Daily Devotion – September 14, 2020 – Dr. Pat Taylor Ellison

Psalm 145:1-8
145:1 I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.
145:2 Every day I will bless you, and praise your name forever and ever.
145:3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable.
145:4 One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
145:5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
145:6 The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed, and I will declare your greatness.
145:7 They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness, and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
145:8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Look at the verbs the psalmist promises to do: extol, bless, praise, meditate, declare. And everybody else should be doing these, says the psalmist: laud, declare, proclaim, celebrate, sing aloud. Forever.

A thesaurus of praise.

OK, but I want to ask this question. How many days do we not even think about the character of our Triune God? If you say your prayers every morning or night, you may think about God. But perhaps you, like me, are mostly focused on those who need or have asked for your prayers, the grieving, the sick, the lonely. And the magnificence of God doesn’t much come into those thoughts.

If we can learn to do that, spend time extolling God’s abundant goodness and awesome deeds, and only then lay our burdens at God’s feet for steadfast love to overcome, we may be able to keep in perspective more of the ills of the world. This Psalm is more or less 3000 years old. People have spoken it through good times and bad times across the millenia. It should be written on our hearts by now. It should come first to our imaginations when we think about God.

When we believe ourselves to be in trouble or believe our friends to be suffering, it is very easy to feel weak, powerless, and small. But we have this psalm of David to remind us how big and wonderful God is, and we have verbs that can empower us to do something even when we feel weak. We can extol God. We can meditate on the bigness and mightiness of God. We can declare God to be good, no matter what is happening around us.  There is always something we can actually DO in the face of feeling overwhelmed. David has given us a thesaurus of praise.

And the final verse is the easiest: The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. Isn’t it wonderful?

Go to sleep reciting that verse. It is worth the meditation.

Gracious God, Thank you for loving us. Help us remember to extol, meditate, sing aloud, and praise you. We will live better lives for doing it.   Amen.