Psalm 145(144) : 8 - 13 ( NRSV )

Our God is kind
and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in love.(8)
How good is our God to all,
compassionate to all creatures.(9)
All your creatures shall thank you, O God
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.(10)
They shall speak of the glory
of your reign and declare your might, O God,(11)
to make known to all your mighty deeds
and the glorious splendour of your reign.(12)
Your is an everlasting reign;
your rule lasts from age to age.(13a)

COMMENT

     The speaker expresses Hebrew joy and confidence in the Creator. What is lastingly true in the world is that YHWH securely reigns. YHWH is: good, merciful, slow to anger and kind. These qualities affect all YHWH's relationships. The speaker asserts YHWH's free, passionate and limitless self-giving to the covenant partner.
     The covenant partner here is the whole created world! Creation holds together because of YHWH's faithfulness. This judgement about the reigning of YHWH is made out of experience of the daily reliability, evidenced from the simple facts of being nourished and having the necessities of life provided.
     The pattern of authentic living reflects YHWH's power-for-life and evokes a response of "child-like trust" in the reliability of that life. This quality evokes gratitude by telling of YHWH's deeds. All must know of God's reigning (v.10). The speaker celebrates the order in God's creation - it surprises and gives unwarranted gifts to unlikely creatures. God's power mobilises to care for the otherwise uncared for. The appropriate community response is: "We will praise your name forever, our Ruler and our God".
 
footnote:
Psalm 145 A hymn where every verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Such poems usually do not develop ideas but consist rather of loosely connected statements. The speaker invites all to praise YHWH (vv:1-3, 21). The "works of YHWH" make God present and invite human praise (vv:4-7); they climax in a confession (vv:8-9). YHWH's mighty acts show forth divine kingship (vv:10-20), a major theme in the literature of early Judaism and in Christianity.
 

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