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Deeper Commentary

Psa 145:1

A praise psalm by David-
This psalm is alphabetic, like other Psalms, but the letter nun is omitted. It is good homework for the enthusiast to work out why. The Psalm appears to be David looking forward to how his kingdom would be once he had taken over from Saul as promised; in this sense it follows on from the end of Ps. 144, which is all about this. However, as noted on Ps. 144:12-15, this didn't come about as David hoped and envisioned. But it will do so in the future Kingdom of God, where the Lord Jesus will sit upon David's throne and rule over a revived Davidic Kingdom. This Psalm therefore becomes a prophecy of God's future Kingdom, and praise for how it shall be.

I will exalt You my God as the King. I will praise Your name forever and ever-
As noted above, David is looking ahead to his kingdom becoming the Kingdom of God which would be eternal, with him praising God forever. And David emphasizes that God and not himself is the ultimate king of the Kingdom. Samuel had well instilled this into him.

Psa 145:2

Every day I will praise You, I will extol Your name forever and ever-
This was David's vision of the Davidic kingdom; praising God's name daily for ever, implying he would live endless days.

Psa 145:3

Great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised! His greatness is unsearchable-
The eternity of David's praise (:2) is related to the unsearchable greatness of God which he is praising. Paul appears to allude to this in Rom. 11:33, where the unsearchable greatness refers to the greatness of God's grace in saving sinners. David is quoting Job 5:9; 9:10, which also talk of God's unsearchable grace in human salvation. Job and the Pentateuch were likely the main scriptures known by David. The same unsearchable nature of God's grace was available to the exiles (s.w. Is. 40:28).

Psa 145:4

One generation will commend Your works to another, and will declare Your mighty acts-
This is how David imagined his kingdom being. God’s word is a living word. Unlike other history, we can see the intense personal relevance of all God’s past dealings with men. David at times gets ecstatic for what God had done at the Red Sea; one generation would tell accounts like the Passover story to another, they too would sing as Miriam had done (Ps. 145:4-7). The "works" retold would be of God's saving grace; that will be our talk throughout eternity, and we should begin living the Kingdom life now.

Psa 145:5

Of the glorious majesty of Your honour, of Your wondrous works, I will meditate-
This is defined in :12 as the glory of God's Kingdom. David was about to become king as promised by Samuel, and he hopes that his kingdom shall be God's Kingdom. He is commendably full of thought and meditation of God's Kingdom rather than his own; and there we have an abiding principle. But David used the same words in Ps. 8:5 when meditating upon his victory over Goliath; he had been crowned with glory and honour. That victory was the basis upon which he became king, in the eyes of Israel; and he meditates how the glory and honour given him was in fact God's and not his own. The glory and majesty of the kingship and kingdom was "laid upon" him (Ps. 21:5 s.w.). But David's kingdom didn't fully become God's Kingdom on earth, and the final glory, honour and majesty will be in the future Kingdom of God on earth, when the Lord Jesus reestablishes David's kingdom and reigns on his throne (s.w. Is. 35:2).  

Psa 145:6

Men will speak of the might of Your awesome acts; I will declare Your greatness-
It was David who was doing just this, especially through his Psalms. But he imagines the Kingdom of God as being a time when all men will have his uninhibited desire to speak and declare God's greatness.

Psa 145:7

They will utter the memory of Your great goodness and will sing of Your righteousness-
As noted on :6, it was David who was the singer, and he looked forward to all men having his same attitude to open and uninhibited praise. Hence this Psalm, which was intended for all men to sing even now. Thus David consciously sets himself up as the parade example to all who shall be in God's Kingdom.

Psa 145:8

Yahweh is gracious, merciful, slow to anger, and of great grace-
This repeats Yahweh's declaration of His Name to Moses, when He listed His characteristics. We note that "grace" is His lead characteristic. And this will be the more apparent when we are in God's Kingdom, for this is how David imagines us praising God in the Kingdom.

Psa 145:9

Yahweh is good to all, His tender mercies are over all His works-
This will be the praise offered to God in His Kingdom. The struggle of modern man is indeed to believe that God "is good to all". Issues of the justice of God cloud so many attempted relationships with Him. Only in the Kingdom will we finally perceive that He has been good to all, and all His works are encoded with His tender grace. Those issues are left unresolved in this life in order to teach is humility, and trust that there will come a day when all shall be clarified and God's essential goodness and tenderness will be finally perceived.

