Published November 18, 2004
Psalm 145:3-5, 8-9, 11-21
Related Sunday School Lesson Family Bible Series, November 28
Every time God reveals Himself to His people, He is always commanding us to be involved in evangelism. God's power was revealed in the creation, His person was revealed in the Christ, and His precepts are revealed in the canon. In each form of Divine revelation, we are instructed to declare His goodness.
The fleshly revelation of the Christ commands us to witness. There are numerous accounts of the Great Commission of our Risen Lord (Matt. 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:45-49, and Acts 1:8). The finished revelation of the canon instructs us to witness.
The list of Scriptural mandates to evangelize is too long to enumerate but it would have to include Romans 1:14-16, Romans 10:13-17, and I Timothy 2:4. And according to Psalm 19:1 and Romans 1:20 the foundational revelation of the creation encourages us to proclaim the grace of the Lord.
In this final lesson of the CreationSpeak series, David reminds us of the importance of telling others about the Creator. Psalm 145 is the final Davidic psalm in the canon and is the only one inscribed as David's psalm of praise. It is as though this were the shepherd-king's favorite hymn! Originally written as an acrostic, this psalm contains all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet (22) except for the 14th letter, nun. Thus there are 21 verses in our English Bibles.
From this passage of Scripture we can see at least three reasons to tell others about God.
Because of His Greatness, vs. 3-5
Who could fail to look at creation's beauty and miss God's greatness? Unfortunately, millions and millions of people can miss this truth every day. David was not one of them. When he considers the sheer majesty of God, he erupts in praise. And this is no staid, formal, or liturgical praise. David knew the importance of being silent before God but this was no time for hushed reverence.
The Hebrew word for "praised" in verse 3 is halal. It means "to rave, to boast, to celebrate." David was not the typical Baptist. He was having a shouting spell! This word also connotes putting on a show or demonstration. David was ready to praise the Lord and he did not care who knew it.
Far too often we allow our concern about the opinion of others to stifle our song and silence our witness. If we would simply look at the glory of creation, we too would declare that "Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised!" One fresh glimpse of His greatness would do more for our evangelistic fervor than a thousand soul-winning conferences.
Perhaps David recalled the scornful stare and critical call of Michal (2 Samuel 6:12-23). If so, he was equally unconcerned about the opinion of others. Michal's critical spirit about David's celebrative praise resulted in her own personal barrenness. It still does today.
The word for "praise" in verse 4a is shabach. Its most literal meaning is "loud" or "in a loud tone." The greatness of God should compel a loud response from His people. Not necessarily loud in volume, but loud in fervency.
Note that in verse 3, David does not allow the "unsearchable" aspects of God to destroy his witness. Yes, there are things about God we will never know, understand, or be able to explain. But as the country preacher has said, "It's not what I don't know about God that makes me serve Him. It's what I do know!" And one thing that creation tells us about God...He is great!
Because of His Grace, vs. 8-9
Grace is often defined as "unmerited favor." That is, grace means receiving something you do not deserve. For example, we did not deserve forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life but God gave it to us anyway. That's amazing grace.
On the other hand, mercy means not receiving something that you do deserve. We did deserve eternal death, doom, and destruction, but God has withheld them from us. That's marvelous mercy!
The word "good" in verse 9 is a synonym for "grace," so the thought is repeated there. The Lord's mercy makes Him "slow to anger." His grace causes Him to be "great in loving kindness." Therefore, grace and mercy are opposing sides of the same heavenly coin. Whether it's heads or tails, you are a winner either way!
As believers, we share with others that God extends His grace and mercy through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (I Corinthians 15:3-4). For anyone wanting to receive the grace and mercy of the Father, it only comes one way. The hymn writer said, "Mercy there was great and grace was free ... at Calvary!"
Because of His Goodness, vs. 11-21
Inclusive words like "all" and "everyone" are repeated throughout this psalm. This is especially true in verses 14-21. The Lord's goodness is bestowed on all who fall, all who are bowed down (with burdens), and all who look to Him. Without partiality, the Creator is righteous in all His ways and is kind in all His deeds. He is near to all who call upon His wonderful name.
But perhaps the most powerful use of the word "all" is the contrast that appears in verse 20. The Lord will preserve and keep all those who love Him. With equal impartiality, His righteousness demands that all the wicked will be destroyed. Moved by this knowledge David declares, "My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord!"
Every revelation of God declares His goodness. There's the Christ, the canon, and the creation. Now, it's time for the church to take its rightful place. Let's join with creation and tell others about God!
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