I will bless thy name
“David' Psalm of praise. I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness. The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.” (Psalm 145)
This psalm fittingly concludes the Psalter. The rest of the psalms are a supplement to the book. It is fitting because its author is David, “the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Sam. 23:1), and because it is “a Witness in Praise”. Thus it represents a fitting consummation to all David's utterances.
“Prayer” centres on our needs, “thanksgiving” on our blessings, “worship” on our God (His Person and attributes), but praise is to “speak well of”, to tell out the excellent qualities of our God. The Blesser is greater than the blessings He bestows. He is more precious than His gifts, and thanksgiving is the overflowing of our love to Him.
Seven times David declares his intention to praise God. By the end of this reverberating anthem of exaltation he is saying, “let all flesh bless his holy name”. He anticipates a day when there will be, willingly or unwillingly, universal acknowledgement of God's worthiness to be praised. What a privilege to commence and be part of that anthem now.
How do we do that? The psalm provides the answer. We “extol”—(lift up, exalt) Him, “bless” Him (pour out our joyous thanks). We “speak” of His honour, majesty, wondrous works, might and terrible acts (v. 5). We “declare”, “utter” and “sing” of His greatness, goodness and righteousness (v. 6). We “speak” and “talk” and “make known” His glory, power and mighty kingdom (vv. 11-13). How can we ever be silent before Him?
No wonder David says so often in this psalm what “the Lord is ...” He is “greatly to be praised” (v. 3), “gracious, and full of compassion” (v. 8), “good to all” (v. 9). He “upholdeth all who fall” (v. 14). He is “righteous in all His ways” (v. 17), “nigh unto all them that call upon him” (v. 18). He “preserveth all them that love him” (v. 20). He will always act according to His unchangeable character. May we each get to know Him better today.
Praise will dominate a future eternity, the “for ever and ever”, but from now onwards, in tune, let “my mouth ... speak the praise of the Lord” (v. 21).