Psalm 145

Scripture:  Psalm 145:17-21  The Lord is righteous in all His ways, And kind in all His deeds.

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.  He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.  The Lord keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.


Observation:  This Psalm, written by David, is titled as a song of praise.  Throughout this song, David uses the personal ‘I’ to declare his love for God, praising Him for His attributes and character: loving, forgiving, good and faithful, just and kind.  Of note in this song, is that it shows David taking action to place himself in a position of worship and humility. God’s goodness and patience is shown to those who place themselves in a posture of praise.  This is placed in contrast to those who choose wickedness, who will suffer death and separation from God.  


Understanding:  I recently read an essay regarding our actions of justice and mercy.  Generally, justice is understood as a punishment for wrongdoing. Whereas, mercy is understood as a remittance of that punishment.  The author of the essay, Matthew Myer Boulton, used the story of the Good Samaritan as a way to give an alternate definition of mercy.  


In the story, we are presented with the question of who our neighbors are.  We see the “insiders” of Jewish society acting in a way that is disobedient to God’s word, while seeing the “outsider,” who isn’t expected to hold up any part of Jewish law, acting in a way as to show love towards someone who, generally, would have treated him with contempt.  Boulton uses this act of love to display what mercy could be. “Rather than conceive “mercy” as the lenient remission of deserved punishment, this account invites us to conceive it as the practice of transgressive care, the humane and humanizing work of repair and reconciliation in human life.”


The Samaritan put himself in a position that honored God, even though he was not bound to any of God’s laws.  He acted in humility, and in doing so was offering praise to God. Much like David placed himself in a position of worship, realizing that he needed God and that in submitting to God he would find grace and mercy.  But, if David were to act wickedly, he would find himself receiving wrath from God instead. Many times throughout scripture, we are shown the things of God to be contrary to what we see in the world. Like when Jesus tells us “the first will be last” (Matthew 20:16).  A practical way to carry this out is by serving others before ourselves (Philippians 2:4-11). This helps to put us in the position of worship, where we will receive God’s goodness.  


Life Application:  Jesus, help me to look for ways I can serve others and place the needs of others before mine.  Especially in a time when people are in fear, help me to be gracious to others, help me to not get upset when all the toilet paper is gone, and trust that you will protect me when I am less than six feet away from others.  Help me to offer your peace to others when it would be easy to offer them impatience instead. Help me to be looking for my neighbor, so I can put myself in the position of worship.

-Tyler Galloway