Psalm 145 on Reasons to Acknowledge the Existence of a Supreme Creator
How do we know that a Supreme Being exists behind the curtain of this physical creation all that is all around us? Is there some colossal, invisible entity out there who created everything and who is somehow aware of humans and is, to one degree or another, concerned and maybe even involved in our existence? Is it merely require a gigantic, almost mindless, leap of blind faith to believe in God? Or, on the other hand, is there tangible evidence that proves the existence of a caring, loving and mindful Creator? The one hundred and forty-fifth psalm, in its own unique way, answers this age old question so simply and convincingly that even a child can wrap its brain around the answer.
For many people, especially in our post-Christian and increasingly secular society, a dismissive attitude toward the existence of a higher and transcendent Power above and beyond all that we see has become the accepted norm. In fact, for many people, to believe otherwise is considered belief in ancient mythos-based fairy tales and is a sign of intellectual inferiority and weakness. For these people, the absence of so-called evidences of Creator proves their point. The problem with this line of reasoning is that the absence of evidence does not automatically or logically translate into the evidence of absence. Just because we cannot see, feel, touch, taste or smell something does not necessarily prove that it does not exist. For most of human history most people were unaware of the existence of air, germs or atoms because these were not readily observable, yet this did not prove their non-existence. Now we know otherwise. So how much more is out there that we that we still cannot see, yet still exists? Or maybe, like air, we may not be able to see it, but we can see the results of its activity. Hold that thought in mind, we will come back to it shortly. Again, the absence of evidence does not necessarily prove the evidence of absence. A quick analysis of Psalm 145 is evidence of the latter point.
Humans have no doubt struggled over the issue of whether or not there is a Supreme Being since the beginning of time. The popular and prevalent theory of evolution attempts to answer this question by purportedly explaining how physical life on this planet came into existence without so-called “intelligent design,” and many people worldwide have bought into this theory. But a theory is still only “a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something.” Note the word supposition. A supposition is largely based on theoretical guesswork, not solely on fact. So how does Psalm 145 answer the question of whether there is a God (or Elohim, to use the biblical term) or not?
Even though David, the author of this psalm, in many other places wondered where Elohim was due to his seeming silence. This was because of the many unanswered questions that David had about life and its meaning and purpose. But David never questions the existence of a Divine Creator. Why was this? In Psalm 145, for example, he declares with certainty that Elohim exists and even breaks into exultant praise over the fact. How could David be so certain of this? How could David say “I will extol my Elohim, O king; and I will bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you…”? (vv. 1–2). Let us now unpack the reasons why David was unquestioningly dogmatic about the existence of Elohim as the curtain is pulled back in Psalm 145 to reveal that which has been hidden all along in plain sight, when it comes to proving the existence of a Divine Creator.
In this psalm, David first focuses on the fact the universe contains “mighty acts” that are “unsearchable” (v. 3). Be honest with yourself. On a clear night, have you every looked up into the star studded heavens and wondered how it all got there? Or gazed at an amazingly beautiful lily, iris or orchid flower in stunned amazement and wondered how it came to be? Or viewed the birth of a baby? How about considering the navigational abilities of migrating of birds, fish, sea turtles, whales and butterflies over thousands of miles of vast and empty spaces? Or stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon in Arizona? Or contemplated the workings of the human eye or brain? How numb and wilfully obtuse mentally does one have to be to not wonder Who or what is behind all of this? How did it get there and come to be? Can humans really explain these things at the deepest levels? Or the mysteries of how they came to be and how they function remain unsearchable as Psalm 145:3 declares? If so, then does this not point to a Great Creator who is “greatly to be praised” (v. 3)? These are not complex issues that require over-thinking, but are, fact quite simple questions which have simple answers. Honestly, it is on the same level of two plus two equals four.
What David is declaring is that humans can look at the evidence of the world around them and unequivocally declare that it points to a Supreme Creator (Ps 145:3–4). What we see around, above and below us is not the absence of evidence, but the absolute contrary. Only the fool cannot see this, for as the same psalmist declares elsewhere “the fool hath said in his heart, ‘there is no God”” (Pss 14:1; 53:1). What is a fool? By biblical definition, a fool is a stupid, wicked, vile or impious person. Sorry to break the news to you, but this is who and what you are if you cannot see the obvious.