Psa 145:10

All Your works will give thanks to You, Yahweh; Your saints will extol You-
God's "works" may refer to the natural creation, which will be endued with a capacity to praise Yahweh in His Kingdom. In this sense all of creation groans for that day of His Kingdom (Rom. 8:22). But we can also interpret His "works" as a poetic parallel with His "saints", His people. We will then realize that God worked with us to prepare us for the final and eternal day of His Kingdom.

Psa 145:11

They will speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and talk about Your power-
Again we see David aware that his kingdom was essentially God's Kingdom; although he imagined his kingdom being established as God's Kingdom, he realizes that all the glory and power was related to God and not himself. The descriptions here of how life will be in God's Kingdom do not focus upon the physical environment which will then be experienced; but rather upon what we will be doing and thinking, particularly focusing upon our praise of Him. And the idea is that this Psalm is to be sung and felt today; we can begin to live the Kingdom life now. In that sense, as we learn in John's writings, we even now "have eternal life".

Psa 145:12

to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, the glory of the majesty of His kingdom-
See on :5. We note in this Psalm David's continual desire to tell others of God's majesty. David knew his sinfulness, he knew his reliance upon the grace of God, more and more as he got older. One would have thought that after the Bathsheba incident, David would have kept his mouth shut so far as telling other people how to live was concerned. But instead, we find an increasing emphasis in the Psalms (chronologically) upon David's desire to teach others of God's ways- particularly the surrounding Gentile peoples, before whom David had been disgraced over Bathsheba, not to mention from his two faced allegiance to Achish (1 Sam. 27:8-12). There is real stress upon this evangelistic fervour of David (Ps. 4:3; 18:49; 22:25,31; 35:18; 40:9,10; 57:9; 62:8; 66:5,16; 95:1,8; 96:5-8,10; 100:1-4; 105:1,2; 119:27; 145:5,6,12). Indeed, Ps.71:18 records the "old and greyheaded" David pleading with God not to die until he had taught "thy strength unto this generation". As with Paul years later, the only reason he wanted to stay alive was in order to witness the Gospel of grace to others. David therefore coped with his deep inner traumas by looking out of himself to those around him, eagerly desiring to share with them the pureness of God's grace. He didn't do this as some kind of self-help psychiatry; it came naturally from a realization of his own sinfulness and God's mercy, and the wonderful willingness of God to extend this to men.

Psa 145:13

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, Your dominion endures throughout all generations. Yahweh is faithful in all His words, and loving in all His deeds-
The particular "words" and "deeds" David has in view are that despite all odds, God's word of promise that he would become king and Saul deposed had come true. We see this faith expressed in this word so often in Ps. 119. David perceived that his kingdom would be everlasting, because it was to be God's Kingdom. And whilst that didn't come true in his times, it will do finally, because the Lord Jesus will reign over the restored Davidic Kingdom, on David's throne, for ever.

Psa 145:14

Yahweh upholds all who fall, and raises up all those who are bowed down-
The Psalms were likely rewritten by David over the years. The upholding of the lowly could have referred initially to how he was exalted from the persecution under Saul, to be king of God's kingdom (s.w. Ps. 3:5; 37:17,24). It was at that time that he was "bowed down" (s.w. Ps. 57:6). But it also has reference to how he was 'upheld' after he temporarily lost his kingdom after his 'fall' in the matter of Uriah and Bathsheba (s.w. Ps. 55:12).  

Psa 145:15

The eyes of all wait for You; You give them their food in due season-
"Wait for" or "wait upon" is a term used for serving or praising God. As the eyes of servants look to their master, so the eyes of God's people look to Him (Ps.123:2, and the eyes of David are described often in the Psalms as waiting upon God (e.g. Ps. 121:1; 123:1).  David sees encoded in the natural creation a prophecy of how things shall eternally be in God's Kingdom; all turning their eyes to God as the animal creation subconsciously does.

