Most likely the last psalm David wrote in his life is found in Second Samuel 23. According to verse one, the last words of David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, are found in verses 2 to 7. Because the Psalter has been divided into five Books (Psalms 1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, 107-150), there is clear evidence that—like any good song book—it has been thoughtfully and carefully arranged. Therefore, the placement of David’s composition that has been numbered Psalm 145 is not accidental. It has been purposefully placed in the book as the final psalm attributed to David.
A careful consideration of this psalm’s contents points to why Psalm 145 has been placed where it is.
- It is an anthem of praise. It begins and ends with brilliant outbursts of the Lord’s utter praiseworthiness. “I will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another and shall declare Your mighty acts. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness and shall sing of Your righteousness…My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh shall bless His
holy name forever and ever” (vv. 1-7, 21).
- It is an acrostic composition. Beginning with the first Hebrew letter—aleph—and concluding with the final letter—tau, the psalm seeks to extol Jehovah, the great King of the universe whose praiseworthiness is from A to Z.
- It begins the climactic finish of the book. “Praise the Lord” (i.e. Hallelujah) is the first and last declarations of the final five psalms (146-150). This psalm is the introduction to the Scriptures’ version of its own Hallelujah chorus.
“One generation shall praise Your works to another and shall declare Your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4). David in his generation did just that. And now, three thousand years later, it is our generation’s turn to Praise the Lord!