Jean’s Gospel: Psalm 145, Pt. 3
This is the concluding article in a 3-part series on Psalm 145. In Part 1, I included some brief but helpful introductory remarks about the Psalter in general, followed by a look at the opening three verses of Psalm 145. In verses 1-2, David praises the universal reign of his God the King over all creation.
In verse 3, David proclaims the greatness of the Lord.
In Part 2, we examined verses 4-7, which praise the wondrous works of God on behalf of His people, and verses 8-9, which proclaim the grace of God.
This week we pick up Psalm 145 at verse 10:
“10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your saints shall bless you!
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
12 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.”
After proclaiming the grace of God through faith in the promised Christ in verses 8-9, David returns to praise. In this section David praises the glorious splendor of his Lord’s universal kingship and kingdom.
This section has an eschatological perspective. “All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord” anticipates the day when: “the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom 8:21); and “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:10-11)
Although every knee will pay homage to Christ the Lord at His return, His saints (i.e., believers in the Gospel) shall “bless” Him and celebrate the “glorious splendor” of His kingdom. At His first advent, Jesus inaugurated God’s kingdom of grace. Upon His return, Jesus will consummate God’s kingdom in its full glory and raise His saints imperishable.
“13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The Lord is faithful in all his words
and kind in all his works.
14 The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.”
In this section, which runs through verse 20, David returns to proclamation of God’s kingdom. It is “an everlasting kingdom.” David is referring to “the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet 2:11). Of His kingdom, the holy Christian Church in the Nicene Creed confesses: “And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.”
The Lord is “faithful” (i.e., trustworthy) “in all his words and kind in all his works.” The psalmists knew of One alone in whom we should trust, as well as those in whom we should not place our trust: “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.” (Ps 146:3) Only a King who is the Alpha and the Omega, who reigns eternally, and who alone is the “gate” and the “Good Shepherd” of an everlasting kingdom, is trustworthy. As Jesus said: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Matt 24:35)
David proclaims the kindness of his most trustworthy King: “The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.” For this help, Jesus teaches us to pray: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matt 6:13) Verse 14 may also be read as a warning to those who are not afflicted by temptations and the weight of sin, to those who say: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men” (Luke 18:11).
“15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.”
The saints in Christ all look to our King for our food in due season. For food and other temporal needs, Jesus teaches us to look with eyes of faith and pray: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt 6:11). Upon His return in glory, “the eyes of all” will look to Christ and He will “satisfy the desire of every living thing.”
“The Lord is near to “all who call on him in truth,” who “fear him.” Jesus is the Truth, as it is written: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) His saints call on God through Christ alone.
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. To hate evil is to live in, but not of, this world; it is to enter into conflict against the values of the world, the devil and our own sinful flesh. Yet, we have faith in Christ, who won the battle for His saints, making satisfaction for our sins with His own precious blood. He “hears their cry and saves them.”
Although Psalm 145 is focused overwhelmingly on the grace and mercy of God, there will be a judgment. For the sake of His saints, Christ on the last day will eternally judge and destroy the remnants of evil and the wicked: “The Lord preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.” For this final judgment and purge of evil, Jesus teaches us to pray: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt 6:10) Included in the proclamation, “The Lord is righteous in all his ways,” are His judgments.
“21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.”
David concludes this psalm where He started – vowing to publicly praise the Lord, his God the King. “[L] et all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.” Amen.
Thank you for reading. This concludes this series on Psalm 145. Amen.