Psa 145:16

You open Your hand to satisfy the desire of every living thing-
LXX "Thou openest thine hands, and fillest every living thing with pleasure". But the idea is that the natural creation turns its eyes to God (:15) and He opens His hand to satisfy their desire. As noted on :15, David sees in this a prophecy of how God's true people would turn their eyes to Him and have their desires satisfied by His opening hand. In the context of the exiles, the idea is that their desire for restoration would be fulfilled when they turned their eyes to their God. Opening the hand is an idiom for generous response to the cry of the poor (Dt. 15:8,11); our generosity is to reflect the open handed generosity we have received and yet hope for from God.  "Satisfy" translates  word often used to describe how God's people in His land would be "filled" or satisfied"; if they were obedient to the covenant (Dt. 6:11; 8:10,12; 11:15 and very often).

Psa 145:17

Yahweh is righteous in all His ways, and gracious in all His works-
This is evidenced in the natural creation (:15,16), and will finally be proven true in the lives of God's faithful people. Whether God was just / righteous and gracious was under question in the mindset of the exiles, as Ezekiel's prophecy reflects. And it has always been questioned. But David sees the Kingdom as a time when people shall finally accept and perceive His justice and grace. This means that the challenges arising from His perceived injustice is all designed to elicit our faith in the Kingdom; for according to David, there will be no answer to the questions until then. The very existence of those questions is therefore a test of our humility, the all important characteristic God looks for. 

Psa 145:18

Yahweh is near to all those who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth-
Literally, 'next to', 'neighbour / relative to'. This is how close God feels to the broken hearted and crushed; and conversely, how far He is from the self satisfied and self congratulatory, 'the strong' in secular terms. It is this feature of Yahweh which makes Him unique; no other God has this characteristic of 'nearness' (s.w. Dt. 4:7). Only those who call upon Him “in truth”, with “unfeigned lips” will he heard (Ps. 145:18). Men repeatedly ‘sought for’ the Lord Jesus (Mk. 1:37; Jn. 6:26), but He told them to truly seek Him (Mt. 6:33; 7:7; Lk.12:31).

Psa 145:19

He will fulfil the desire of those who fear Him, He will also hear their cry and save them-
Often, “desire” is seen by God as prayer (Ps. 10:17; 21:2; 27:4; 59:10; 92:11; 140:8; 145:19; Mt. 18:32; Rom. 10:1; 1 Jn. 5:15). God interprets that inner desire as prayer, even if it is not articulated in specific requests. In the context of the exiles, the idea is that if they truly desired the restoration, it could come in response to their cry. But the problem was that the Kingdom was not their heart's desire.

Psa 145:20

Yahweh preserves all those who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy-
See on Ps. 146:9. David felt preserved by God from Saul and his other enemies (1 Sam. 30:23; 2 Sam. 22:44), because he had preserved or obeyed [s.w.] God's ways (2 Sam. 22:22,24; Ps. 18:21,23); whereas Saul didn't obey / preserve them and was destroyed (1 Sam. 13:13,14; 1 Chron. 10:13). Hence Ps. 145:20: "Yahweh preserves all those who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy". Solomon's prophetic sonship of David was conditional upon him preserving or observing Yahweh's ways (1 Kings 2:4; 1 Chron. 22:13; 2 Chron. 7:17); but he didn't preserve of observe them (1 Kings 11:10,11); despite David praying that Solomon would be given a heart to observe them (1 Chron. 29:19). We can pray for God to work upon the hearts of others, but He will not force people against their own deepest will and heart position. Solomon stresses overmuch how God would keep or preserve the righteous (Prov. 2:8; 3:26), without recognizing the conditional aspect of this. Why did Solomon go wrong? His Proverbs are true enough, but he stresses that obedience to his wisdom and teaching would preserve his hearers (Prov. 4:4; 6:22; 7:1; 8:32; 15:5), preservation was through following the example of the wise (Prov. 2:20); rather than stressing obedience to God's ways, and replacing David his father's simple love of God with a love of academic wisdom: "Yahweh preserves all those who love Him" (Ps. 145:20).

Psa 145:21

My mouth will speak the praise of Yahweh; let all flesh bless His holy name forever and ever-
Several times in the Psalms, David’s poetry matches ‘myself’ with “all men”; he wants all men to share in his experience of Yahweh. He sees his thankful attitude in this life as characteristic of how all in God's Kingdom will eternally live.