Today, as a king, we praise God, again and again and again, in every way. (Psalm 144-146).
This morning we read Psalm 144, a psalm that echoes in so many ways one we have read before (Ps. 18). We overhear the prayers of a king who is at war or sees it as imminent.
“Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge. … From the deadly sword deliver me …” (vs. 1-2a,10b-11a)
At mid-day we read Psalm 145. This is the only psalm in the book of Psalms that is specifically designated in the heading as “a psalm of praise” penned by David. It is also acrostic in structure. We overhear a king focused on the character and ways of him who is The Ultimate King, God, and so, seeks to emulate him.
“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. … he Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. … The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. … The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (vs. 3,8-9,13b-14a,17-18)
This evening we read Psalm 146. The book of Psalms was/is known among the Hebrews as the “book of praises” (Heb. – sepher tehillim). This five-part collection of psalms (Ps. 1-41,42-72,73-89,90-106,107-150) concludes with a five-part collection of hymns of praise (Ps. 146-150), all of which begin and end with the phrase “Praise the Lord.” We wonder: is it a king who is penning/praying/singing still? I like to think so, particularly a truly and deeply humble one who has prayed/sung the ways of the preceding two psalms.
“I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.” (vs. 2-3)