The Greatness of His Name

David begins Psalm 145 by giving the Lord enthusiastic praise. He extols, praises, and blesses the Lord for the greatness of his name.

He then begins to meditate on God’s attributes, namely, his majesty, followed by the wonder of his works.

“On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.”
Psalm 145:5

After meditating, David tells us God’s works speak, pour fourth, and sing aloud of God’s mighty deeds, abundant goodness, and righteousness. David too joins in the chorus of declaring God’s greatness alongside the rest of creation.

He reminds us that God’s works speak not only of God himself, but also give him thanks, spreading the message of the everlasting splendor of his kingdom and power. The winding rivers, roaring waterfalls, abundant trees – the wind, the rain, the calm and stormy seas – all God’s creation speaks of him. And they don’t stop. Every planet, every star, every sun and moon, comet and asteroid, continues to declare the glory of the Lord.

From generation to generation, God’s word and works proclaim the goodness of his name.

It’s worth noting that after reflecting on God’s goodness, power, might, and majesty in verses 1-13a, David then moves in verses 13b-20 to reflect on the practical ways these attributes of God play out in our daily lives.

“The Lord is faithful in all his words
And kind in all his works.
The Lord upholds all who are falling
And raises up all who are bowed down.”
Verses 13a-14.

David moves from the attributes of God to the works of God. It’s as if David wanted us to remember that the majestic God who created all things will sustain what he made. He made us. He also made the food that we eat, the material for the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, and the places we live in – and the ground underneath. The Lord gives food in due season; he opens his hand to us; he satisfies the desire of all creatures.

And again, David reflects how God fulfills the desires and hears the cries of those who fear him, and how he preserves those who love him. He remembers how the Lord also upholds all who are falling because he is near to all who call on him in truth. God gives us our food at the right time, fulfills our desires, and hears our cries for help, and saves us by preserving us in our troubles.

David’s praise comes full circle at the end of this Psalm.

My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
    and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.”
Verse 21.

He praises God in his mighty attributes, which leads to reflecting and remembering how they play out on earth, which then leads to more praise of the Lord, and a call for all flesh to bless his holy name forever and ever.

I think this is what Heaven will be. Continuous, uninhibited praise and joy. Not only setting the mind on his mighty and splendorous attributes, but seeing them before our very eyes. Not only remembering how these attributes played out on earth, but witnessing them perfectly as glorified sons and daughters under a new Heaven and on a new earth.

Meditate on one of God’s attributes – how he is unchangeable, knows everything, or how he controls the winds and the seas and everything in-between – and you’ll soon be reminded that this God, who is perfect in all of his ways, is the one who is merciful, who lifts up the downcast and satisfies the needy soul with food and drink and his very self, is near to those who call on him, and will bring justice to the wicked and peace to the righteous.

In other words, meditating on the weighty attributes of God soon leads us to reflect on the everyday benevolence he brings. He fulfills our desires; he sustains our lives; he gives us our daily bread. Meditating on the Lord informs our understanding of how he provides for our needs, and causes us to praise him for all the little things we miss when we’re too busy to notice or too jaded to care.

Is it no wonder then that the final five Psalms, 146-150, all begin and end with the call to “Praise the Lord!”?

Meditate on God’s word today. Meditate on God himself. Remember his goodness. Remember his mercy. Remember how he provides our daily bread. The Lord sustains and the Lord provides. Blessed be his name.

–Joseph Hamrick
Deacon at C3

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