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Psalm 145:21

My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.

A promise and vow

There is a promise hiding in this text: “all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.” It is not just the hyperbole of the religious imagination; it is a confession that God’s spirit will ultimately gather God’s broken and scattered world, that God and his rebellious world will be reconciled, that every heart and all creation will be restored to its primal harmony.

The cacophony of our world will yield to symphony. The multiplicity of languages will be joined in one song of praise. The shouts of anger will become calls to rejoice. The cries of despair exultations of delight.

God will be praised truly. No more will God’s name be captive to our desires, but our desires will be captive to God’s wondrous name. No more will God be invoked to kill or damn, but to save and bless. No longer will God be associated with promised virgins or promised wealth, but with reconciliation, fidelity, compassion, and truth. All creation will extoll the source of life and font of grace.

There is a great and glorious promise is this text. And there is also a vow: the poet declares he will use God’s name rightly now. It will be holy and hallowed in his mouth and life. He will not use God’s name to “curse, swear, lie or deceive,” but “in prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.” The poet vows to live now the day we await.

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