Psalm 145 ( The Message)
1 I lift you high in praise, my God, O my King! and I’ll bless your name into eternity.
2 I’ll bless you every day,
and keep it up from now to eternity.
3 God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough.
There are no boundaries to his greatness.
4 Generation after generation stands in awe of your work;
each one tells stories of your mighty acts.
5 Your beauty and splendor have everyone talking;
I compose songs on your wonders.
6 Your marvelous doings are headline news;
I could write a book full of the details of your greatness.
7 The fame of your goodness spreads across the country;
your righteousness is on everyone’s lips.
8 God is all mercy and grace—
not quick to anger, is rich in love.
9 God is good to one and all;
everything he does is suffused with grace.
10-11 Creation and creatures applaud you, God;
your holy people bless you.
They talk about the glories of your rule,
they exclaim over your splendor,
12 Letting the world know of your power for good,
the lavish splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal;
you never get voted out of office.
God always does what he says,
and is gracious in everything he does.
14 God gives a hand to those down on their luck,
gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.
15 All eyes are on you, expectant;
you give them their meals on time.
16 Generous to a fault,
you lavish your favor on all creatures.
17 Everything God does is right—
the trademark on all his works is love.
18 God’s there, listening for all who pray,
for all who pray and mean it.
19 He does what’s best for those who fear him—
hears them call out, and saves them.
20 God sticks by all who love him,
but it’s all over for those who don’t.
21 My mouth is filled with God’s praise.
Let everything living bless him,
bless his holy name from now to eternity!
I love Psalms like this. “Why?” you ask, “There are many Psalms like this one.” You point out to me, I know this, but this Psalm is fun. You can go back and re-order it and it would loose no meaning to us. Every line seems separate, like a disjointed poem, or like a list of why God is awesome. And it is true you could. But thanks to research and my 4 years of Bible College (only about a month was spent on Hebrew poetic form) I know that if you re-arranged it you would loose the larger meaning of the Psalm. If you knew Hebrew, and could read it, understand it and appreciate their poetic and song forms, you would know that this is a carefully structured Psalm. In Hebrew there are 22 lines. I know, I know the English version divides it into 21 verses, but go and count the actual line splits, there are 22. And there are also, not coincidentally, 22 letters in the Hebrew language (are you starting to put this together?) In Hebrew each line starts with a different letter the first with the first letter of their alphabet, the second line with the second and so on. So the Psalm conveys all these characteristics of God and our reactions to them. The larger meaning is lost upon the casual reader. The larger meaning would tell a Hebrew reader that God covers everything, that God is the Alpha and the Omega, He is there always, and everywhere covering and overseeing and interacting with everything. Loving everyone and creating everyone and everything. God is the God of everything! It is so awesome to fathom is it not?
There is one more point I want to bring up it is specifically Psalm 145:16 “Generous to a fault, you lavish your favor on all creatures.” I think the wording of this particular line is incorrect. What we have to understand that this is a man writing, and a man that translated and a point is being made. I feel that I must clarify. We would say this about a person who is generous so much so that they don’t put themselves before anything, that they never look out for themselves and in most cases they will give to someone even if in the long run it damages themselves and the person they are giving to. For instance, when I was in High School, I believe my Junior year, I was a pretty nice guy, my mom said that I was generous to a fault. And here is where that fault got me in trouble and potentially could have gotten the other person it a lot of trouble. So I had just purchased a car from my parents it was a nice but old Volvo, I loved that car, my friends and I would ride around in it music bumpin’ (I’m ashamed to say that more than 1 Backstreet Boys and *Nsync song was played) it was the perfect High School car 7 seats and virtually indestructible. Anyway, one day a girl (she was cute I’ll admit, I had a crush on her) came up and asked if I had a car, I said ‘yes’ in a shaky voice I’m sure, after all I had a crush on her, and I think she knew that I did, and she could get me to do anything for her, guys are morons in HS ya know. Anyway, she asked if she could borrow it, with out thinking I said sure, here are the keys. She took them and left the campus, which was against the rules to go get lunch off campus. She was supposed to be back before lunch ended, she was not, I didn’t get my keys back until like 7pm at the football game that night. I had to hitch a ride home to get the keys from my parents house so I could get home. My parents pointed out to me that yes that was awful nice of me, but it was stupid, I didn’t know how she would drive the car, I didn’t know if she had a license, she didn’t she just had her permit. If she had wrecked the car, I would be screwed, if she had injured herself or others, I would be in big trouble to, not to mention she would be, my parents told me that I could be sewed for letting her take the care and be held responsible. The moral of the story, that is what it means to be generous to a fault. But only humans can be generous to a fault. We can make a comparison that God is like that, but he is not, yes he is generous, very much so. But he would not give if it would injure or would not allow the person to grow and be stronger and better, smarter or more faithful. God is generous, just short of the fault that humans are, plus no matter how generous a person is the always want something, me I was hoping to get to date this girl, and even though I was a good kid, get a little action, never happened thankfully, this girl was trouble, but you get the point.