Psalm 145 (Part 1) – The Greatness and Goodness of God

Reading Time: 6 Minutes

This Psalm has been central to the worship of both Jews and Christians for generations. A famous Hebrew writing, The Talmud, recommends the daily reciting of the Psalm.

A key figure in the Reformation, John Calvin, said verse 8 was “as clear and satisfactory description of the nature of God . . . as can anywhere be found.”

Each verse begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, signifying the completeness of praise that God is due.

Great is the Lord

The Psalm counsels us to praise God every day of our lives for all of eternity. It supplies many reasons why God is worthy of our praise.

I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you,
and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
(Psalm 145.1-3)

It is a joyous discovery to know that we can call God, “My God” and “My King.” To be personally related to the Greatest Being of All is the supreme gift of all.

Jesus came to earth to reveal the very nature of God. John wrote, “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known” (John 1.18).

What is God like? Jesus pictured God as someone who loves to spend time with his people. Jesus seldom did anything alone. He greatly valued the relationships he had with the people who walked with him each day.

As we praise God, who is “My God and King,” let’s be sure to experience every benefit a personal relationship provides us.

We can not plumb the depths of God’s greatness and neither can we reach high enough to fully appreciate his character. However, with the aid of this Psalm we will try.

Celebrating God’s Goodness

Some of the most important instructions in the Bible are found in the Book of Deuteronomy.

God’s basic direction for life is that we follow this command: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6.4-5).

If our lives are lived with this truth in mind, we can be assured that we are on the right path to life. But, what if we forget these truths and turn away to our own best thinking.

Our instructions are to do this to avoid forgetting his directions: “Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart” (Deuteronomy 6.6).

Not only does God command us to love him and him alone with our whole being, but he calls on us to teach each generation to do the same. “Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6.7).

The next verses of Psalm 145 recalls God’s great teaching in Deuteronomy 6.

One generation shall laud your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
(Psalm 145.4-5)

How do you go about meditating on God’s wondrous works and majesty? How do you tell the generations of your family about God’s mighty acts?

How do you remind yourself and your family to love God with all of your being? The next verses call on us to proclaim God’s awesome deeds.

The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed,
and I will declare your greatness.
They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness,
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
(Psalm 145.6-7)

The words, “proclaim,” “declare,” “celebrate,” and “sing,” all involve other people. Public worship is a perfect way to join others in giving God the honor he is due.

Other ways we can proclaim God’s goodness is by the way we conduct ourselves at work and at home. Social media posts can reflect God’s glory through pictures, songs, and Bible verses.

God’s Character Described

Psalm 145 seems to follow great events in Israel’s history. God’s message in Deuteronomy is followed by the revelation of God’s character to Moses.

Exodus 34.5-7 records how God revealed his character and nature to Moses. He used similar words to those in verses 8-9.

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
and his compassion is over all that he has made.
(Psalm 145.8-9)

How can we best understand these word thoughts? Each word can be matched by an example from the life of Jesus.

Do you want to know what it means for God to be gracious and merciful? Read the account of the crucifixion. That is truly the finest explanation of God’s grace and mercy.

What about God’s nature to be slow to anger? Think instances where Jesus’ close followers understood Jesus so poorly and how he kindly re-directed their foolishness. Think of how he has done that for you.

What about God’s goodness and compassion? Read the stories of the lepers, the blind, the paralyzed, the demonized, troubled mothers and fathers, and more. Each one came to him and he showed God’s good and compassionate work on their behalf.

God’s Works and Deeds Praised

God’s mighty deeds declare the reality of his kingdom.

All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your faithful shall bless you.
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
and tell of your power,
to make known to all people your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
(Psalm 145.10-13)

To glorify something is literally to pull off the covers that hide an object. Jesus took off the cover and made God’s kingdom clear and plain to see.

There are no sick people in God’s kingdom. When all manner of sick people met with Jesus, they became well.

Evil does not exist in God’s kingdom. Jesus set people free from demonic powers and from their own self-centered rebellion. They way Jesus defeated his enemies was by making them his friends.

God’s kingdom is about justice, compassion and mercy. Jesus both taught and lived out those aspects of God’s rule.

God has dominion over every thing in the universe. Earthly powers sought to extinguish the rule of God by crucifying Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead, demonstrated that God’s dominion endures forever.

We do well to remind ourselves of God’s kingdom. As we give him praise, we remind ourselves of his gracious rule that will endure forever.

May We Pray for You?

If you have a prayer request, please email me at bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. I will pray for you and so will the prayer team at Maywood Baptist Church.

2 Comments

  1. Often, when hearts are heavy, praise is not the first response. Reading these verses are a lovely reminder of God’s attributes…which deserve praise always, no matter the circumstance we find ourselves in. And praise then elevates our own spirit and reminds us “it’s not about me” until the heavy heart is replaced with worship, admiration and love for our perfect Heavenly Father.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of my friends talked about doing the right thing with God “kicking and screaming” all the way. When he followed God’s leadership, the result was a big blessing. Sometimes, praise may be like that too. I believe God has a blessing for you as you walk with him.

    Like

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