The Psalms for a New Day website has just been redesigned and the website has moved to a new location. The page you are looking for has moved. Try the link below:
Looking for content on a specific topic?

Psalm 145

The kingdom, the power, the glory

Blind to his glory, the world considers praising God a needless imposition. But no one who sees his mind-blowing greatness and goodness as clearly as David does can help but praise him.

A David song of praise.

I exalt you, my God and king—
I will bless your name forever and ever.
2 Day after day I’ll bless you—
I will praise your name forever and ever.

3 Yahveh is great, supremely worthy of praise:
his greatness transcends understanding.
4 One generation praises your deeds to the next
telling of your mighty acts
5 recalling the splendor of your glorious majesty
and talking about your breathtaking deeds.
6 People recount your powerful miracles
and acclaim your greatness.

7 They celebrate your matchless grace
and overflow with praise of your saving justice.
8 Yahveh is gracious and compassionate
slow to anger and rich in unconditional love.
9 Yahveh is good to everyone everywhere—
he shows compassion to all he’s made.

10 All you’ve made responds with thanks, Yahveh
and your faithful servants bless you.

11 They talk about your glorious reign
and acclaim your splendor.
12 letting all humanity know of your acts of power
and the glorious majesty of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an eternal kingdom—
your rule lasts through all generations.

Yahveh is always true to his word
and loving toward all he’s made.
14 Yahveh lifts up all who fall down
and raises up all who are bent low.
15 The eyes of all look expectantly to you
and you give them their food when it’s time.
16 Opening your hand
you satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 Just in all he does
Yahveh acts only out of his lavish love.
18 Yahveh is near to all who call on him
to all who call on him sincerely.
19 He fulfills the desires of all who revere him:
he hears their cry and rescues them.
20 Yahveh watches over all who love him
but all the self-seeking he stops dead.

21 My mouth will praise Yahveh
and everything that lives
will bless God’s holy name forever and ever.

This acrostic psalm presents the whole scope of God’s kingship and creation’s response to it. David begins with his own commitment to praise God forever. Midway through the psalm, David has creation and God’s faithful people join in that commitment, and he ends the psalm with every living creature joining in. He seeks to catch us up in this grand crescendo of praise by interspersing between these three commitments some of the many reasons we worship our supremely great and good God.[1]

One reason is God’s great miraculous acts, which included the exodus and crossing the sea and the Jordan River. David repeats part of God’s self-description at Sinai: he’s gracious, slow to anger, and rich in unconditional love. Indeed, says David, he’s compassionate toward all he’s made.

Another reason David gives is the glorious majesty of God’s kingdom, a glory seen in his providing for all and protecting his own. He’s near all who cry out to him, lifts up all who fall down, cares for the oppressed, and fulfills the desires of all who revere him. He’s a God of justice too, uttering not just a resounding yes to all who lovingly embrace him, but also an emphatic no to all whose arrogance puts them beyond the scope of his loving care.

So easily caught up in defending my little tin-pot kingdom, Jesus, I forget how much more fulfilling being part of your kingdom is. How wonderful that you lift the fallen and care about my deepest desires. Help me discern those desires and trust you to fulfill them, as you alone can do. Amen.

During your free moments, meditate on these words:

He fulfills the desires of all who revere him.
He hears their cry and rescues them.


[1] The psalm is structured as follows: A: the psalmist’s commits to worship (vv. 1-2), B: God’s greatness prompts his worship (vv. 3-6), C: God’s goodness prompts his worship (vv. 7-9), A: the psalmist, creation, and faithful community’s commitment to worship (v. 10), B: God’s greatness prompts their worship (vv. 11-13b), C: God’s goodness prompts their worship (vv. 13c-20), A: the psalmist and every creature’s commitment to worship (v. 21).

Why Yahveh?

Every translator of the Psalms must decide how to handle God’s personal name, YHWH, which occurs repeatedly in its Hebrew text. Translators of the King James Version usually translated it “LORD” (all caps) and occasionally transliterated it (badly) as “Jehovah.” Modern translations, likewise, either translate or transliterate it. While translating it aims to make it more accessible to readers, transliterating it is more faithful to the text since it’s not a word at all, but rather God’s uniquely personal name. I’ve chosen to transliterate it to root it more firmly in the biblical story as the name—meaning the “self-existent One”—that God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. This name set Israel’s God apart from all the gods of Israel’s neighbors.

Personal names are, well, very personal. Even the sound of a name can evoke strong emotion. One problem with YHWH is that we aren’t sure how it was pronounced since Jews long ago stopped saying it in order better to hallow it. In transliterating it, I follow the advice of my esteemed Hebrew professor, Raymond Dillard. He advocated transliterating it as Yahveh—pronounced yah·vay—arguing that following the modern Hebrew pronunciation of its third consonant makes the name sound more robustly Jewish than Yahweh.
May these psalms be a light to you in dark times. You can read more of Mark Robert Anderson's writings on Christianity, culture, and inter-faith dialogue at Understanding Christianity Today.