Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 145

By Joseph Benson


Verses 1-4
Psalms 145:1-4. I will extol thee, my God, O King — Or, my God, the king; termed so by way of eminence; the King of kings, the God by whom kings reign, and to whom I and all other kings owe subjection and obedience. Every day will I bless thee — Praising God should be our daily work. No day should pass, though never so busy on the one hand, or sorrowful on the other, without it. We ought to reckon it the most necessary of our daily business, and the most delightful of our daily comforts. God is every day blessing us, and doing us good, and therefore there is good reason why we should be every day blessing him, and speaking well of him. I will praise thy name for ever and ever — Not only to the end of my life in this world, but to all eternity in the world to come. Great is the Lord — In his being, majesty, and glory, and in all perfections. His presence is infinite, his power irresistible, his majesty awful, his sovereignty incontestable, his dominion illimitable, his glory insupportable; there is therefore no dispute, but great is the Lord, and if great, then greatly to be praised — With all that is within us, to the utmost of our power, and with all the circumstances of solemnity imaginable. His greatness indeed cannot be comprehended; it is unsearchable — But then it is so much the more to be praised, as we can neither fathom the depth nor discern the height of it. “The greatness of Jehovah,” says Dr. Horne, “whether we consider it as relating to his essence or his works, is never to be fully comprehended by his saints, whose delight it is to contemplate the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; the extent and duration of his being and his kingdom, the profundity of his counsels, and the sublimity of his power and glory. These are the inexhaustible subjects of divine meditation, transmitted from age to age. And as the greatness of our God and Saviour hath no bounds, so his praises should have no end; nor should the voice of thanksgiving ever cease in the church. As one generation drops it, another should take it up, and prolong the delightful strain till the sun and moon shall withdraw their light, and the stars fall extinguished from their orbs.”

Verses 5-7
Psalms 145:5-7. I will speak of the glorious honour, &c. — Here are divers words heaped together, to intimate that no words are sufficient to express the majesty of God. And of thy wondrous works — “Those works of God which demand to be celebrated by the tongues of men, are here divided into three kinds. First, such as declare his glory, and excite our admiration whenever we behold them. Of this sort are the shining frame of the heavens, and all the bodies which move therein; the earth, with its furniture without, and its contents within; the magnificent and stupendous ocean which flows around; the different tribes of animals inhabiting both the one and the other; and above all, the construction of man, the lord of this lower world. Under the second class of God’s works are ranged all those which the psalmist styles his terrible acts, or the exertions of his power against his enemies; such as the destruction of the old world by water; of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire; of Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea; of the Canaanitish nations by the sword; and the victory gained over sin and death by the resurrection of Christ. In the third rank stand those works which have proceeded from the goodness of God, and his righteousness, in the performance of his promises. And among these we may reckon all the different species of provision which have been made by providence, for the bodies of men in the world, and by grace for their souls in the church. On any of these subjects meditation cannot be long employed, without breaking forth into wonder, gratitude, and praise.” — Horne.

Verses 8-13
Psalms 145:8-13. The Lord is gracious, &c. — See notes on Exodus 34:6-7; and Numbers 14:18. The Lord is good to all — Not only to Israel, but to all mankind, whose hearts he fills with food and gladness, as is said Acts 14:17; yea, to all his creatures, to beasts as well as men. All thy works praise thee — They give men and angels just occasion to praise thee; for they set forth thy glory, and manifest thy infinite perfections. And thy saints bless thee — Give thanks for thy goodness with grateful hearts. God’s other works praise him, as a beautiful building commends the builder, or a well-drawn picture the painter; but the saints bless him as the children of prudent, tender parents rise up and call them blessed. Of all God’s works, his saints, the first-fruits of his creatures, have most reason to bless him. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom — Of which they are loyal subjects, and the blessings and glories of which they make it their business to publish to the world, that mankind may be thereby induced to submit their hearts and lives to so gracious a sceptre as that of the Messiah, and that his dominion may become “as universal in its extent as it is everlasting in its duration.”

Verses 14-16
Psalms 145:14-16. The Lord upholdeth all that fall — All that look to him for help; indeed all that are upheld, whose support is not from themselves, or from men, but only from God’s powerful providence and grace. The eyes of all — Of all living creatures; wait upon thee — Expect their supplies wholly from thy bounty. Expectation is here figuratively ascribed to brute creatures, as Psalms 104:27, on which see note, and Romans 8:22. And givest them their meat in due season — When they need it. “What a just and beautiful picture,” says Dr. Horne, “is here presented to view! We see the whole animal world assembled before us, with their eyes fixed on the great King and Father of all things, like those of a flock on their shepherd, when he enters the field in time of dearth with provender for them. From the same divine person, as the Saviour of men, as the King, Father, and Pastor of the church, do believers, with earnest expectation, wait for the food of eternal life. And neither one nor the other look and wait in vain. To both he giveth their meat in due season; he openeth his hand and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.”

Verse 17
Psalms 145:17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways — And not unrighteous in any of them; and holy in all his works — Always acting like himself, with perfect rectitude and purity. In all his acts of government he is just, injurious to none, but administering justice to all: his ways are equal, though ours are unequal. In giving laws, in deciding controversies, in recompensing services, and punishing offences, he is incontestably righteous and holy, and we are in duty bound to acknowledge it. But the word חסיד, here rendered holy, generally signifies merciful, and, it seems, ought to have been so translated here. There is a mixture of mercy in the most severe and terrible works and dispensations of God toward men in this life, judgment without mercy being reserved for the next life, James 2:13; Revelation 14:10.

