Verse 21. "Let all flesh bless his holy name " - He is good to all, wants to save all, actually feeds and preserves all. And as near as rm shamar is to dm shamad, so near is he a saviour to those who stand on the brink of destruction, if they will look to him.
For the application of all this Psalm to the Church of Christ, see the analysis.
ANALYSIS OF THE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIFTH PSALM
This hymn is most excellent, both as it regards matter and style. The matter is praise to God; the style, the Hebrew alphabet, the better to assist our memories in recording God's praise.
This Psalm contains: - I. A proem, or protestation to praise God, ver. 1, 2.
II. A celebration of Divine praises through the whole Psalm, from these arguments: - I. From the greatness of God, ver. 3.
II. From his wonderful works, ver. 4, which he distinguishes under the following heads: - 1. They are glorious and beautiful, majestic and wonderful, ver. 5.
2. Marvellous, and full of terror, ver. 6.
3. Amiable, and full of goodness, ver. 7-9. But all wonderful.
III. From his kingdom, and government of it, and in it, ver. 10-21.
IV. A conclusion, ver. 21, in which he performs his protestation of praising God.
I. In the two first verses the psalmist acquaints us what he will do with the whole.
1. "I will extol, I will bless, I will praise." 2. "Thee, my God, my King." I am thy servant, though an earthly king.
3. "Every day," &c. No day shall pass without my praising thee.
4. "For ever and ever." I shall now begin, and a succession of men will continue to hymn and praise thee till the consummation of all things.
II. The first thing he praises God for is his essence. Great.
I. "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised." Of course this follows: - "And his greatness is unsearchable." Past our weak capacity to comprehend; higher than the heavens, deeper than hell, having no end. Or if great here refer to him as King, then in respect to the extension of his empire over every living creature, he is great; he rules over the hearts of the children of men, over their thoughts and affections, and nothing is hidden from his sight.
II. From the essence of God the psalmist passes to his works and effects, which yet set forth his praise: "One generation shall praise," &c. Each age is an eyewitness of thy mighty acts and mercy. From a general consideration of these works he then particularizes: - 1. "For the heavens declare," &c. The sun, moon, and stars, in their splendour, magnitude, and perpetual motion, show forth God's honour and majesty.
2. A second kind of works are the terrible acts of his justice, such as the deluge, the fire of Sodom, Pharaoh's overthrow in the Red Sea, the earth opening to swallow up Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
Then there follow his acts of love and mercy, spoken of at large.
1. "Thy great works shall abundantly utter," &c. Thy bounty shall make all generations eloquent in thy praise, and shall sing of thy righteousness, in exhibiting thy promised blessings, in bestowing temporal benefits; but above all, in the gifts of thy grace: - In the incarnation, passion, resurrection, ascension, the coming of the Holy Ghost, calling of the Gentiles, justification, sanctification, and eternal life; for all these, and each of them, men shall abundantly utter thy righteousness.
2. "The Lord is gracious," &c.
3. "The Lord is good to all," &c.
4. "His tender mercies are over," &c. Even to the most wicked, God gives time and opportunity for repentance, before he cuts them off.
III. The prophet having sung of God's great works in glory, terror, and mercy, now adds, "All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord." And now he begins a new matter, the erection of his peculiar kingdom in his Church: "A peculiar people," &c. His saints. These will continue to mark thy wonders, and sing to thy glory: these, thy saints, shall bless thee for all and in all thy acts. "They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom," &c.
"To make known to the sons of men," &c. "Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom," &c. Now the power and glory of Christ's kingdom differ in a fourfold manner from that of the sons of men.
1. The kings on earth require obedience from their subjects; they exact subsidies, tributes, taxes, &c.
2. Earthly kings glory in their power, and rejoice in their dignity; but their crown is full of thorns, anxiety, care, &c.
3. Earthly kings reign but for a time, Christ for ever. 1. "They shall speak of the glory," &c. Excelling all others. 2. "To make known," &c. Thy acts far beyond theirs 3. "Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom," &c. Not so theirs.
The prophet having described Christ's kingdom, begins to extol the qualities and virtues of a good king, which agrees with Christ.
I. His veracity.
II. His probity: "The Lord is faithful," &c.
III. This is another quality of a good king, so to govern his subjects that they fall not, or to raise them if fallen. Christ sustains and upholds his people, or restores them if they fall from him and return by repentance to him; this was exemplified in David, Peter, the prodigal, &c. "The eyes of all," &c. "Thou openest thine hand," &c.
IV. Liberality and bounty are excellent qualities in a king who cares for his subjects, and may properly be applied to Christ, who provides for his Church in all things. And: - 1. "The eyes of all wait upon thee." In expectation.
2. "And thou givest," &c. It is a gift, not a debt.
3. "Their meat." Every thing fit for them.
4. "In due season." When fit and necessary.
5. "Thou openest thine hand." Givest bountifully.
6. "And satisfiest," &c. The covetous always want; content is from God.
7. "The desire of every living thing," &c. "The Lord is righteous," &c.
V. This is another virtue of a good king, and refers to Christ. "The Lord is nigh unto all them," &c.
Vl. This is the sixth quality of a good king, to show himself ready of access to all who implore his aid.
1. Faith. For he that prays without it will not be answered.
2. Hope and confidence. He prays not seriously who hopes not to be heard.
3. Love. No man prays who hates God.
4. Desire. Nor that desires not to obtain.
5. Attention and intention, without which prayer is idle. "The Lord will fulfill," &c.
VII. The seventh quality of a good king is to grant petitions.
1. "He will fulfill," &c. But with limitation: "So they fear him." 2. "He also will hear their cry." When it is earnest and sincere.
3. "And will save them:"The Lord preserveth all them," &c.
VIII. The eighth quality of a good king is to spare the humble and destroy the proud. Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos. - VIRGIL. Which Christ will do; he preserves his martyrs in patience, and then receives them into glory.
IV. The conclusion is an acclamation, and answers to the beginning of the Psalm.
1. "My mouth shall speak," &c. This will I do while I live.
2. "And let all flesh," &c. And let all follow his example in giving due praise to this bountitul God.