One Generation Shall Commend Your Works to Another

I will extol you, my God and King,

and bless your name forever and ever.

Every day I will bless you

and praise your name forever and ever.

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,

and his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall commend your works to another,

and shall declare your mighty acts.

On the glorious splendor of your majesty,

and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.

They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,

and I will declare your greatness.

They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness

and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

(Psalm 145:1-7, ESV)

Have you ever been so excited about something good that happened to you, that you just couldn’t wait to tell someone? Getting a new job, getting engaged, the birth of a baby or a grandbaby are all too good to keep to ourselves. We like to share good news with others, and it adds to our own joy when they rejoice with us.

In this psalm the author is overcome with the greatness of God. He searches for words to describe how wonderful He is. As he reflects on God’s actions, he piles up praise for God’s “mighty acts,” “wondrous works,” and “awesome deeds.” Repeatedly, he declares God’s greatness, glory, majesty, might, goodness, and righteousness. Meditating on God’s splendor and wondrous works impacts him deeply. As a result, he cannot keep it to himself, declaring God’s greatness to others. And we see a “multiplication effect” as one generation commends God’s works to another, declares His mighty acts, speaks of God’s awesome deeds, declares God’s goodness, and sings of His righteousness.

Many good things can come from studying the Bible with others. We learn more about God, more about the gospel, how to live as God’s child – all of which are good things, and like the psalmist, they should motivate us to worship the magnificent God we have learned about from His Word. If it doesn’t, then we’re either doing something wrong, or our heart isn’t responding as it should. I like how Bill Smith puts it in his “Theology to Doxology” post:

Theology’s end is doxology. Loving delight in worship is the goal of all knowledge of God. Whether in Sunday School or seminary, whether in private reading or public study of the Scriptures, if our knowledge doesn’t lead us to praise, then we haven’t really understood God.

I am quite aware that many of us pastors can turn orthodoxy into orthodusty in our theologically substantive teachings. Some of us like the intellectual stimulation and the thought of being right and, in course, can bore people to death. Shame on us if we do not lead our people through the depths of a letter like Romans and give our people every reason to explode in praise. (1/29/2018,

“Explode in praise.” I love that imagery! When was the last time your Bible study group ended your study time with a song of worship to God? How long has it been since your group closed with a passionate prayer of praise because of what they had learned about God and His mighty works? This can be a natural heart overflow of learning about God and His works.

This kind of heart-felt worship also leads to another good result – a desire to tell others about the wonder, goodness, and righteousness of God. When our hearts engage in worship around what we are learning about God, we become readier to share that with others. “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” The reality is, we don’t share what we are not excited about. As we study together, if we only engage our minds, but not our hearts as well, we may still learn something, but it won’t move us to worship or to witness. To the psalmist, that would be unimaginable.

As you prepare to lead your next Bible study, consider ways you can share your own excitement about God’s character and mighty works with your group. Look for ways to include worship songs and prayer responses with what your group is learning. Try to engage their hearts as well as their minds, and encourage a spirit of worship as you study together. As part of your own preparation to lead your study, take time to meditate on God’s character and wondrous works. Encouraging this spirit of worship begins within you!

Father, forgive me for those times when I am content to learn something new from Your Word without a response of praise and worship to You. Awaken me to the wonder of Your goodness, righteousness, and grace, and move my heart to worship and to share about Your awesome deeds of love for Your people. Help me to lead and teach in such a way that moves both hearts and minds, and we “explode in praise” because of who You are and what You have done for us, undeserving as we are. You are worthy of that praise! Amen.

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