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.
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.
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.
Some of the greatest moments in sport are when victory is snatched from the jaws of defeat. The team who looked completely defeated, somehow pulls off a stunning victory. Body language of despair transforms into a stance of triumph. Cries of lament transform into shouts of praise.
Our journey through the psalms has been very much a journey from lament to praise. The shape of this wonderful book is a steady transformation of lament into praise. Praise was sprinkled through earlier Psalms, but lament dominated. And while lament is sprinkled through later Psalms, praise now dominates. From Psalm 145 onwards, in fact, lament disappears. Praise is everything. We seem closer to the victory the Psalms long for. We seem closer to meeting their true King.
As with Psalm 119 yesterday, Psalm 145 is an acrostic Psalm, although with only one verse for each letter of the alphabet rather than eight, it’s a shorter read. Here we have another A-Z exploration, examining all the reasons why the Lord is worthy of praise. Reason after reason for praise accumulates until David concludes that “my mouth” should certainly join “every creature” in praising the Lord.
There are eight Psalms which use this Acrostic method (9, 10, 25, 34, 37, 111,112, 119, 145). Interestingly, the first four chapters of Lamentations are also acrostic. Lamentations’ A-Z despair over the destruction of Jerusalem, is certainly answered in the A-Z praise of these concluding Psalms, as they reach further forward to the fulfilment of all God’s promises (verse 13).
When the Apostle Paul gives his praise to God for the coming of Jesus, God’s true king, he says: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3). Comfort has indeed come in Jesus. Lament has finally turned to praise, because as Paul continues, “no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
Head: What have you learnt about Jesus from Psalm 145? What have you learnt about yourself?
Heart: How does it make you feel that through Jesus’ victory, one day – as in the Psalms – lament will disappear? (“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” – Revelation 21:4)
Hands: As you pray through this day, express your own A-Z of praise, exploring all that Jesus’ death and resurrection means to you.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that through Jesus’ death and resurrection I can join my voice to David’s voice, to Paul’s voice, to the voice of every creature in praising Jesus. Thank you that because of his victory, one day lament will be no more. Please by your Spirit grow my heart in praise of Jesus. In his Name, Amen.