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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 145

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-21

  1. Intro: Huge is a small definition of God. anonymous [How Great Thou Art]
    1. A few weeks ago at our pastors conference, Paul Tripp mentioned Psalm 145 as an example of a man who truly had the awe of God.
      1. He asked, have you lost your awe of God? You are attracted to whatever is the awe of your heart.
    2. Each of us as individuals contain a variety of characteristics that comprise our identity as human beings. You may be described as smart or funny, passionate or driven.
      1. And when we look at Scripture we see that God has several characteristics or attributes that help us to understand His nature and identity as God.
    3. The unknowable God, has made Himself knowable.
      1. Our God is Incomprehensible yet Knowable.
        1. God is known by self-disclosure...by revelation/unveiling. General Revelation (creation). Specific Revelation (His deeds & Language)
        2. “God is not an idea or proposition but instead a living & free person who is completely other, or holy.” Wayne Grudem; Systematic Theology
    4. 2 Categories of attributes: Unshared(only belong to Him). Shared (found in people in a limited way).
      1. Unshared - Omniscient (all-knowing). Omnipotent (all-powerful). Omnipresent (everywhere present).
      2. Shared - Spirit. Holiness. Love/Goodness. Truth. Justice/Righteousness.
    5. His attributes are not merely attributed to Him, but qualities inseparable from His very being.
      1. He is Creator so he can’t be contained. He is Self-Sufficient so he has no needs. He is Intelligent so He has a plan. He is the Sustainer so we are dependent on Him. He made man to instinctively long for Himself.
    6. All that is transitory, temporary, short lived, momentary, fleeting, here today gone tomorrow...forsakes us. But our God is the unchanging Rock of Ages in whom we may shelter.
      1. The turning point in our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is!
    7. This is the last of the alphabetic acrostic Psalms. (it is missing the nun vs.13b is in 1 manuscript & LXX)
      1. David is writing & he seems to be reflecting back as an older man now. Looking back on what God did & what God can do. (last weeks Psalm corporate lament, today individual praise) Rendered as a solo.
    8. David extols/praises the Lord for His greatness, goodness, generosity & graciousness.
      1. If you’re having a hard time praising the Lord today, that list should help you get started.
  2. GOD’S GREATNESS (1-6)
    1. Because God’s people will praise Him forever and ever we had better learn to do it day by day (2).
    2. (3) This verse just bares repeating. His greatness is beyond our understanding.
      1. ​​​​​​​We can’t begin to measure it (depth, height or breadth).
      2. Joel Turner, You’re a power-tool in the hand of God. He’s the Power & yur the Tool.
    3. (4) And the greatness of God is memorable - One generation shall praise Your works to another - How are you helping to tell the next gen of the greatness of God? (just tell your story)
  3. GOD’S GOODNESS (7-13)
    1. ​​​​​​​The Lord is good to all - without discrimination. He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Mt.5:45
      1. Forgiveness of sins is a treasurer from which the wicked have not tapped into, but their sin and depravity do not prevent God from showering down His goodness upon them, which they appropriate w/o being at all sensible of it. (Adapted from John Calvin, Heart Aflame, Devotions on the Psalms.)
    2. God is infinitely and unchangeably good, and his goodness is incomprehensible by the finite mind.
      1. Viewed generally, it is benevolence; as exercised with respect to the miseries of His creatures it is mercy, pity, compassion. And in the case of impenitent sinners, long-suffering patience; as exercised in communicating favor on the unworthy it is grace.
      2. Lam.3:33 msg says, He takes no pleasure in making life hard, in throwing roadblocks in the way. See, He doesn’t delight in our sufferings, but He delights in our development.
        1. Don’t see your struggle as an interruption to life but as preparation for life. Max Lucado
        2. No one said the road would be easy or painless. But God will use this mess for something good. This trouble you are in isn’t punishment, it’s training.Max Lucado
    3. (10) Your works - sunrise. sunsets. flowers. full moon. watching waves. [oceanside]
      1. Ps.19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Doesn’t nature take on new meaning/new beauty when You realize this?
    4. Your saints - you!
    5. All of this leads to the Glory of God...(11-13).
  4. GOD’S GENEROSITY (14-16)
    1. ​​​​​​​(15) I picture baby birds with beaks wide open. Or maybe this pic is more what we look like.
    2. (14) As you live the life of praise, you have the Lords help in every situation.
      1. If you stumble, He helps you up (14). If you’re hungry, He feeds you (15,16). No wonder David blessed the Lord so much.
      2. Sounds like we will fall...we will bend beneath our load. [lady passing me & Dan in Burma]
        1. Paul Tripp, A flat tire will bring us 75% toward atheism.
    1. ​​​​​​​(18) If you call, He draws near.
      1. He is near to those who are stumbling (14). Have you stumbled? Fallen? Stumbled in your job? Stumbled into sin?
      2. He is near to those carrying burdens (14b). Those who are bowed down with the weight of care can find rest...if they call upon Him.
      3. He is near to those who are hungry (15,16). Vs.16 shows how simple it is for God to answer prayer...He just opens His hand. (He’s not the tight-fisted God). Today, He just needs to open His hand to meet our needs today. The problem is, we often don’t open our hearts & cry out to Him. (Warren Wiersbe)
      4. He is near to those who call upon Him (19). He hears our cries & will save us.
      5. He is near to those who love Him (20). Follow the advice of James: draw near to God & He will draw near to you (4:8).
        1. God is not far from you. He’s waiting for you to take the first step, cry out to him say, Lord, I want to draw close to you here I am.
    2. As finite beings, we cannot comprehend all of God’s attributes, but we can praise Him for who He is & what He has done in our lives.
    3. Paul Tripp gave a methodology for fighting for the Awe of your heart: (4 simple steps)
      1. Gaze - start every morn gazing at the awesome glory of God.
        1. Use Is.40 or Job 38-40 or Ps.27 or Ps.145.
      2. Remember - His glory is your identity, by grace.
      3. Rest - Teach your heart to rest in the glory of your Redeemer.
      4. Act - now go out, not with who you are, but with who you are in Christ.
    4. Eternality of God:
      1. Definition: God has no beginning, end, or succession of moments in his own being, and he sees all time equally vividly, yet God sees events in time and acts in time. (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology)
      2. Sometimes this doctrine is called the doctrine of God’s infinity with respect to time. To be infinite is to be unlimited, and this doctrine teaches that time does not limit God.
      3. This doctrine is also related to God’s unchangeableness. If it is true that God does not change, then we must say that time does not change God: it has no effect on his being, perfections, purposes, or promises.
        1. e.g. Time has no effect on God’s knowledge. God never learns new things or forgets things, for that would mean a change in His perfect knowledge.
    5. God Is Both Infinite and Personal:
      1. He is infinite in that he is not subject to any of the limitations of humanity, or of creation in general. He is far greater than everything he has made, far greater than anything else that exists.
      2. But he is also personal: he interacts with us as a person, and we can relate to him as persons. We can pray to him, worship him, obey him, and love him, and he can speak to us, rejoice in us, and love us.
    6. The Importance of God’s Unchangeableness:
      1. Stop for a moment to imagine what it would be like if God could change. If God could change (in his being, perfections, purposes, or promises), then any change would be either for the better or for the worse.
        1. If God changed for the better, then He was not the best possible being when we first trusted him. And how could we be sure that he is the best possible being now?
        2. If God could change for the worse (in his very being), then what kind of God might he become? Might he become, for instance, a little bit evil rather than wholly good?
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Psalms 145". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/psalms-145.html. 2017.
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