Today’s Chocolate: Chocolove Dark Chocolate Coffee Crunch
Today’s Coffee: the coffee
Today’s Passage: Psalm 145
As we’ve discussed before, human beings won’t praise a thing for no reason. To praise something is to express approval of it, to say that it’s great. And even when we praise insincerely—when we praise things that we don’t think are great—it’s to flatter or win the approval of someone else. We have motivations for doing things, and praising is no exception. When David praises God in Psalm 145, he praises because he thinks God is great. But why does he think God is great? What’s so great about God?
What’s great about God is what he does. As you may have noticed, God isn’t the only object of the verb “to praise” here. David declares, “I will praise Your name forever and ever…One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts” (2, 4). Catch that? People are praising God’s name and his works.
What’s in a name? Your name is your reputation, a representation of yourself, a symbol for you. Your name is how others know you. And how does your name come to mean something to others? How do they learn what it stands for? They learn about you through what you do—and God’s no exception. David thinks God is great because of the things he does.
You might anticipate that David’s going to talk about God’s incredible displays of power. Maybe he’ll describe his strength as shown through nature, or his mighty intervention in Israel’s history. Not this time, though; David tells us, “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and great in lovingkindness” (8). God could certainly drop the hammer, wipe out all evil at any time, yet he forgives and offers second chances out of his undeserved love for us. God is great to David because he’s good to David.
And that’s just one facet of why David thinks that God merits praise. He may be slow to anger, but he will level his judgment on those who persist in their evil: “The Lord keeps all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy” (20). And beyond that, God is enduringly good. How awful would it be if God were perfect, but after like a couple hundred years he straight-up ceased to exist? But God isn’t about to disappear, or to leave the world he created. David says: “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations” (13). Remember in verse 4, where he said that one generation would praise God’s works to another? God’s praises will last from generation to generation because God, in his greatness, will always be around for people to praise.