Great Is the Lord 

Psalm 145 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • February 3, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 


  1. The subject of Psalm 145 
    1. is my favorite subject, 
    2. that’s why I wrote a book on it, and 
      1. I suspect it is your favorite topic of discussion also, 
      2. that is why you are here today. 
        1. The subject of Psalm 145 is God. 
        2. The Psalm speaks of praising our God. 
  2. Psalm 145 is an alphabetical or acrostic psalm, meaning 
    1. that each verse begins with the next successive letter in the Hebrew alphabet, 
    2. except that the 14th letter “nun” is missing. 
      1. That happens at verse 14. 
      2. Hence, there are only 21 verses in this Psalm. 
  3. Another thing about this Psalm
    1. We think of evangelism as a New Testament phenomenon, but 
    2. the Old Testament also encouraged it 
      1. in many places, 
      2. including in this Psalm. 
  4. Finally, Psalm 145 is the last psalm of David in the Book of Psalms


  1. Psalm 145.0 | Why David Typified the Christ

    0 A Praise of David.
    1. When I read the writings of David in the Psalms, 
      1. I see total and continuous praise of the Lord. 
    2. When I read the Gospel According to John, 
      1. I see total and continuous praise of the Father. 
    3. This is one reason why the Spirit used David to typify the Christ. 
  2. Psalm 145.1–3 | Great Is the Lord

    1 I will extol You, my God, O King;
    And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
    2 Every day I will bless You,
    And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
    3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
    And His greatness is unsearchable.
    1. David promised to bless God everyday for the rest of his life. 
    2. Then David told us why he would praise God enthusiastically daily forever: 
      1. Great is the Lord, 
      2. He is to be greatly praised, 
      3. His greatness is unsearchable. 
    3. To say the Lord is great, 
      1. has to be one of the great understatements of all history, for 
      2. His greatness is unsearchable. 
        1. We may say that our favorite things in life are great and 
        2. then say that God is great. 
          1. Yet, the greatness of my country or the greatness of my family, 
          2. those things are not worthy to be compared with our Creator. 
    4. Look at what the opening three verses say of praising God: 
      1. It will be done:

        1 I will extol You, my God, O King;
      2. For how long will it be done:

        And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
      3. When will it be done:

        2 Every day I will bless You,
        And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
      4. Why will it be done:

        3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
        And His greatness is unsearchable.
  3. Psalm 145.4–7 | Teach the Lord’s Greatness

    4 One generation shall praise Your works to another,
    And shall declare Your mighty acts.
    5 I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty,
    And on Your wondrous works.
    6 Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts,
    And I will declare Your greatness.
    7 They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness,
    And shall sing of Your righteousness.
    1. All expressions of God-authorized religions, 
      1. Patriarchy, Mosaic, and Christian, 
      2. have had teaching as a primary function.

        13 Mark well her bulwarks;
        Consider her palaces;
        That you may tell it to the generation following.
        (Psalm 48.13)

        18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded,
        O God, do not forsake me,
        Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
        Your power to everyone who is to come.
        (Psalm 71.18)

        6 That the generation to come might know them,
        The children who would be born,
        That they may arise and declare them to their children…
        (Psalm 78.6)

        13 So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture,
        Will give You thanks forever;
        We will show forth Your praise to all generations.
        (Psalm 79.13)

        18 This will be written for the generation to come,
        That a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.
        (Psalm 102.18)

        2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2.2).
    2. We need desperately to praise God’s works to the next generation. 
      1. If we do not praise God’s works to them, 
      2. even more of them will fall prey to the doctrine of evolution. 
    3. I cannot overemphasize doing what David said that he did in verse 5: 
      1. Meditate on the glorious splendor of God’s majesty and 
      2. meditate on His wondrous works. 
        1. If you do this daily, 
        2. you will change your life. 
    4. To do as David said would happen—
      1. speaking of the might of God’s awesome acts and 
      2. declaring His greatness—
        1. you have to be familiar with Him and 
        2. you have to be familiar with what He has done. 
          1. You will have to know His word and 
          2. you will have to know His creation. 
  4. Psalm 145.8–9 | The Greatness of the Lord’s Kindness

    8 The LORD is gracious and full of compassion,
    Slow to anger and great in mercy.
    9 The LORD is good to all,
    And His tender mercies are over all His works.
    1. If you know of your sin and its consequences, but 
      1. you have not suffered the fullness of sin’s consequences, 
      2. you will have to agree: 
        1. that the Lord is gracious, 
        2. that the Lord is full of compassion, 
        3. that the Lord is slow to anger, and 
        4. that the Lord is great in mercy. 
    2. Truly, is not the Lord good to all of us? 
      1. To people of every tribe and nation, 
      2. to the just and to the unjust? 
    3. David saw that the Lord’s tender mercies were not just over Israel, and 
      1. we should see that the Lord’s tender mercies are not just over the church. 
      2. He shows His mercy to all people, to all of His works, otherwise, 
        1. no one would be here right now. 
        2. He even shows kindness to the people who hate Him. 
  5. Psalm 145.10–13 | The Lord’s Works Praise Him

