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Saturday, July 13th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 145

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Verses 1-3


In this psalm, we find ourselves in thought in the millennial realm of peace. The last earthly enemy has been defeated, the tribulation is over, and the complete redemption is celebrated. We hear Christ here and also the Spirit of Christ in the remnant praising God.

The situation is that the kingdom of God has been established in public (Revelation 19:6). The Messiah is in the midst of Israel. The heart of Christ, seen here as Man, as Messiah, is full of praise to the LORD. He starts the song of praise (cf. Psalms 22:22). The remnant preserved by God joins in the Messiah’s song of praise. Finally, the whole world will join in the thanksgiving, praising the LORD’s greatness, goodness, and wonder works.

This psalm is again an ‘acrostic’, that is, each verse begins with the next letter – all but one, the letter nun – of the Hebrew alphabet.

Division of the psalm

Psalms 145:1-Judges : Praise because of God’s works
Psalms 145:8-1 Chronicles : Praise because of God’s covenant faithfulness
Psalms 145:14-Ecclesiastes : Praise because of God’s keeping hand as Sustainer of creation.
At the same time, the warning sounds that during the realm of peace all wickedness will be judged immediately (Psalms 145:20; Psalms 101:8; Zephaniah 3:5; Zechariah 5:3).

Praise of God’s Kingship

This psalm is a psalm “of Praise, of David” (Psalms 145:1). Other psalms work gradually toward a psalm of praise, but this psalm begins with it. It is the only psalm that begins like this. All of the book of Psalms is called a book of praises by the Jews, but only this psalm of the one hundred and fifty psalms is explicitly called “a psalm of praise”.

In David we hear Christ as Man and Messiah singing the praises of God (cf. Psalms 22:22). He calls God “My God, the King”, as it literally says (Psalms 145:1). That God is now the King means that the LORD has returned to Zion. The realm of peace is beginning (Isaiah 52:7-Ruth :). He speaks of praising His God, the King, and praising His Name, “forever and ever” (cf. Psalms 115:18). There will never be a time when Christ will not sing the praises of His God, the King. This He will do in a special way in the realm of peace.

He does so every day of God’s royal reign during the realm of peace (Psalms 145:2; cf. Psalms 119:164). Every day is also a day of blessing for us (Lamentations 3:23) and therefore gives cause to praise God. Once again Christ pronounces it that He will praise God’s Name, “forever and ever.” God is connected to His earthly people Israel as King. Nowhere are God or Christ called King of the church or the individual New Testament believer. The church is connected as a bride to Christ as Bridegroom and also as a body to Christ as Head. Each individual believer is connected to Christ as Lord.

The reason for this incessant praise is the greatness of the LORD (Psalms 145:3). To underscore this, the word “great” occurs twice. First, the LORD is great and therefore worthy of praise. Second, His greatness is beyond human comprehension, and yet He wants us to praise Him.

He is “highly to be praised” and at the same time His greatness exceeds all thanksgiving and praise because “His greatness is unsearchable” (Job 5:9; Job 9:10; Isaiah 40:28). No one can fully understand His judgments and His ways (Romans 11:33). So it is for us with regard to the love of Christ. We may come to know it, while that love surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:19).

Verses 4-9

Let Each Next Generation Praise the LORD

Psalms 145:4-Judges : can also be translated in the imperative, e.g., Psalms 145:4: “Let one generation praise Your works to another”. In the realm of peace, the children, the grandchildren, and so on, will praise the LORD in accordance with the covenant the LORD will make with Israel (cf. Isaiah 59:21).

What the psalmist is doing, praising and making great the LORD, will continue from generation to generation (Psalms 145:4). The old, rebellious, apostate generation is no more. It was judged at Christ’s coming to earth. A new generation, a people made up of the righteous (Isaiah 60:21), has entered the realm of peace. They extol God’s works and will pass it on to the next generation. For us, we are already declaring God’s mighty acts to our children.

Each new generation in the realm of peace will praise God’s works and declare His mighty acts, because the previous generation passed it on to them. Always through, the remembrance of God’s works and His mighty acts in the past will remain alive. Enjoying the blessing of the realm of peace is not possible without thinking of its source and the way in which He wrought this wonderful blessing.

Each coming generation will meditate “on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wonderful works” (Psalms 145:5). Each new generation agrees with what Christ says. No one is better able than He to pass on the glorious glory of God’s majesty and God’s wonderful works. He did that in His life as Man in humiliation on earth. He will do that in the realm of peace when He reigns as Messiah.

We as New Testament believers may behold His glory (John 17:24) and see Him in glory, crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:9). Of this we may speak and testify, we may declare His lordship over our lives.

