LINK: Psalm 145
David speaks of singing a "new song" in praise to God in the previous psalm (144:9). Perhaps this is it! Certainly, this last psalm of David is a personal song of love and trust and praise to God. In Hebrew this is an alphabetical, or acrostic psalm, with consecutive letters of the alphabet beginning each couplet. It's also the only psalm titled so emphatically: "A Song of Praise of David."
David praises God in detail in this psalm. No brief words of vague praise for him! Let's focus on three observations I've made as I've reflected on this psalm.
- David praises God for who God is - His character.
- David praises God for what God has done.
- David actively uses his mind and his voice to praise God for who He is and what He does.
He is great, so great that we can't figure Him out. He is abundantly good, which is different from being nice. God is righteous, and gracious, and merciful. He is slow to anger and abounds in faithful love. He is the powerful ruler of a kingdom that will never end. God is kind. He is faithful.
What does God do?
God has done works which display His power and goodness and faithful love. He lifts up those who are falling down and weak. He raises up those who are bowed down and humble. He gives food and satisfies all that lives. This earth was made so that it can support life! We have air to breath and it produces food that tastes good. God's provision is great! The LORD is also near to all who call upon Him. He hears their cry and saves them. He preserves (saves) those who love Him. God does works for many, but He also is generous to individuals.
David says over and over again that he will speak of God's mighty works and who He is. His mouth will praise God. He meditates on the LORD's mighty acts and commends them to those around him, especially those in future generations. David is active in praise: extolling, blessing, declaring, meditating.
In 1670, a man named Victorinus Bythner said, "The ancient Hebrews declare him happy whoever, in after times, utters this psalm thrice each day with the mouth, heart, and tongue."
I believe it!
We are in the Advent season as I write this. This should be a blessed and joyous season - a time when we meditate and ponder all the works of God. If ever there was a time to praise Him for who He is and what He has done, this is it! But often, we get busy in all the preparations - in the busy-ness of the season. Our tempers get short and we find ourselves tired and drained and sometimes lonely. We focus on ourselves and our circumstances.
I challenge you to read this psalm out loud as praise to the LORD three times each day for the rest of the Advent season. Do it with your family. Recount out loud what God has done for us individually and what He has done for all the earth. Surely we should be overflowing with praise right now - the promised KING is about to be born. Redemption is on its way! God intervenes in history to rescue us! Bless God out loud with each other for who He is. Commend Him. Declare His goodness and faithfulness and mercy. We take Him so for granted.
The point of praising God is that God is worthy to be praised and therefore should be. But I think there's a side benefit. Praise changes us.
So praise Him.
Read Psalm 145 out loud in praise to the LORD. Then praise Him for specific ways He's worked in your life.