    10 All Your works shall praise You, O LORD,
    And Your saints shall bless You.
    11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom,
    And talk of Your power,
    12 To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts,
    And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
    13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
    1. Since He shows His tender mercies to all His works, 
      1. all His works shall praise Him. 
      2. Certainly His saints shall praise Him. 
        1. His saints shall speak of the glory of God’s kingdom. 
        2. His saints shall talk of His power. 
          1. That is exactly what we do, 
            1. we speak of the church, which is the kingdom, and 
            2. we speak of the gospel, which is His power. 
          2. We speak of those things 
            1. to make known to the people of the world His mighty acts and 
            2. the glorious majesty of His kingdom. 
    2. As verse 13 says, you can see the glorious majesty of God’s kingdom: 
      1. in that His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and 
      2. His dominion endures throughout all generations. 
        1. Nebuchadnezzar quoted Psalm 145.13:

          3 How great are His signs,
          And how mighty His wonders!
          His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
          And His dominion is from generation to generation.
          (Daniel 4.3)
        2. It is good for us to believe it wholeheartedly. 
  6. Psalm 145.14–16 | The Lord Helps the Needy

    14 The LORD upholds all who fall,
    And raises up all who are bowed down.
    15 The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
    And You give them their food in due season.
    16 You open Your hand
    And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
    1. Here is where you see the Lord’s graciousness: 
      1. He upholds all who fall, and 
      2. raises all who are bowed down. 
    2. Therefore, the eyes of all look expectantly to Him and 
      1. He gives them their food in due season. 
      2. They are looking for their food, 
        1. although that does not mean they acknowledge Him as the Giver of it. 
        2. You recognize Him as the source and praise Him for it. 
    3. How is it that the desire of everything living thing is satisfied? 
      1. God opens His hand and does it. 
      2. That is nothing for Him. 
  7. The LORD is righteous in all His ways,
    Gracious in all His works.
    18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
    To all who call upon Him in truth.
    19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
    He also will hear their cry and save them.
    20 The LORD preserves all who love Him,
    But all the wicked He will destroy.
    1. In all that the Lord does, He is righteous. 
    2. In all His works He shows grace. 
      1. Man says that if there is a God, 
      2. He would stop all evil and suffering. 
        1. Remember:

          23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6.23).
        2. Therefore, the fact that the human race continues to live, 
          1. reveals that He is showing the world grace. 
          2. Man brought sin into the world and 
            1. that brought death also and all the suffering that leads to it. 
            2. God shows grace by letting us continue for a while. 
    3. He waits for people to repent, hence, 
      1. David said that the Lord is near 
        1. to all who call upon Him, 
        2. to all who call upon Him in truth
      2. Yet, if God removed all evil and suffering, 
        1. that would mean that He would remove us the moment we sin, 
        2. then we would never have the opportunity of being hear Him. 
    4. He will do more than just be near, 
      1. when we fear Him, 
        1. He will fulfill our desire, and 
      2. when we cry to Him, 
        1. He will save us. 
    5. If you love Him, 
      1. He will preserve you. 
      2. Yes, we can both fear and love God. 
    6. David promised that the Lord will destroy the wicked. 
      1. So, yes, there is a God and 
      2. in time He will remove all evil. 
        1. Just be sure that you are not among the evil when that time arrives. 
        2. Repent now and call upon the Lord. 
    7. Remember how the Psalm began:

      1 I will extol You, my God, O King;
      And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
      2 Every day I will bless You,
      And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
      1. In the last verse, verse 21, 
      2. David picked up that theme, and added something. 
  8. My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD,
    And all flesh shall bless His holy name
    Forever and ever.
    1. Having said all the truths about God in this Psalm, 
      1. David said what he would do: 
        1. his mouth would speak of the praise of the Lord and 
        2. David knew 
          1. that all flesh shall bless God’s holy name and 
          2. that they shall do so forever and ever. 
      2. He was right. 
        1. David lived in a land 
          1. 7100 miles away by modern travel 
          2. 3000 years ago and 
        2. here we hear him speak and 
          1. we bless the holy name of Yahweh God forever and ever. 
          2. All other gods, nations, and peoples, 
            1. have come and gone, but 
            2. the blessed name of the Lord God 
              1. prevails, even among non-Jewish people! 
    2. Long after modern God-haters will have vanished into history, 
      1. there will be new generations praising the Lord and 
      2. there will be new generations cursing the Lord, and 
        1. the same thing shall happen again, but 
        2. His name shall prevail and theirs shall fade away. 


  1. Praise Him who helps you in life. 
  2. Remember 
    1. that when you stumble, He helps you up (v. 4). 
    2. that when you hunger, He feeds you (vv. 15–16). 
    3. If you need to call on Him, 
      1. He is near (v. 18). 
      2. Why go into eternity separated from Him?