Verse 18-19
Psalms 145:18-19. The Lord is nigh unto all that call upon him — To answer their prayers, supposing they call upon him; in truth — Or, with an upright heart, asking those things only which are according to his will, sincerely desiring what they ask, trusting in him that he will give it, and waiting upon him in the way he hath appointed for that purpose. Observe, reader, our King “is not like earthly princes, difficult of access, but one of whom the meanest subject may at any time obtain an audience, and be certain of having his request granted, if it be made in truth, without wavering and without hypocrisy, with humble confidence and unwearied constancy,” he being found walking in the way of duty and obedience. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him — So far as their desire is agreeable to his will, and it would be for their good to have it fulfilled.

Verse 20-21
Psalms 145:20-21. The Lord preserveth all that love him — They lie exposed to many dangers in this world from men and things, from visible and invisible foes; but he, by preserving them in their integrity, and enabling them to continue in his love, (John 15:9,) effectually secures them, so that no real evil befalls them. But all the wicked will he destroy — Frequently in this world, and infallibly in the next. To protect and save his subjects and destroy their enemies is the finishing part of the regal character as here exemplified in the King of saints. “By his grace he now preserves us from innumerable dangers and temptations, and gradually destroys sin in us; and by his power he will hereafter execute, in the fullest and most extensive sense, this part of his office, when the wicked shall be consumed with the spirit of his mouth, and destroyed with the brightness of his coming.” My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, &c. — “Having now given the reasons why he had resolved to extol his God and King, and to bless his name for ever and ever, the psalmist concludes with repeating his resolution, and exhorts all the world to follow his example in time and in eternity.” — Horne.


Book Navigation Title Page Table of Contents Argument Introduction ► Chapter 1 ► Chapter 2 ► Chapter 3 ► Chapter 4 ► Chapter 5 ► Chapter 6 ► Chapter 7 ► Chapter 8 ► Chapter 9 ► Chapter 10 ► Chapter 11 ► Chapter 12 ► Chapter 13 ► Chapter 14 ► Chapter 15 ► Chapter 16 ► Chapter 17 ► Chapter 18 ► Chapter 19 ► Chapter 20 ► Chapter 21 ► Chapter 22 ► Chapter 23 ► Chapter 24 ► Chapter 25 ► Chapter 26 ► Chapter 27 ► Chapter 28 ► Chapter 29 ► Chapter 30 ► Chapter 31 ► Chapter 32 ► Chapter 33 ► Chapter 34 ► Chapter 35 ► Chapter 36 ► Chapter 37 ► Chapter 38 ► Chapter 39 ► Chapter 40 ► Chapter 41 ► Chapter 42 ► Chapter 43 ► Chapter 44 ► Chapter 45 ► Chapter 46 ► Chapter 47 ► Chapter 48 ► Chapter 49 ► Chapter 50 ► Chapter 51 ► Chapter 52 ► Chapter 53 ► Chapter 54 ► Chapter 55 ► Chapter 56 ► Chapter 57 ► Chapter 58 ► Chapter 59 ► Chapter 60 ► Chapter 61 ► Chapter 62 ► Chapter 63 ► Chapter 64 ► Chapter 65 ► Chapter 66 ► Chapter 67 ► Chapter 68 ► Chapter 69 ► Chapter 70 ► Chapter 71 ► Chapter 72 ► Chapter 73 ► Chapter 74 ► Chapter 75 ► Chapter 76 ► Chapter 77 ► Chapter 78 ► Chapter 79 ► Chapter 80 ► Chapter 81 ► Chapter 82 ► Chapter 83 ► Chapter 84 ► Chapter 85 ► Chapter 86 ► Chapter 87 ► Chapter 88 ► Chapter 89 ► Chapter 90 ► Chapter 91 ► Chapter 92 ► Chapter 93 ► Chapter 94 ► Chapter 95 ► Chapter 96 ► Chapter 97 ► Chapter 98 ► Chapter 99 ► Chapter 100 ► Chapter 101 ► Chapter 102 ► Chapter 103 ► Chapter 104 ► Chapter 105 ► Chapter 106 ► Chapter 107 ► Chapter 108 ► Chapter 109 ► Chapter 110 ► Chapter 111 ► Chapter 112 ► Chapter 113 ► Chapter 114 ► Chapter 115 ► Chapter 116 ► Chapter 117 ► Chapter 118 ► Chapter 119 ► Chapter 120 ► Chapter 121 ► Chapter 122 ► Chapter 123 ► Chapter 124 ► Chapter 125 ► Chapter 126 ► Chapter 127 ► Chapter 128 ► Chapter 129 ► Chapter 130 ► Chapter 131 ► Chapter 132 ► Chapter 133 ► Chapter 134 ► Chapter 135 ► Chapter 136 ► Chapter 137 ► Chapter 138 ► Chapter 139 ► Chapter 140 ► Chapter 141 ► Chapter 142 ► Chapter 143 ► Chapter 144 ► Chapter 145 ► Chapter 146 ► Chapter 147 ► Chapter 148 ► Chapter 149 ► Chapter 150