6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: An apt overture to the crescendo of Praise with which the Psalter ends!

A NOTE OF PRAISE

Psalm 145:1-5; Psalm 145:17-21

A lone voice opens the Psalm: “I” will extol thee; “I” will bless (Psalm 145:1); “I” will bless; “I” will praise (Psalm 145:2). ‘Generations’ shall praise and declare (Psalm 145:4); “I” will speak and declare (Psalm 145:5-6). The word ‘men’ is not in the Hebrew of Psalm 145:6a, but by the next verse there is a reference to a plurality of persons - “they” - who shall utter and sing (Psalm 145:7).

All Creation shall praise the LORD, and all His faithful shall bless Him (Psalm 145:10). This “all” is comprehensive, it is extensive, but it also comes down to the level of the ‘each’ as well as the ‘every’ on the individual level. As David says in Psalm 103:1, ‘Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy Name!’

As well as praise, there is conversation (Psalm 145:11). The Creation speaks forth God’s glory (Psalm 19:1). It is also the case that those who are His saints, His faithful, do speak to one another (Malachi 3:16; cf. Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). Sharing our testimony is part and parcel of the Christian life.

This conversation is not only for the mutual encouragement and edification of those within the church (1 Thessalonians 5:11), but also for those who are outside the church. “The sons of men” (Psalm 145:12) is a comprehensive expression, meaning (as some translations have it) “all people”! Those who study Creation may well conclude that there is, after all, a God (and praise His Name, many have); but those who are exposed to genuine Christian conversation have an even better chance of discovering just Who He is!

The reasons for praise are based in the Person, the virtues, and the works of the LORD. He is my God and King (Psalm 145:1; cf. Revelation 19:16). When we “bless” the LORD (Psalm 145:2) we add nothing to Him, but He shelters us with His Presence (cf. Psalm 145:18; Revelation 7:15).

His greatness is unsearchable (Psalm 145:3; cf. Romans 11:33). His “works” of Creation and Providence are matched by His “mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4; cf. Exodus 12:26-27 and the miracles of Jesus). The “glorious honour” of His majesty is shown forth in His “wondrous works” (Psalm 145:5; cf. the Incarnation, the Cross, the Resurrection of Jesus, His Ascension, His intercession at the right hand of God, His Coming in Glory).

Our trust in the LORD is not based in our ability to believe, but in His perfections. He is righteous in all His ways: He is just. He is kind in all He does: He is holy (Psalm 145:17).

It is good that we can view the LORD as a God who is not only transcendent, but also immanent. He is present within His Creation. He is “near” to all who call upon Him (Psalm 145:18). We should, therefore, ‘Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near’ (Isaiah 55:6).

The one true God, the God of all integrity (Deuteronomy 32:4; John 14:6; 1 John 5:20; Revelation 19:11) draws “nigh” unto all who call upon Him “in truth” with a matching integrity of heart (Psalm 145:18).

It is of the LORD’s mercy that He also hears our petitions (Psalm 145:19). This is particularly addressed to “those who fear Him” - those who revere His Name. We may not presumptuously or blasphemously call out His Name at every approach of trouble: but when we nurture a relationship with him, He is there for us, always.

He grants our desires, because our desires are consistent with His. He hears our cry, because we are His people. He ‘saves to the uttermost’ all that come to God via Jesus Christ, who forever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).

The LORD preserves all who love Him (Psalm 145:20). This is the flip side of our own perseverance: ‘he who endures to the end shall be saved’ (Matthew 24:13). Yet we may not presume upon His grace: the God who is slow to anger (Psalm 145:8), is also the God who will punish the unrepentant (2 Peter 2:9).

The “each” and “every” of God’s comprehensive care find their final expression as the Psalmist speaks the praise of the LORD, and “all flesh” replies by “blessing” (speaking well of) His holy Name (Psalm 145:21). The groaning Creation (Romans 8:22) at last finds relief in the “for ever and ever” (Psalm 145:21). Amen.

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