What Does Psalm 145:3 Mean?

Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable.

Psalm 145:3(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

This wonderful, worshipful Psalm of David, exalts the name of the Lord most high and rejoices in the glorious splendour of His wonderful works. It is an acrostic psalm - where the first letter of each successive verse follows the Hebrews alphabet sequentially... starting in verse 1 with an 'aleph'. Although it is not identifiable in translation, acrostic writing is a literary style in Hebrew. It is a form of poetry seen in a number of biblical passages.

Although there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet there are only 21 verses in Psalm 145, and it is interesting to note that the fourteenth letter - the letter 'nun', is missing in the traditional Masoretic test. However, in the recently unearthed 'Dead Sea Scroll', we find the 'missing' letter. We discover Psalm 145 has an extra verse, with the 14th letter - a 'nun', inserted in the correct position - verse 14, which declares, "The Lord is faithful in all His words and gracious in all His works!"

As we would expect verse 3 begins with a 'gimel' - the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and presents three complementary thoughts 1) Great is the Lord. 2) the Lord is highly to be praised and 3) the Lord's greatness is unsearchable.

The verse begins with an important sentence, that is found in three other passages in Scripture, "Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised." Both Psalms 48 and 96 declare this beautiful truth and in 1st Chronicles we read, "For the Lord is great and is highly praised.. He is feared above all gods".

Within these few, simple words, the psalmist is seeking to focus our attention on the superlative attributes of our heavenly Lord - His unsearchable greatness, His glorious majesty, His mighty rule and the splendour of His kingdom.

The concluding clause of this verse continues with a proclamation that corroborates the opening sentence.. "the greatness of the Lord is unsearchable". The infinite dimensions and eternal character of God continue to be lifted higher and higher, until we celebrate the never-ending might, majesty, dominion and power that the Lord commands from every member of His creation.

This song of praise is the first in a series of psalms, which progress towards a final, fabulous crescendo in Psalm 150 - the closing chapter in the entire book of Psalms... where God is praised in His holy sanctuary; praised for His mighty deeds and praised according to His excellent greatness.

He is praised on the trumpet, the harp and the lyre. He is worshipped with timbral, dancing and all sorts of stringed instruments. He is honoured with pipes and cymbal as the entire creation is exhorted - let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise YE the LORD!"

The final half dozen psalms amalgamate into a doxology of worshipful praise to the Almighty, which is started in Psalm 145, where we are called to extol our God, to praise His name continually and to bless His name forever - "for Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, His greatness is unsearchable.

David's call to praise is as relevant today as it was when these words were first penned. Today we often find life to be difficult and encompassed about by many problems, but we should take note of this call to praise and worship and lift up our hearts by praising the Lord, for He is highly to be praise and His greatness is indeed unsearchable.

When we are weary and discouraged our priority should be to acknowledge the greatness of God, Who carries the hurting heart and refreshes the weary soul. When we are faced with difficult decisions or find our faith is being challenged, we should turn to God's word and read through this series of Psalms, which will bring our focus back to the Lord our God and the joy of our salvation.

David learned that the way to live a victorious life is to remember the unsearchable greatness of our praise-worthy God. May the words of this Psalm be a constant reminder that no matter what injustices and problem we may face in this fallen, sinful world.. we have a God Who is highly to be praised for all that He has done for us - in this age and in the ages to come.

May our first thought of the day and our final song in the night give glory to our heavenly Lord. As we consider His never-failing love and everlasting mercy.. and may we be caused us to cry out in joyful unison, "Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised. His greatness and His worth is unsearchable.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, we praise and thank You that You are our God, Who is worthy of our continuous praise and worship. Fill my heart each day with songs of thanksgiving and praise for Who You are and what You have done for me and all Who have trusted You for salvation. May I never forget Your goodness and grace to all Your children, and keep my heart in a state of ready, worshipful praise, for You alone are worthy of honour and highly to be praised. Open the eyes of my understanding more and more so that in every circumstance of life I can sing.. Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable, in Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.

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Psalm 145:3 Further Study

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