Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Dec 22 2019 - Psalm 145 – The Lord faithful to his promises

This is a wonderful psalm of praise attributed to David. He is determined to praise God not only each day of his life, but to praise him for ever and ever. And he gives reasons for his praise.

Firstly, the Lord is great. When David says this he is not using the word in the watered down sense in which we often use it. When we are told that the item we have set our hearts on is in stock and available in the shop to which we have gone to purchase it we may say, "That's great!" When someone you love dresses up for a special event you may tell her/him, "You look great!" But God is great in a far greater way than this. "His greatness", David says, "no one can fathom" (v. 3). He is the creator of heaven and earth "of all that is seen and is unseen". The greatness of his power is beyond our imagination. And, as we have seen previously from Psalm 139, he is great in his knowledge of us and of every circumstance that affects our lives.

But above all, David wants to celebrate the great things that God has done for his people. He thinks of the way in which each generation of God's people has passed on to the next the stories of what God has done. So the story of the Exodus was celebrated and passed on through the family celebration of the Passover, and God's care of his people in the wilderness was celebrated annually in the feast of Tabernacles. As the Scriptures were read, each new generation learned afresh of all that God had done for them. Nor was this dispassionate book learning; each generation would commend the great works of God to their children, speaking of the glorious splendour and majesty of the living God and the great deeds and wonderful works he had done. Together they would celebrate God's abundant goodness and joyfully sing of his righteousness.

Later David says, "The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does" (v. 13). We know of God's faithfulness to his promises. We have been reading our way through the Old Testament and have seen time and time again how it points us forward to the Lord Jesus Christ. And Christ has come. Out of love for his lost and damaged world, God sent us his Son to live among us. He came to show us the character and love of God and at last take upon himself the burden of our sin and rebellion. Through him we have been given eternal life and been brought to know God as our heavenly Father who cares for us with a love beyond words.

God's great love for us in the Lord Jesus surely makes us want to praise him every day and throughout eternity. Surely it moves us to share with generations following us the awesome things God has done for our salvation. We also want to tell of the glory of God's kingdom which is an everlasting kingdom and of the dominion of our Lord Jesus Christ that shall endure through all generations. We want to bear testimony to the discoveries we have made – that the Lord is near to all who call on him, he hears their cry and saves them. We will want to tell of the ways in which he fulfils the desires of those who fear him and watches over those who love him.

All too often, our praise of God is a reflection of our feelings. When things go well with us we feel in a mood to praise God but when we are struggling with life, facing disappointments or real difficulties, our capacity for praise seems to dry up. David's determination to praise God every day and then throughout eternity is grounded not in his own feelings but in God's great goodness and saving mercy. It may seem an easy thing to say, but I say it to myself just as much as I do to you, our praise should be our heartfelt and mindful response to what God has done for us in Jesus. Our God does not change – his mercies are new every morning. The Lord Jesus does not change – he is the same yesterday and today and forever. So our praise also should be new every morning and should animate every aspect of each day of our lives.

Lord God, by your Spirit, open my mind and heart to a continual awareness of your goodness and love towards me in the Lord Jesus Christ. Fill me with a spirit of praise and help me to tell those around me, especially the younger generations now growing up, of all that you have done for our salvation. So may they also come to know the riches of your love and speak of you in their turn.

Peter Misselbrook