Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. Psalm 145:13
American General George C. Patton once said: “For over a thousand years, Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph—a tumultuous parade…. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children, robed in white, stood with him in the chariot, or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror, holding a golden crown, and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.”
Over the course of history empires have come and gone. Whether the Ottoman, the Roman, or the British empire, one fact is irrefutable: none have lasted or endured.
In contrast to the fleeting nature of worldly empires, Psalm 145 exclaims with great clarity that God’s kingdom “is an everlasting kingdom, and (his) dominion endures through all generations.” This song of praise written by David reminded the Israelites of God’s greatness and glory evidenced by his actions on their behalf. In the life of the Jewish people, this Psalm was recited three times a day and became an important factor in shaping their identity as a people. Through daily recitation, they recounted God’s greatness not as an abstract idea, but as an intimate reality evidenced through his work in history on their behalf. What were those “awesome works” (vs. 6) that David refers to? Throughout the Psalms, praise for God is rooted in the work of creation and in his saving acts in Israel’s history. From the creation account to the story of Joseph to the exodus and the parting of the Red Sea, God acted on Israel’s behalf to deliver, save, and preserve them.
Through these “wonderful works and mighty acts” the God who is king shows his own character and the character of his kingdom: righteousness, steadfast love, mercy, justice, kindness to those who call on him (vv. 14-20).
The daily rehearsal of the nature and works of God shaped the identity of God’s people in ancient times and reminds us today who we are and who God is, and what his rule is like. Unlike earthly empires and kingdoms, God will reign forever. And unlike the glory of ancient Rome or any other empire, God’s glory is not fleeting and is worthy of our service and allegiance.
PONDER: Read Psalm 145 every day for a week and ask yourself: What influences me greater: God’s kingdom, or the kingdom of my culture and country?
* * *
• PSALM 145 •
A psalm of praise. Of David.
I 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.
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.
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.
All your works praise you, LORD; your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations. (vv.1-13a)
* * *
* * *
Change happens. Life is constantly in motion, and it is hard to gauge which trends will last and which are only momentary. Fortunately, those who put their trust in Christ have a constant. God never changes. He is always compassionate and his kingdom will last forever. It is such a comfort to remember that in the midst of constant change we have a consistent God.
Read Psalm 145:9-13. What do these verses reveal about God? What hope can we take from verse 13? Where in your life are you experiencing change? How can the promise of God’s everlasting kingdom bring you comfort?