“Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course He isn’t safe. But He’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Read Psalm 145.
Psalm 145 is a hymn of praise to the Lord, the great King, for His mighty acts and benevolent virtues, which are reflections and examples of his kingly rule. Between the two-line introduction (v 1-2) and the one-line conclusion (v 21), four poetic paragraphs develop themes of praise, each introduced with a thematic line (v 3, 8, 13b, 17). Consider the first of the four paragraphs.
Verses 3-7 read: Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
Verses 3-7 are comprised of praise for God’s mighty acts, which display his greatness (v 3) and his goodness (v 7). His greatness is described as limitless, awe-inspiring, good and reliable. Did you note the connection of general and individual testimony – praising Him for who He is and what He has done? His works are mighty, i.e., in power, are wonderful, supernatural in quality, awesome, striking fear into the witness. Consider His works…in creation, providence, and redemption.
What method will be used to spread the divine King’s fame? (see verses 4-7, 10, 21). List all the reasons you can find in the text given for praising God. Which is the most exciting to you?
Verse 4…One generation…will commend your works to another…will tell of your mighty acts.
They will commend…they will tell of. The Hebrew for this phrase is translated “declare.” The praise of God is rarely a private matter between the psalmist and the Lord. It is usually a public celebration of God’s holy virtues or of His saving acts or His gracious bestowal of blessings. In his praise, the psalmist proclaims to others God’s glorious attributes or His righteous deeds. To this is usually added a call to praise, summoning all who hear to take up the praise – to acknowledge and joyfully celebrate God’s glory, His goodness, and all His righteous acts.
Those of us who are followers of Jesus are called to testify about God…unceasingly, without shame or fear, and to be constantly ready to speak about the greatness and goodness of the LORD. Your testimony should relate to your study of God from the Scriptures, it should retell God’s blessings, it could burst forth from an understanding of the work of God in history, be inspired by the Spirit, come from your personal experience with God, and be a natural outgrowth of your faith journey.
Think theologically. How can you reflect on God’s greatness and/or goodness today? How can you then declare the reality of God’s character like Mr. Beaver did to the children as they encountered the world of Narnia? Will you be part of a generation that tells of His mighty acts?
Love is a verb,
©2015 by Mike Olejarz