Psalm 145:4-5, 13, 21 (NIV)
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.
If you received the last letter a close friend would ever write you, how much would it mean to you? How much attention would you give it? How much weight might it possibly contain? “Psalm 145 is indeed a monumental praise psalm; a fit summary of all David had learned about God during a long lifetime of following hard after the Almighty.” (James Montgomery Boice) This is the last of the psalms attributed to King David, and like the book his son, Solomon, wrote near the end of his life—Ecclesiastes—we would do well to give it our full attention.
David had lived a full life, to say the least, and while he had many ups and downs—and many trials of his own making—his life was always trending towards God rather than away from him. His sin ledger was great, but so was his confessional life. He was “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) but struggled with temptation, parenting, and consistency (Ps. 25:11). As we have studied through the Psalms, we have found David (in his own words) to be:
Humble (Ps. 62:9)
Reverent (Ps. 18:3)
Respectful (Ps. 31:9)
Trusting (Ps. 27:1)
Loving (Ps. 18:1)
Faithful (Ps. 23:6)
Repentant (Ps. 25:11)
That was the inclination of his heart towards God, while not always marking his daily life and decisions. David could have focused on that in his last psalm, but he chose to focus on God, instead:
Your mighty acts.
Your wonderful works.
Old Testament scholar, William VanGemeren, notes that, “In Jewish practice this psalm was recited twice in the morning and once in the evening service. The Talmud commends all who repeat it three times a day as having a share in the world to come.” I’d like to invite you to stop reading at this point and simply recite all 21 verses of Psalm 145. It will only take you about 1 minute and forty-five seconds (I timed it). Please don’t say, “I’ll do it later.” Just stop for a minute (plus 45-seconds) and recite it out loud.
Did you do it?
I’ve done it three times since sitting down to write this devotional, and it felt good every time! Did you find yourself questioning parts of it with respect to your own life? Did you experience any conviction regarding a line or two? Did your voice elevate as you hit on points where you spirit cried, “Amen”? Were you encouraged by promises that you have yet to experience, but believe are still true? Spurgeon notes that, “Certainly David’s praise is the best of praise, for it is that of a man of experience, of sincerity, of calm deliberation, and of intense warmth of the heart. It is not for any one of us to render David’s praise, for David only could do that, but we may take David’s psalm as a model, and aim at making our own personal adoration as much like it as possible.” Our praises please the Lord, but they are also good for our own souls as well as those God has placed around us. Let us all seek to speak “A psalm of praise. Of (your name here)” more often in our lives.