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A Psalm of praise
Psalm 145

This morning we are going to take a look at Psalm 145.

-Psalm 145 is a praise Psalm
-Psalm 145 is a Psalm of great comfort to those who are weary, distressed, in trouble
-Psalm 145 is an acrostic build upon the Hebrew alphabet - with one oddity- a sentence beginning with the letter "nun" is missing. Hence there are only 21 verses instead of 22 (which is how many letters there are in the Hebrew alphabet)
-Psalm 145 is unique in that no petitions are made of God -it's entirely devoted to the Praise of the Lord, just as Psalm 119 - which is an acrostic- is entirely devoted to the lifting up the beauty and power of the Word of God. Sometimes in our prayer life it's a good thing just to come before the Lord in praise and thanks.

While I have always liked Psalm 145 it was not until further study this week that I came to realize how important a chapter it is to those who are Jewish.

-Jews call Psalm 145 "The Ashrei" -a title to one of their many prayers
-Devout Jews are required to recite this Psalm three times every day (and if they do so without paying attention, they are to do it again)
-In the 4th century a Jewish Rabbi named Eleazer ben Abina is recorded as saying "One who thoughtfully recites Ashrei three times daily is guaranteed a place in the World to Come". Many Jews actually believe this.

When I read of how Psalm 145 is being used, I was shocked. To think that reciting a passage three times a day and really meaning it is the way of salvation makes no sense.

A relationship with Jesus is the only way to be guaranteed a place in Heaven/The world to come. As Jesus - who demonstrated that He was God in the flesh by showing His power and authority over sickness, death, evil spirit, nature, and by forgiving sins- says; "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me"

To come into relationship with Christ we are told to confess our sins and put our faith in Christ as our only Saviour and Lord. As 1 John 1:9 says; "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness"

READ TEXT

A. What are your favorite verses? I like.....

v.8 "The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love."

v.9 "The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made." See also v.16 "You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing."

v.14 "The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down"

v.18 "The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."


B. Some good practical points of application for us from the text

v.1 "my God THE King"- says King David of the LORD -who is the King of Kings whose service we are in

v. 4 "One generation commends your works to another" see also v.5,6,7,10,11-12 for continuity of this them

Telling others about God and what He has done for us- that's what is to be on our lips

v.14 "The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down." Theme carried on in v.15-19

Point: Trust God. He knows how to care for us. Look to Him. Draw near to Him. Wait upon Him


C. HOW GOD IS DESCRIBED IN PSALM 145

Psalm 145 serves as a model passage of where to go for good theology of who God is, so lets look together at how God is described.

1. As King v.1 THE KING.

2. As great and most worthy of praise v.2. In Revelation 4:11 it says of the Lord; ""You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

3. As One possessing greatness that is beyond our ability to fathom v.3 (Almost every week I find something to marvel at as it regards the design and beauty of people and the world)

4. A doer of mighty acts, wonderful works, great deeds v.4,5,6,12

5. As one of glorious splendor - v.5-

Such reminds us of the visions of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and John who saw the Lord in His majesty- seated on the throne. Or of Moses who met with the Lord on Mount Sinai or in the tent of meeting (and when he left, his face would be resplendent with the glory of God)

6. As one is abundant in goodness. v.7 GOD IS GOOD. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. In verse 9 we are also told that He is good to all. It is not just upon the fields of the righteous that the rain falls. There is no one who can say "God neglected to be good or gracious to me"

7. He is righteous.v.7 He is without sin. He is holy. He is just

8. He is gracious v.8 He does not treat us as our sins deserve. He does not want any to perish but all to come to a saving faith in Christ. Hence we offer the gift of God to all- exhorting all to put their faith in Christ as Savior and Lord- for the sacrifice of Christ on the cross was sufficient for the forgiveness of everyone who believes. It is by grace we have been saved through faith. Such is the gift of God to us. Salvation is not ourselves.

9. He is compassionate v.8 God has a heart- a heart that is moved by the pleas of His people, by the plight of the power, by suffering. Jesus, being God in the flesh was moved by the plight of those who suffered.

10. He is slow to anger v.8 God is incredibly patient.

To Abraham when he came to the Promised land God said "All this will one day be yours, but the sin of the Amorites is not yet full". The inhabitants of the land then had 400 years to be reconciled to God, before the Jews came to take hold of God's promise. 400 years is a lot of patience on God's part.

11. He is rich in love v.8 The extant of God's great love is this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us- the righteous for the unrighteous, that we might come to have peace with God and eternal life.

12. Ruler over an everlasting Kingdom v.13. The Kingdom of God is not like the kingdoms of this world which come and go. Neither is his kingdom one of descending or ascending glory- His kingdom is one of unparalleled glory- one that will never diminish or cease

13. God is trustworthy in all He promises v.13b (which is disputed- in some manuscripts but not others -which means it an addition or an omission- depending on the version). Needless to say, what is affirmed is true.

In 1 Samuel 3:19 in speaking of Samuel it says; "The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel's words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord." As Samuel was shown to be a prophet of the Lord by his words which always came to pass, every Word and Promise of the Lord will come to pass- for nothing is too hard for God.

14. God is described as one who holds those who fall and lifts up those who are bowed down. v.14.

These particular promises are for those who love him v.20. While He always trouble and hardship, He does not abandon those who love Him. Also communicated in the tone of these later verses (v.14,15,16,18,19) is our neediness, our position of dependance, and how absolutely we need Him and His help and strength

15. He is near to all who call on him in truth v.18. This is truly a beautiful verse that reminds us to seek God while He may be found and to draw near to Him, for He will draw near to us.

James 4:8 says; "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."
Isaiah 55:6-7 says; Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon Our drawing near is not to be of our own devices but in and through faith and the person of Christ."

16. He satisfies and fill the the desires of those who fear Him, hearing their cries. v.19.

Such speaks of the mysterious ministrations of God to the brokenhearted and those who look to Him for provision and help.

The words of v.19 mirror what David earlier wrote in Psalm 103:1-5 (the whole Psalm is actually a parallel to Psalm 145), wherein it says; "Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul and forget not all his benefits-who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

17. He is described as one who watches over all who love him, but who will punish the wicked v. 20

Such corresponds to the descriptions of God being just, good, righteous and slow to anger. While God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, since He is just and Holy, He must punish sin; their must be a distinction between the righteous and the wicked. While this is true, we are ever mindful of God's loving provision of Jesus Christ who died as a sacrifice, taking the punishment we deserve for our sins.

CONCLUSION: OUR RESPONSE TO THE TEXT

1. We are to praise the Lord! In v.10 it says "your faithful people extol you"
2. We are to lift up His name with enthusiasm on a continual basis "Let every creature praise His holy name for ever and ever" This mirrors v.1-2 wherein it says "I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever
3. We are to sing of His righteousness v.7 "joyfully sing"
4. We are to tell our children and all who will listen of His work and acts v.6
5. We are to take regular time to contemplate His person and works v.5
6. We are to Praise God for His Grace, His greatness, His compassion, His care of us, His goodness to us, the future He has for us, His closeness to us

Closing song: Joyful Joyful we adore Thee