A life of praise

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.

My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.
Psalm 145:1-2, 21 (NIV)

Read: Psalm 145:1-21

Consider: Psalm 145 is described as a psalm of praise. As the psalm begins and ends with praise it would be easy to think it was written by someone for whom life was easy. However, we know that the writer’s (David) life had many ups and downs. David’s life was not easy as early on he faced opposition and vindictive action from Saul, while later in his life he faced opposition from his own son, Absalom.

In the Hebrew the phrases rendered as praise and extol in the NIV, have as their root the meaning of kneel. This should give us the impression of kneeling (or submitting) to God, even bowing the knee. When we come before a mighty God, our praise and worship should cause us to bow the knee before a God who is all-powerful. This reminds me of some words in the Noel Richards’ song ‘All Heaven Declares’ that contains the lines ‘I gladly bow the knee, And worship Him alone’.

In Psalm 145 David tells us what kind of a God this is that we should praise him. Throughout the psalm he uses the phrase ‘The LORD is …’ to set out characteristics of God that should cause us to praise him. Typical of this is verse 8 where he says: The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. ┬áThink about what David is saying here about God. Meditate on each of these characteristics – gracious; compassionate; slow to anger; rich in love – and what they mean for you (what do they say about God and how he deals with mankind?).

Read over the psalm and make a list of all the things David highlights and which cause him to praise God. Meditate on each of these characteristics and ask yourself how they apply to you. Let them bring you to a point where you (like David) can honestly say: My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD (145:21).

Pray: Father, we praise you for who you are and what you have done throughout the generations. May you open our minds to understand that you are great and most worthy of our praise. Amen

Every blessing

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