The people who have entered the realm of peace “shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts” (Psalms 145:6). They will remember the awesome deliverance that the LORD wrought for them through the judgments on their enemies. The Messiah Himself will tell of the greatness of the LORD.

It is the psalmist’s wish that from generation to generation people will remember and praise God’s awesome deeds. “They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness” (Psalms 145:7). For God’s people, the judgment on the hostile powers is a proof of His abundant goodness to them. When they think about it, their mouths overflow with gratitude. They start shouting “joyfully of Your righteousness”.

God’s acts of judgment against enemies and in favor of His people are also acts of justice. Justice means acting in accordance with the norm, with the law, in this case with the covenant. These acts are elaborated in Psalms 145:8-1 Chronicles :.

His righteousness demands judgment on the rebellious nations. His righteousness also demands the fulfillment of all the promises of blessing He has made to His people. For His people, who, like the nations, have deserved judgment, His righteousness has been fulfilled through the sacrifice of His Son, through which the blood of the new covenant has been shed. The rebellious nations have rejected that sacrifice and therefore must pay for their sins themselves.

Because God’s justice for His people has been satisfied by His Son, the people can sing joyfully that the LORD is “gracious and merciful” and “slow to anger and great in lovingkindness” (Psalms 145:8; cf. Exodus 34:6; Psalms 103:8). We see that God is slow to anger in the long time He endures rebellious man, “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

His lovingkindness, chesed, is great because He is great. His lovingkindness is great because there is a new covenant, based on the blood of the new covenant through the great sacrifice of His Son. Because of that, He can offer a greatness of forgiveness, by which even the greatest sin can be forgiven. This is what the people of God will be aware of in the realm of peace. We will also be aware of that when we consider who we are by nature and how great and numerous are the blessings we have received.

These impressive attributes of God are not just for Israel. The power of the blood of the new covenant is so great that it enables God to give His blessing to us in the New Testament even apart from Israel (2 Corinthians 3:6-Job :). The blessing of the new covenant is not the result of Israel meeting the requirements of the covenant. That blessing comes because the Mediator bore the curse of the covenant and paid the price of the covenant with His blood. Israel will receive the blessings of the covenant by virtue of grace. And if it is grace, then God can grant these blessings to us New Testament believers as well.

In the realm of peace, not only Israel enjoys God’s abundant blessing, but through Israel all creation shares in it (Romans 11:11-Ezra :). This is why Christ, and with Him all who share in the blessing, says that the LORD is “good to all” (cf. Psalms 100:5) and that “His mercies are over all His works” (Psalms 145:9). On everything He has made is the seal of His mercy. It bears the testimony of Him as the mild, kind God with a heart full of love, Who loves nothing more than to bless. He takes care of creation and the creatures that suffer as a result of sin.

Verses 10-13

All Works Give Thanks to the LORD

In Psalms 145:10 comes the response of all the objects of God’s mercy to His mercy. All of God’s works will give thanks to Him. God has made everything to His glory, and that will be seen and heard. The thanks of all God’s works will be expressed through the mouths of “Your godly ones”. All who share in the blessings of the new covenant will give thanks to Him for it with deep gratitude. Through the great tribulation there were almost no more faithful, chesed (Psalms 12:2). Now, in the realm of peace, Israel has been purified and they are all faithful, or godly ones. They are faithful to the covenant and receive the blessings of the covenant.

Psalms 145:11-1 Chronicles : form the middle of this psalm. These verses deal with kingship, again underscoring that the theme of this psalm is that God is King in the realm of peace. God’s works contribute to “the glory of Your kingdom” (Psalms 145:11). The glory of God’s kingdom is God’s own glory reflected through the kingdom.

They call that to mind every time they see what they enjoy. It was all brought about by Him, by His power. That is what the godly ones of God talk about with each other. That is their fellowship, where God is present and looks on and listens to with pleasure.

From this goes a testimony to “the sons of men” (Psalms 145:12). His kingdom is not limited to Israel, for the LORD is “Lord of lords and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14). All knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-1 Kings :). His power is over all nations, yes, over all creation, that is, heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). As a result, His “mighty acts” are made known everywhere, as well as “the glory of the majesty of” His kingdom. That glory of the majesty was seen by the disciples on the mount of transfiguration (2 Peter 1:17).

What characterizes our conversations? If our mouths are full of God’s mighty acts of grace and mercy that He has shown to us, that will be able to make people jealous to partake of that as well. We can also testify to it by showing in our lives that we have been brought into a kingdom of radiant glory, namely the kingdom of the Son of the Father’s love (Colossians 1:12).

