Thursday, June 26, 2014

Psalm 145:1

Psalm 145 is a beautiful song of praise to the Lord.  David is incapable of holding back his words of joy over who God is and what he has done.  Verse 1 sets the stage for the remainder of David’s psalm by highlighting key aspects of God’s person and work from which all the rest of David’s praises flow.

Psalm 145:1--I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.

David begins by declaring his intention to extol God.  This literally means to “lift up”, to exalt, or to elevate in praise. David, of course, does not believe he is going to elevate God to a higher state than God already is, but David is saying that he is going to speak of the Lord in a manner that is befitting to a King, a King who is God.

Praise is directly proportionate to worth.  When praise is not in proportion to worth it is disingenuous and it is not truly praise.  When the praise offered is not in proportion to worth there are two options. Either the praise being offered is flattery, this is when the praise exceeds the worth, or it is insult, this is when the praise falls short of the worth.  David would in no way seek to insult the Lord.  He wants to extol the Lord properly and not fall short of this in any way.

But could David fall into flattery of God?  Could David ever offer God praise that exceeded God’s worth?  No, that would be impossible!  God is a being of infinite worth and undoubtedly deserves infinite praise.  This is exactly what David seeks to offer.  He seeks to extol the Lord.  He seeks to attribute the proper amount of praise to his King based on the value and worth of his King.

This leads to David’s second statement.  To attribute the proper amount of praise to a being who is of infinite worth would take a long, long, long, long time.  It would take, quite literally, forever!  And this is the exact point David makes.  He says not only will he extol the Lord but that he will “bless”(praise) his name forever.  CH Spurgeon put it like this,
And I will bless thy name for ever and ever.” David determined that his praise should rise to blessing, should intelligently spend itself upon the name or character of God, and should be continued world without end. He uses the word “bless” not merely for variation of sound, but also for the deepening and sweetening of the sense. To bless God is to praise him with a personal affection for him, and a wishing well to him; this is a growingly easy exercise as we advance in experience and grow in grace. David declares that he will offer every form of praise, through every form of existence. His notion of duration is a full one—“for ever” has no end, but when he adds another “ever” to it he forbids all idea of a close. Our praise of God shall be as eternal as the God we praise.[1]
Our praise to God will be as eternal as he is.  He is a being of infinite worth who deserves infinite praise.  He is a God who has offered eternal forgiveness and has earned, as if he even needed to earn it, eternal allegiance and eternal praise.  And that is exactly what he will receive and it will be our eternal joy to offer it.  But, praise be to God, we do not have to wait for any future time to offer him this worship.  Today, this very day, we can join with David and all the saints gone before in extolling the Lord and blessing the name of our great God and King.

**One of the tragedies of much of Western Christendom is the fact that many of us have lost the gift of singing the Psalms.  Here is Psalm 145:1-7 put to music.  If you cannot read music, try singing it to another hymn(like How Deep the Father’s Love for Us or When I Survey the Wondrous Cross or some other one!)

**Screenshot.  That play button^ will do nothing for you!

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (2009). The treasury of David: Psalms 120-150 (Vol. 6, pp. 375–376). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.