Psalm 145: Praise the Covenant Lord from A to Tav

Date: 11/7/2010
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Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Psalm 145
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Psalm 145: Praise the Covenant Lord from A to Tav

A Psalm of Praise, of David. 145:1 I will extol You, my God, O King, And I will bless Your name forever and ever. 145:2 Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. 145:3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable. 145:4 One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. 145:5 On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate. 145:6 Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, And I will tell of Your greatness. 145:7 They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness. 145:8 The LORD is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. 145:9 The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works. 145:10 All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD, And Your godly ones shall bless You. 145:11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom And talk of Your power; 145:12 To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom. 145:13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations. 145:14 The LORD sustains all who fall And raises up all who are bowed down. 145:15 The eyes of all look to You, And You give them their food in due time. 145:16 You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. 145:17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds. 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 145:19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. 145:20 The LORD keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. 145:21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.
        
This Psalm’s structure is not visible in the English version, but in the original Hebrew it is an acrostic based on the alphabet. The first verse begins with aleph (a), the second with bet (b), gimel (c), and so forth. It extolls the attributes and salvation works of the LORD (Yahweh, the “Covenant Lord”) from A to Z, or from Aleph to Tav (Hebrew letters). It is in a parallel structure as well:

A - The Greatness of His Redemptive Works (1-10)
    B - The Glory of His Redemptive Kingdom (11-13)
A’ - The Goodness of His Redemptive Character (Name) (14-21)

1) You Must Praise the Covenant King’s Greatness (1-10) - “I will extol You, my God, O King, And I will bless Your name forever and ever. 145:3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable. 145:4 One generation shall praise Your works to another. . .”  The greatness of our heavenly King is recognized by the redeemed and we are to “say so.” We must speak of His greatness to the next generation. You must speak to your kids about His redemptive works (“mighty acts”), after you  take time to “meditate” on His character and work (v5). Are you eager to speak of His greatness since you have been redeemed (v7)? 

2) You Must Praise the Covenant Kingdom’s Glory (11-13) - “They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom And talk of Your power; 145:12 To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom. 145:13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.” The kingdom means when “God reigns as king.” The kingdom of His rule is glorious and cannot be stopped. Especially in the light of fulness of the Resurrection and Ascension, we are to be hopeful and optimistic. There is no room for pessimillennialism in Psalm 145. Jesus reigns regardless of our national or personal problems! It is in seeing the glory of this reign that we may have the confidence to endure all manner of hardship. Do you grumble about life or do you glory in the kingdom?

3) You Must Praise the Covenant Lord’s Goodness (14-21) - “The LORD sustains all who fall And raises up all who are bowed down. . .  And You give them their food in due time. 145:16 You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. 145:17 The LORD is righteous ... and kind in all His deeds.” The Lord’s goodness has already been asserted (v9), but in 14-21 His compassionate deliverance is described. He raises the lowly and feeds the hungry. He satisfies the needy. He is kind and fulfills the desires of those who cry to Him. He “keeps” (guards) us. We are to bless His Holy name forever. Are you able to bless His name (character) for His kindness?

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more