Let God turn your mess into something beautiful — Psalm 145

Psalms of David

This is the last of the psalms attributed to David in the fifth book of Psalms and David’s last psalm in the psalter as a whole. It has two poetic forms, an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet and each of those verses is in two parts often saying the same thing in different ways. Some of the verses seem to be randomly placed while others link together in themes, particularly verses 10 to 16.

Now imagine one of the people in the image below is God.

A cartoon. Five people sit around a table reaching towards each other. Below that is the word "Fellowship."
Free image taken from Jengie Jon’s website

The books of Psalms are roughly themed like this:

Book 1: Psalms 1 – 41: God is beside us.
Book 2: Psalms 42 – 72: God goes before us
Book 3: Psalms 73 – 89: God is all around us.
Book 4: Psalms 90 – 106: God is above us.
Book 5: Psalms 107 – 150: God is among us.

A Song of Praise. Of David.

145 I will extol you, my God and King,
    and bless your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will bless you
    and praise your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
    and his greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall commend your works to another,
    and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendour of your majesty,
    and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
    and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
    and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
    and his mercy is over all that he has made.
10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
    and all your saints shall bless you!
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
    and tell of your power,
12 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
    and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
[The Lord is faithful in all his words
    and kind in all his works.]
14 The Lord upholds all who are falling
    and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand;
    you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and kind in all his works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfils the desire of those who fear him;
    he also hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord preserves all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
    and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

Psalm 145 ESVUK

I’m not going to say a lot about this psalm on its own except for three points:

  1. All the verses are praises to a God who is close to us or among us.
  2. The bracketed words in verse 13 are not in the oldest manuscripts and as they break the acrostic form of the psalm are probably not original to this song.
  3. In verse 12; “make known to the children of man your mighty deeds” can also be read as his mighty deeds. It could be talking about the might of God’s kingdom, as are the verses on either side or contrasting man’s kingdom to that of God from which it takes its glory.

For the rest of this post, I’m looking back over this block of the Psalms of David, Psalms 138 to 145. Starting with the glory of God it goes through several lamenting psalms calling on God in times of trouble through to the last two psalms, a song of confidence in God and a song of praise. In all the laments there is never a cry of “Where is God?” That cry is found in other parts of the Bible, but these psalms are about God who is living among us, not a remote God. God is present in our mess, in the nasty parts of our lives and can transform them into something beautiful.

Let God turn your mess into something beautiful.

< Psalm 144 | Psalm 145 | Psalm 146 >
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