Telling the Story to Every Generation: Psalm 145

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A note to readers: Today’s post is part of a Sunday Voice Series by Dr. Timothy C. Tennent, a close friend, mentor and colleague of mine. He serves as the President of Asbury Theological Seminary among other posts he holds across the global church. This Sunday Voice Series will cover the Psalms, beginning to end, by focusing on a Psalm each Sunday. I can’t tell you how excited I am for his interest in contributing here. This will be a huge blessing to us all.

Psalm 145 (NIV)

1I will exalt you, my God the King;
    I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
    and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;

    his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[b]
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
    and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises

    and faithful in all he does.
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
    and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
    and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways

    and faithful in all he does.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
    he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.

    Let every creature praise his holy name
    for ever and ever.

CONSIDER THIS

This psalm is for this third Sunday in Advent. David opens the psalm with four declarations of praise and exalting the Lord, and then declares, “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise” (vs. 3), not only based on his own experience, but buttressed by those who have gone before him. He says, “One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty deeds” (vs. 4). Then, in verse 5, notice the wonderful way the phrase “they will speak” is linked with the phrase “I will meditate;” and again in verse 6: “they will tell” is linked with “I will proclaim.” One generation bears witness to God’s glory, splendor and redemptive acts, and then those same truths are passed down and proclaimed by the next generation.

The beauty of God’s character in this psalm is the content of that proclamation: “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made…The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down . . . The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (vv. 8, 9, 14, 17, 18). What a tremendous witness to the faithful lovingkindness of the Lord!

Many of us became Christians through the testimony and witness of another Christian. The Christian faith has been passed down from person to person for over 2,000 years. We tell the story of gospel through words and deeds to our children, even as we were told the wonderful story of Christ by those who came before us. It is a remarkable human link, connecting one testimony and changed life with another. “They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom” (vv. 11,12).

Each day, may we find fresh ways to share the good news of Jesus Christ with another. We often think of evangelism in connection with certain planned events (like a crusade, revival, or a church service), or certain kinds of literature or methods. All of these are wonderful, but, it should never obscure the fact that the primary way the gospel spreads in the world, in our time and every other period of history, is through one person sharing their faith with another. One generation commending the works of God to another! This is a great time of the year to invite an unbelieving friend to come with you and be a part of a special Christmas celebration. By doing so you can be a part of this great theme of one generation telling God’s mighty deeds to another.

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Timothy C. Tennent is the President of Asbury Theological Seminary and a Professor of Global Christianity. His works include Invitation to World Missions: A Trinitarian Missiology for the Twenty-first Century and Theology in the Context of World Christianity: How the Global Church Is Influencing the Way We Think about and Discuss Theology. He blogs at timothytennent.com and can be followed on twitter @TimTennent.

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