The kingdom of God is not a temporary, transferable kingdom (Daniel 2:44). It is “is an everlasting kingdom” (Psalms 145:13; cf. Daniel 4:3; Daniel 4:34), founded on the blood of the eternal covenant (Hebrews 13:20). His government is an eternal government, a government without end.

His “dominion” also includes “all generations”, literally “all generation to generation”. Normally, with a new generation also comes a new ruler. However, Christ continues to rule even with each new generation that is born. There is no generation in the past or present or future over which He does not have absolute and perfect authority. Nothing is out of His control, although we may think so at times. Each generation has its own characteristics, but they are no surprise to Him. He is above them and has His instructions for each generation. Whoever listens to them will be blessed. Whoever rejects His directions will be cursed.

Verses 14-20

What the LORD Does and Is

He is not only the Creator of the universe, but also its Sustainer. We will see this in the coming verses. The greatness of the LORD in His supreme administration of the universe does not prevent Him from being concerned with all the needs of men. On the contrary, it is an aspect of His greatness that He despises nothing (Job 36:5). He “sustains all who fall”, that is, all who are weak and have no strength to stand (Psalms 145:14). He also raises up all who are weighed down by a burden.

All His creatures depend on Him. The remnant, in whom is the Spirit of Christ, says to the LORD: “The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due time” (Psalms 145:15; Psalms 104:27). God provides for all the needs of His creatures; they all receive food at the time they need it (cf. Matthew 6:26). He is the great Caretaker of His creation. He maintains His great garden with great ease and great skill, overlooking no one and nothing.

God has only to open His hand, and all that lives is satisfied (Psalms 145:16; Psalms 104:28). His hand, the picture of His actions, is at work in His creation to bless all that is in it, from man to beast. His opened hand shows that He gives mildly and abundantly (cf. Deuteronomy 15:8; Deuteronomy 15:11). He allows crops to germinate and grow, so that they become food or can be processed into food, and all living things can satisfy themselves with it. He does this according to their desire.

This action of God in His creation shows that He is “righteous in all His ways” and “kind in all His deeds” (Psalms 145:17). From “all His ways” that He treads to accomplish His purpose, it is clear that He is “righteous.” No one will ever be able to accuse Him of unrighteousness. On the contrary, in His ways it is evident that He is walking a straight path.

That from “all His deeds” it appears that He is “kind” means that there is nothing about any of His works that is harmful to anyone or even anything that is useless. On the contrary, in His works it appears that He is kind to all His creatures. They are blessings that the LORD can give because they are based on the covenant. Everything He does makes sense and involves blessing for all His creatures. His righteousness and His kindness are always in perfect harmony with each other.

If God already cares for His creation in this way, how much more will He care for those who have a connection with Him. Those who have a connection with Him and enjoy His special care are characterized by three aspects: they are those “who call upon Him” (Psalms 145:18), “who fear Him” (Psalms 145:19) and “all who love Him” (Psalms 145:20).

Of the first category it says that they are “all who call upon Him” (Psalms 145:18). It is added as a further provision that it is “all who call upon Him in truth” (cf. Psalms 51:6). All who call upon Him in truth, that is, in truthfulness, without any hypocrisy, may count on Him being “near” to them (Psalms 34:19). He comes to them personally to have fellowship with them. This is what Paul experienced. While in captivity, he can say that the Lord is “near” (Philippians 4:5).

The second category has as a characteristic that they “fear Him”, that is, they have reverence and awe for Him (Psalms 145:19). When they cry out to Him, He “hears their cry and will save them” (cf. Isaiah 65:24). He is always available to those who fear Him to fulfill their desire for salvation from their distress.

The third category includes “all who love Him” (Psalms 145:20). They are kept by the LORD so that the wicked will not harm them. The wicked will face Him as the God Who judges wickedness (Psalms 101:8). Not one wicked person remains, for “all the wicked He will destroy”. All who love Him will have nothing more to fear from the wicked.

Verse 21

All Flesh Will Bless His Holy Name

In this last verse, after describing God’s greatness in His creation, in His ways and in His works, we hear Christ say that His mouth “will speak the praise of the LORD”. The effect of this mighty testimony is that “all flesh will bless His holy name”. This will not be an occasional thing, but will happen “forever and ever”, without ever ending. It is a continual praise of God, begun by Christ and in which all who are in the realm of peace will join throughout the time the realm of peace lasts.

The psalm begins in Psalms 145:1 with the psalmist’s intention to praise and glorify the LORD as God the King. Having carried out his intention in this psalm, he ends this psalm with the desire that he and all mankind will continue to praise and glorify the LORD for all eternity.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Psalms 145". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/psalms-145.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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