“I will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness.” – Psalms 145:1-7.
My day was over! My body, heart, and soul were exhausted! I had done my best to keep a positive attitude throughout the day, but, lately I find it hard most days. The news of the day is filled with the coronavirus pandemic and the “social distancing” we must do from one another. Sports activities, restaurants, churches, libraries and so much more are shutting down. Traffic on the streets is becoming a little less. Appointments and meetings are getting cancelled. Grocery stores have become “zoo’s” as shelves are emptied and people fight to get the last of that day’s supplies. Many people are quarantined in their homes; while others are getting very sick from this virus that is spreading around our world. I never thought I would ever see something like this in my lifetime. It’s crazy!
My husband and I are currently working through a period of surgical recovery, with limited income and uncertain days ahead. Major decisions have to be made that are exhausting to think about let alone imagine what the future might hold for us. There’s all the usual things that still need to be done – beds to be made, people and dog to feed, laundry to get done, rooms to dust, floors to mop, food to cook, weeds in the yard to pull and house repairs to consider. There’s people we would love to see, but can’t due to the “social distancing” and thus the battle of “cabin fever” and isolation is on. There’s new limits and precautions to observe in order to be safe. Our life, as we once knew it, has changed. And some days (most days, if I’m really honest!) it’s all so very exhausting!
But now, my day is done! I slipped out on the back porch, sat down and let out a tired sigh. It was this kind of quiet I had longed for all day. As I sat there, I looked up into the sky. Beautiful! I enjoyed the sights of the stars and the moon shining through a few clouds that still lingered in the night sky. I could hear the owl “hooting” from up in the 40 foot pine tree that graces our backyard. Somehow, all this brought peace to my heart. I welcome peace!
And then, within that peaceful moment, my thoughts turned toward God. I thought about the crazy day, and rejoiced in the thought that God is the One who is in total control of all the chaos right now. His plan for me, for my life, for my marriage, for my home, for my ministry, for my community, for the world I live in – it’s all under His perfect and timely control. The thought of God’s perfect plan brings me great peace.
As I sat there, reflecting on God, and enjoying the beautiful night sky, a Bible verse popped into my mind. “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.” I once learned a little chorus with those words. I sang them softly, as I sat on the back porch, gazing into the night sky.
After a restful while, I went back into the house. I wanted my Bible. Now, where had I put it? The search was on. I had to find where in the Bible that verse was found. I don’t like to admit this, but my mind has a hard time remembering Bible references these days. I was just happy that I knew the verse. Anyway, I searched and soon, I found what I was looking for. Psalms 145:3. But then, something else really stood out to me as I read the entire chapter of Psalm 145. I know I have read this psalm many times before; but, on this particular night, these verses just jumped off the page at me. Like God was telling me something.
I noticed five (5) “I will”‘s written by the Psalmist David. Psalms 145 is a song written by David as a song of praise. It is not a song of praise to himself nor about himself, Nor is it written to someone else in his life. No, this is a song of praise that is directed to His gracious God. And in that psalm, he states five things that he will do. On this particular night, those five things inspired me. Allow me to share those five things with you, and expound a little bit about them.
#1 – “I will extol You” (verse 1) – According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word “extol” means “to praise in the highest terms; to magnify.” David’s heart’s desire was to praise and to magnify His God. David says that this praise was for “My God, O King.” With this “I will” David gives praise to his God, the King of his life. David magnifies His God, His King. And as you read the remainder of that Psalm, you realize that David had plenty to say about His God. Hmm, do I do that?
#2 – “I will bless Your name” (verse 2) – According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word “bless” means to “glorify”; “to invoke a divine favor upon a person or thing”; “to make happy”; “to endow as with a gift”. David said, “I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You.” Did you catch that? Every day! Forever and ever! David purposed in his heart and expressed it in the song of praise to His gracious God, that “I will” bless You. He didn’t say, I will bless you only when I feel like it or I will bless you on days I remember to. No! David’s heart’s desire was to get into the habit of blessing the Lord, His God, every day. Hmm, do I do that?
#3 – “I will praise Your name” – (verse 3) – According to Webster’s Dictionary the word “praise” means to “to express approval of someone or something as in an applause”; “to express adoration of”; “to commend one’s good work”. Praise was important to David! Again, his heart’s desire was to praise God often. He says, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.” David recognized the greatness of God; the greatness of His handiwork in the things God created; the greatness of His love that He poured out often upon David; and the greatness of His deeds, in the things that He did for David. David acknowledged and praised His great God, stating that He is greatly to be praised. God deserves the praises of His people. David goes even further to say, “One generation shall praise Your works to another and shall declare Your mighty acts.” David wanted to teach the next generation how to praise God as well. Thus he wrote so many of the songs that we find in Israel’s songbook of praise. Even in our generations of today, we are still inspired to praise our God through the songs we sing, the words we speak, the thoughts we consider. Hmm, do I do that?
#4 – “I will meditate” (verse 5) – According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word “meditate” means “to engage in contemplative thought”; “to think about, to consider”. Meditation is good for the soul. Everyone needs time to quietly think about things. David knew he needed that time too. He chose to meditate upon His God. Just what, about God, did he meditate upon? He tells us, “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works.” Hmm, do I do that?
#5 – “I will declare Your greatness” (verse 6) – According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word “declare” means “to assert positively or emphatically”; “to announce or state formally and solemnly.” David wanted to tell abroad the greatness of His God. He didn’t care what other people thought. He boldly announced to the world what he thought of his God. Hmm, do I do that?
David said, “I will extol; I will bless; I will praise; I will meditate; I will declare.” Those five things jumped out at me as I sat reading this psalm. I know in my head and in my heart that this is a really good thing to do during times of crisis, of uncertainty, and of chaos. But, I had to pause and ask myself this question: do I do that? In the midst of my circumstances, do I extol my God? Do I bless Him for the work He does in my life? Do I praise Him just because He is worthy of my praise? Do I meditate on Him, on His Word, often enough? Do I declare His greatness to those around me?
Do you want to know my answer? I’m guessing that I’m not the only one with this answer.
In all honesty, I have to answer that I do; I do all five of those things. But, I have to admit, that I do not do them nearly as often as I should. I could do a whole lot better. I want to do better at extolling, at blessing, at praising, at meditating, and at declaring my God. Why? Because, I agree with David. His God, my God, our God is “great and greatly to be praised.”
David, boldly and unashamedly, announces to many generations, through his writing of Psalm 145, what he thinks about His great God and King, the Lord of his Life. It’s his song of praise.
“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works. All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, and Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and talk of Your power, to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts and the glorious majesty of His kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
“The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. The Lord preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh shall bless His holy name forever and ever.” Psalm 145: 8-21.
I don’t know about you, my blog reader, but, I happen to love the way David praises His God. The sheer honesty of his heart before his God, is inspiring! I could truly learn a lesson or two from him. David has encouraged me to spend more time during these crazy days of life on earth with the God that I love.
“I will” extol, bless, praise, meditate upon, and declare the greatness of my God. “I will” do that a little louder, a little longer, a little more boldly and a little more unashamedly. For, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised!”