URC Daily Devotion Sunday 30 July 2023

Sunday 30 July 2023
 
Psalm 145 

I will exalt my God and King,
and I will ever praise your name.
I will extol you every day
and evermore your praise proclaim.
You, LORD, are greatly to be praised;
your greatness is beyond all thought.
From age to age your people tell
the mighty wonders you have wrought.

2 On your most glorious majesty
and on your deeds my mind will dwell.
Your deeds will fill the world with awe,
and all your greatness I will tell.
Your matchless goodness and your grace
your people will commemorate;
and all your truth and righteousness
our joyful song will celebrate.

3 The LORD our God is rich in grace,
tender to us, compassionate.
His anger is most slow to rise;
his love and kindness are most great.
The LORD is good in all his ways;
his creatures know his constant care.
To all his works his love extends;
all creatures in his mercies share.

4 All you have made will praise you, LORD;
your mighty acts your saints will show,
till all the peoples on the earth
the splendour of your kingdom know.
Eternal is your kingdom, LORD,
forever strong and ever sure;
while generations rise and die,
your glorious reign will still endure.

5 The LORD is faithful to his word;
he will extend his gracious hand.
The LORD upholds the faltering feet
and makes the weak securely stand.
The eyes of all look up to you
for food and drink, which you supply;
your open hand is bountiful,
and every need you satisfy.

6 The LORD is just in all his ways;
in all his works the LORD is kind,
and all who call on him in truth
in him a present helper find.
He will fulfil the heart’s desire
of those who fear him and obey.
The LORD will surely hear their cry,
will save them when to him they pray.

7 The LORD in grace preserves his saints,
redeeming those who love his name.
The wicked he will overthrow
and put his enemies to shame.
My mouth will sing the glorious praise
of God, whom earth and heaven adore.
Let every creature praise his name
forever and forevermore!

public domain, tune Jerusalem

Reflection

It’s a real shame we don’t have this Psalm in the original Hebrew for this is one of a number of acrostic Psalms, as each of the 21 lines begins with the next letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  For those of you impressed by my knowledge I should point out that despite studying Hebrew for a year, I gained that little gem from a commentary!

For me, this Psalm seems so real and giving praise to God feels like the most natural thing in the world.  The praise flows, from all that God has done and will do in the future; although what God has done and will do is not named.  But that doesn’t seem to matter, for it is God who is worthy of praise simply for being God.

I wonder though, how comfortable we are with this praise.  We live in a culture where praise can be seen as either disingenuous or ingratiating; praise can be offered to ridicule someone or to butter them up in order to gain something.  Can it be the same for God?

The prophet Amos said that God despised the people’s festivals and would not accept their burnt offerings.  Do we praise God when we want something; do we find it easier to praise God when life is going well?  Yet praising God when life is tough is just as important, not only because God is still God and still worthy of praise, but also because it is good for us – perhaps like laughter therapy, offering praise to God when you are not in a good place can improve your mental health – although it’s not easy.

We can learn much from the psalmist, and praising God is just a start, but a very good place to start.

PS Being Welsh, I make no comment on the recommended tune for this Psalm!

Prayer

“I will proclaim your greatness, my God and king;
I will thank you forever and ever.”
Lord, for all you have done and all you will do,
I offer you my thanks and praise.
When life is good, I offer you my thanks and praise.
Even when life is hard, I offer you my thanks and praise.
For your steadfast love endures forever.  Amen

 

Today’s writer

The Rev’d Branwen Rees, East Wales Regional Minister

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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