sense.

145:1 Extol (Heb. RumThe Hebrew word translated extol here is one of the many Hebrew words for praise in the Psalms.  The specific meaning of this word is “to hold high” or “to esteem greatly.”  In contrast to King David’s praise of the Lord as the exalted One, Lucifer’s downfall came in trying to exalt himself above God (Is. 14:13).  Thus in a negative sense, the word rum can mean “haughty” (see 2 Sam. 22:28).  The psalmist’s strong determination to honor and esteem God in 145:1 is indicated by the highly energized verb he employs in this passage, a verb which indicates a command directed to himself.

1  A Praise of David. I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever.

145:3 The familiar words great is the Lord express God’s grandeur in the universe and remind us of how small we are in His presence.  The fact that frail humans are used to praise God is a marvel to the psalmist.

3  Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.

145:8 God had described Himself as gracious and full of compassion (Ex. 34:6, 7; Num. 14:18).  David uses God’s own words to praise Him for His merciful character (86:5, 15; 111:4; 112:4).

8  The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.

145:10-13  All Your works echoes the words of 19:1-3.  All that God has made bears the marks of His wonder (111:2).  They shall speak:  The task of the righteous is to declare the works of the Lord to all people.  An everlasting kingdom:  Because the rule of God is eternal, the message of His wonders needs to be delivered to all people in the present time.

10  All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, And Your saints shall bless You. 11  They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power, 12  To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, And the glorious majesty of His kingdom. 13  Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

145:14 The words upholds all who fall describe the ongoing actions of God on behalf of the needy in a way that may suggest that these words are absolute and invariable.  Yet the same people who sang the songs of praise also cried out to the Lord with the psalms of lament.  In a world in which life is tough, the psalms delight in affirming that God is good and that there is no limit to His power, His love, and His concern for His people.  The psalms celebrate each example of God’s saving mercy and each example of His grace.  Time after time, instance after instance – the whole becomes a beautiful tapestry of His ongoing grace.

14  The Lord upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down.

145:17 The pairing of righteous and gracious is a powerful demonstration of the character of God.  His righteousness leads to His discriminating judgment; His grace leads to His saving works and forgiving actions.  God both preserves and destroys based on His infallible insight into human intent and purposes.

17  The Lord is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works

145:21 My mouth:  David resolved to be faithful in praising the Lord (146:1), but he also saw his praise as one part of the praise of all creation – that is, all flesh.

21  My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, And all flesh shall bless His holy name Forever and ever

**  Knowing God in itself is a great blessing.  One cannot praise someone with sincerity without first knowing the person.  While we cannot possibly know everything about God, He has revealed enough of Himself to us humans to recognize Him as God.  Joy comes when we realize “how” He is – holy and yet merciful, loving us to a fault.  Like the rainbow, He bends His beautiful being to be with us.


145 1  A Praise of David. I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever. 2  Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. 3  Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable. 4  One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. 5  I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works. 6  Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, And I will declare Your greatness. 7  They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, And shall sing of Your righteousness. 8  The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. 9  The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.  10  All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, And Your saints shall bless You. 11  They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power, 12  To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, And the glorious majesty of His kingdom. 13  Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations. 14  The Lord upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down. 15  The eyes of all look expectantly to You, And You give them their food in due season. 16  You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. 17  The Lord is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works. 18  The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 19  He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. 20  The Lord preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. 21  My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, And all flesh shall bless His holy name Forever and ever.

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *