Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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      Psalm - Chapter 145 (Contemporary English Version)
    1. (By David for praise.) I will praise you, my God and King, and always honor your name.
    2. I will praise you each day and always honor your name.
    3. You are wonderful, LORD, and you deserve all praise, because you are much greater than anyone can understand.
    4. Each generation will announce to the next your wonderful and powerful deeds.
    5. I will keep thinking about your marvelous glory and your mighty miracles.
    6. Everyone will talk about your fearsome deeds, and I will tell all nations how great you are.
    7. They will celebrate and sing about your matchless mercy and your power to save.
    8. You are merciful, LORD! You are kind and patient and always loving.
    9. You are good to everyone, and you take care of all your creation.
    10. All creation will thank you, and your loyal people will praise you.
    11. They will tell about your marvelous kingdom and your power.
    12. Then everyone will know about the mighty things you do and your glorious kingdom.
    13. Your kingdom will never end, and you will rule forever. Our LORD, you keep your word and do everything you say.
    14. When someone stumbles or falls, you give a helping hand.
    15. Everyone depends on you, and when the time is right, you provide them with food.
    16. By your own hand you satisfy the desires of all who live.
    17. Our LORD, everything you do is kind and thoughtful,
    18. and you are near to everyone whose prayers are sincere.
    19. You satisfy the desires of all your worshipers, and you come to save them when they ask for help.
    20. You take care of everyone who loves you, but you destroy the wicked.
    21. I will praise you, LORD, and everyone will respect your holy name forever.
Reflections

Psalms - Chapter 145

Entered: May 07, 2009
The previous group of psalms were prayers. This psalm begins the last group of the book which are all psalms of praise.  Many Jewish writers are very high on this 145th psalm and some have a saying that whoever will sing this psalm three times daily will with certainty be happy in the world to come.  I'm not so certain about the world to come, but in this world, such a practice would certainly help us be focused on God's greatness and goodness and His answer to prayer, providing assurance and confidence in contrast to whatever troubles we encounter. This is, no doubt, why many find the psalms to be their favorite of bible books to read.

David begins with his intent to give God praise and then says that he is not the only one who will give God praise. God is so great that not only will David give Him praise but generation upon generation will declare His works to the generation to follow. This is what they will say: They will tell of God's goodness and sing of His righteousness. They will proclaim that He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and good to everyone. Then David goes further in his claim of those who will praise God. Not just generation after generation, but "All You have made will praise You, Lord." (verse 10)  As stated here, it leaves no exception but that everyone will give praise to God. But it is stated differently in various translations. The Contemporary English Version says, " All creation will thank you." Others state it similarly. Stated in this way the understanding shifts somewhat to mean that God's works speak for themselves, giving praise in and of themselves. This would seem the more likely meaning, for it is plain that not every person gives praise to God. If this is, indeed, the meaning, the next two verses (verses 11 & 12) could then mean that God's works themselves speak of His glory and they inform all people of His mighty acts. If that is the meaning, it is in agreement with Romans 1:20, "From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made." In this passage, Paul goes on to say that God can be seen so clearly through His creation that any who do not recognize it are without excuse.

Verses 15-17 point out that all creation is dependent on God's provision of food and sustenance. Whether one wishes to recognize God or not, he is dependent on God for his life and the sustaining of that life. This simple truth is reason enough to recognize God for His greatness, but for those who will actually call out to Him in prayer, He will be near them and He will fulfill their desires and will save them when they cry for help. But those who turn away from God to wickedness will be destroyed. This is the message of verses 18-20. David concludes with a similar declaration to the one with which he began: "My mouth will declare the LORD's praise."

Entered: July 21, 2014

When you give God praise, what do you praise Him for? Is it His character, nature, and greatness, or is it His mighty works and acts? In general people are probably drawn most to His mighty works and acts. Maybe it is a bent toward sensationalism? And maybe it is through His mighty works that we are first drawn to Him and acknowledge Him. But if we are to come to know Him in a personal way, we must also come to acknowledge His character, nature, and splendor.

David, the writer of this psalm, began by praising the greatness of God's name and His greatness in general. It was an all-incompassing praise of God for who He is. He is so great, David said, that "His greatness is unsearchable." (145:3) Then David mentioned that one generation will declare God to the next generation. The focus of this declaration will be on God's works and acts. But while the general declaration of God from generation to generation will focus on His works and acts, David will continue to speak of His splendor and greatness.

Then, in verse 10, David points out that all creation will praise the Lord. God's creation apart from mankind gives Him praise without uttering a word. It is a praise man cannot ignore. He may attribute creation to another source than God or to chance, but he cannot ignore it for it is the world and universe in which he lives. And this whole universe which God has made bears witness to God's greatness through its existence.

Among mankind, however, it will only be the godly who bless and praise God. They will "speak of the glory of Your kingdom and will declare Your might, informing all people of Your mighty acts and of the glorious splendor of Your kingdom." (145:11-12) It is not just the godly, however, that God helps, for He "raises up all who are oppressed," and all people look to Him for their food, even though they may not acknowledge it is God to whom they are dependent for their food. And God opens His hand to satisfy "the desire of every living thing." (145:16) But it is those who acknowledge Him and call on Him who benefit the most.

He is near those who call on Him with integrity. He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him and hears their cry for help and saves them. He "guards all those who love Him, but He destroys all the wicked." (145:20) Among those who do not acknowledge God or call upon Him there will be those who turn to wickedness. The time will come when they will no longer benefit from God's provision, for they will be destroyed.

David, however, vows to continually give the Lord praise, and encourages "every living thing" to do so as well.