Theme: The Last of David’s Psalms
In this week’s lessons, from this last psalm of David we see that we are given a guide for how to praise God.
Scripture: Psalm 145:1-21
Psalm 145 is the last of David’s psalms, as well as the last acrostic psalm in the Psalter.1 An acrostic psalm is one in which each verse (or a group of verses, as in Psalm 119) begins with one of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in sequence: the first with aleph, the second with beth, the third with gimel, and so on. In this case, most Hebrew texts lack a verse for nun, which is why the psalm has only twenty-one verses instead of twenty-two. But one Masoretic text, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the ancient Syriac version supply the words. They appear as the second half of verse 13 in the New International Version: “The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.”
What do you think should be the subject matter of this very last psalm by David? It should not take long to answer that question. If you know anything at all about David, you will expect this great Old Testament figure to be praising God. That is exactly what we find. Psalm 145 is a great praise psalm, a fit summary of all David had learned about God during a long lifetime of following hard after the Almighty. It is also an appropriate transition to the final “Hallelujah” psalms that close the Psalter.
David begins this great praise psalm by an opening statement in which he salutes Jehovah as “my God the King” (v. 1). This is a significant statement from the mouth of Israel’s king, for it acknowledges that although David may have been king of the elect nation of Israel, God is nevertheless the King of kings and therefore David’s king too. And not only King of kings! He is the only ultimate King of all creation and all persons. He is your King, because he made you and rules over you, whether you acknowledge his rule or not. You should acknowledge God’s rule. You should confess him to be your King, as David does.
What does this great King deserve? What can we give him when we come into his presence? It was usual to bring kings gifts, but there is no mere thing that we can give God that God does not possess already. Everything is already his. The only thing we can give is our praise or worship. That is what David says he will do: “I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever” (vv. 1, 2).
These nearly parallel lines make three statements: 1) I will praise you; 2) I will praise you daily; and 3) I will praise you forever. We will look at these points in depth in tomorrow’s study.
1There are eight acrostic psalms in all (Psalms 9-10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119 and 145), five of them ascribed to David.
Why is Psalm 145 significant in the Psalter? What is the subject matter?
What does David call God and why?
Name the only thing you can give to God. Why is this so?
Application: Do you offer God praise when you come into his presence, or are you too focused on your requests? In your prayers, consider using themes from Psalm 145 to guide your praise.
Key Point: [God] is the only ultimate King of all creation and all persons. He is your King, because he made you and rules over you, whether you acknowledge his rule or not.
For Further Study: One of God’s attributes is his greatness. For more on this characteristic, download for free and listen to Bryan Chapell’s message, “The Greatness of God.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)