Theme: God’s Faithfulness
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
The next section of Psalm 145 deals with God’s faithfulness to his promises. Derek Kidner calls this section “God the Provider” (vv. 13b-20), noting four ways in which God provides for his creation: 1) he helps the inadequate (v. 14); 2) gives food to all his creatures (vv. 15, 16); 3) answers those who pray (vv. 18, 19); and 4) protects those who are his (v. 20).1 This is accurate. But the New International Version probably follows the psalmist’s intended stanza arrangement more closely when it links verses 13b-16 to God’s faithfulness (v. 13) and verses 17-20 to God’s righteous or upright way of acting: “The LORD is righteous in all his ways” (v. 17).
This division is also suggested by the repetition of a line in verses 13b and 17. The first verse says, “The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made,” while the next section begins, “The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.”2
How does God demonstrate his faithfulness? He does it by keeping his promises and by caring for his creation (v. 13). When we fall, he lifts us up (v. 14). When we are bowed down by distress, he restores us (v. 14). When we are hungry, he provides food (v. 15). When we look to him with our hands open, empty and held out, he satisfies us with good things (v. 16). God does this for human beings, of course. But what the psalmist seems to be thinking of here most is the faithfulness of God even to the animal kingdom, for he stresses: “to all he has made” (v. 13) and “every living thing” (v. 16). One promise referred to in verse 13 is probably God’s promise to Noah following the Flood: “Never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease” (Gen. 8:21, 22).
That is a great promise. But the promises of God to his redeemed people are much greater. What the animals need from God is food. But man? Men and women need many things, but what we need most of all is God. It is what Saint Augustine said in his Confessions: “Thou hast formed us for thyself, and our hearts are restless, till they rest in thee.”3 This is what God has promised to give us if we will come to him through Christ. He will give us himself. And he has! He has given us himself in Jesus Christ. But then he also meets every other right desire we may have. God says, “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it” (Ps. 81:10). Paul testified, “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).
1Derek Kidner, Psalms 73-150: A Commentary on Books III-V of the Psalms (Leicester, England, and Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1975), p. 482.
2It should be noted, however, that verse 13b is the verse that has been added to provide the missing nun for the acrostic. In the Hebrew text, the only difference between the two verses is the initial word. In the second case it is tsadek (“righteous”). In the first it is ne-amen (“and true”), the n being the missing letter. This could mean that a scribe, noticing the missing letter, supplied it by repeating the original verse earlier in the psalm with the new word added. Less likely, but also possible, 13b could have been left out inadvertently because of the near repetition.
3Saint Augustine, The Confessions of St. Augustine, in A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, ed. Philip Schaff (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974), vol. 1, p. 45.
In what four ways does God provide for his creation?
How does God demonstrate faithfulness?
Why are God’s promises to his redeemed people greater?
Application: Make a list of evidences of God’s faithfulness to you. Praise and thank him for his faithfulness.
Key Point: Men and women need many things, but what we need most of all is God.