Psalm 145 is arguably the greatest call of God’s people to unite in multigenerational praise and worship. This is believed to be David’s last psalm collected in the book of psalms. We also know that this psalm is the only one with the heading, “David’s Psalm of Praise.” This psalm was very personal. Although, we don’t know if it was actually the final psalm he wrote, we can certainly see that this psalm was meant to be very sacred and special for David. We also know that this bold anthem from the heart of David was meant to be declared from generation to generation.
In verses 4-7, David gives us 7 commands that we should not only do personally but to each other. These types of praises are not meant for solo-only act, but to be themes that roar across our full congregations. In a day where we are quick to segregate and divide the church by preference and style, the message in this psalm transcends preferences and goes straight to the heart of our purpose as people of God.
So, let’s look at each of these 7 commands and briefly dig into each one….
1. One generation commends your works to another.
The word “commends” here could also be translated “praise” which in Hebrew is “shabach”( shaw-bakh’). This means to shout with a loud and strong tone, and to commend glory and triumph. We can see that David doesn’t command us to just praise in a quiet or subdued tone, but rather our worship should be strong and passionate. I love what Darren Whitehead says about this type of praise, “The holy roar of praise is not self-contained, not just for a particular people in a particular space. It’s not praise for the purpose of pumping up the present crowd. It’s for the purpose of passing on the faith from one generation to the next. The next generation, the future church, is waiting for the sound of shâbach.”
2. They tell of your mighty act, and they speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty.
The words “tell” and “speak” (naw-gad’) in this verse mean to confess, declare, and give evidence to others. We, as the people of God, have the greatest story to tell… it’s the story of Almighty God, and we are commanded to share that with each other and to the world.
3. I will meditate on your wonderful works.
I was once told that to really meditate on the word and works of God, you first have to study the word, memorize the word, and then, and only then, can you fully add thoughtful meditation. And this word for meditation (see’-akh) means to carefully consider in an act of “exhaling” the wonderful works of our God. This type of meditation can even have a musical piece to it. Singing a hymn of what God has done is part of this meditation and we must not just do this alone, but meditation can be done together.
4. They tell of the power of your awesome works.
This act of telling (aw-mar’) others of God’s power and awesome works is closely related to verse 4, but slightly different in a unique way. In this phrase, we are called to not only tell, but to also consistently teach and answer to the power of the hand of the Lord. Just as iron sharpens iron (Prov 27:17), we generationally sharpen each other when we teach, explain, clarify, and even defend the work of our God. We are better together when we do this together!
5. I will proclaim your great deeds.
I love this word proclaim (saw-far’) as it holds great depth to its meaning. It’s not just an act of speaking, but one of remembering, keeping an account, confidently stating, and declaring proudly the great deeds of the Lord. We should be ready every moment of every day to give a report of all that God has done through creation, through history, through salvation, through our own personal testimony, and also what he is going to do in the days to come.
6. They celebrate Your abundant goodness.
Everybody enjoys a good meal. And as a father of 4 kids under 7 years old, there’s not many family meals around the table without one of the kids eventually giving an unplanned “buuuurp” followed by a prompt, “Excuse me.” Of course, this is quickly followed by a cute smirk on their face. Did you know that this word “celebrate” (naw-bah’) literally means to belch forth? Yes, you read that correctly! But if you think about it, just as a burp comes from within and is released from one’s mouth, so it is with this type of celebration. It doesn’t just come from our mouth or our voice, it comes from a much deeper and sacred place—a profound place of gratitude and love—then ends in an overflowing act of praise from our lips. I bet you have never heard your Worship Leader say during a service, “Let’s belch our praise together!” but essentially that is exactly what David is telling us to do.
7. Joyfully sing of your righteousness.
Lastly, in this section of Psalm 145, David encourages us to joyfully sing (raw-nan’) from one generation to another. This is not timid singing, but rather a forceful and loud cry that is wrapped in joy and adoration. We must remember that by not letting our churches worship and sing together, we are not only going against the word of God, but we are depriving our people of one of the greatest tools we have for growth, discipleship, and godliness.
If you look at these 7 commands—to commend, to tell and speak, to meditate, to tell and teach, to proclaim, to celebrate, and joyfully sing—doesn’t that sound like a powerful worship service?
Really… think about it. When we come together as the body of Christ, we are commanded to respond with each of these points together, not only to our own ages, and our own stages, but clearly David knew that we needed each other and therefore commanded that we do each of these acts of worship from generation to generation.