Not only that, but the mighty acts or the physical creation of Elohim, the Supreme Being, not only points to him, but something about him, namely, his glorious splendor and majesty (v. 5). What are these?
First, his goodness (v. 7). He is good toward all that which and those whom he has created.
Next he is gracious, full of compassion (v. 8). Despite the fact that foolish and stupid people ignore or even despise him and act wickedly toward him and one another, he is slow to anger (v. 8), and he continues to bless them with life and gives them food, water, air and the other necessities to sustain their physical life. Moreover, he is good to all and his tender mercies are over all of his works (v. 9). How can we not see this? This should be obvious to ascertain in the fact that sun still rises each day, the flowers continue to bloom and trees produce fruit each year. It still rains on the dry ground, so that no one and nothing dies of thirst. The bees continue to buzz and pollinate the flowers so we have food, the blood still flows in our veins, our heart pumps automatically, and the list of those things that sustain our life both on the micro and macro levels continue to function with little or no thought and control on our part. Most of us just take these things for granted. Yet who set this all in motion…and keeps it going millennia after millennia?
Not only this, laws exist in the world that point to a Supreme Ruler and Lawgiver who rules over all forever and ever. Elohim rules in his kingdom in a consistent, dependable and orderly manner. The laws of nature continue to function consistently and unabatedly. His kingdom is everlasting and functions continuously like some vast, unimaginable complex intelligent machine (v. 13).
Moreover, how many of us have heard of miraculous and unexplainable incidents of kindness and mercy toward humans in desperate situations (v. 14)? Yes, bad things happen to people, but so do good things.
Elsewhere we read that the earth belongs to YHVH Elohim and the fullness thereof (Deut 10:14; Ps 50:12). He has created the earth to produce food to feed all living creatures thereon including humans. The cycles of the seasons were designed for both plants and animals to reproduce for the human pantry (v. 15). Eohim does not discriminate on who is the beneficiary of his bounty. The blessed rain that waters the plants falls and the sun shines on both the just and the unjust (Matt 5:45), and very human the world over benefits from the cycles of nature that the Creator set into motion long ago for man’s benefit. The Creator’s hand is open to everyone everywhere to plentifully satisfy the desires or delight of every living thing (v. 16). In all of this, he not only extends his grace and kindness exclusively to those who seek, love, serve and obey him, but to everyone (v. 17) including those who ignore or even hate him. There is not a corner of the earth that does not benefit from Elohim’s lovingkindness.
For those who connect the dots and are awake to the reality that everything around them could not have just happened by capricious chance, and for those who put their earthly pursuits on hold for a brief moment and make the effort to lift their eyes heavenward in grateful acknowledgement of their Creator, his ears are open to them (v. 18). If a person take even one small step toward their Creator in seeking the truth of who he is and what he has done for them, he will eagerly and graciously draw near to them (v. 18). The Creator is not only transcendent over his creation, but also approachable and personal.
What is more, those who take the next step in their spiritual path of inclining their hearts toward Elohim and begin to respect and reverence him, he will start to answer their prayers and fulfill the desires of their hearts (v. 19). After that, he will begin to save them from their troubles (v. 19). Do you have troubles in your life? Who does not? Then reach out and up.
Finally, and the best part of all, Elohim will preserve those who fall in love with him (v. 20). We learn elsewhere in the Bible that the Creator promises them eternal or immortal life after their physical life has ceased.
On the other hand, those who selfishly go through their physical lives and benefit from the Creator’s bountiful grace refusing to acknowledge him will indeed suffer an eternity without him. Even as they chose to exclude him from their lives by wilfully rejecting all the empirical and circumstantial evidence around them to his existence during their physical lives, so they will non-exist for eternity as ashes under the feet of the righteous who, on the other hand, chose to acknowledge and seek their Creator (v. 20 cp. Mal 4:3; Rev 20:11–15).
So what does YHVH Elohim, the Creator, require of every human, and what is the end of the matter?
And now, Israel [and all people everywhere], what does YHVH your Elohim require of you, but to fear YHVH your Elohim, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve YHVH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of YHVH and His statutes which I command you today for your good? (Deut 10:12–13)
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear Elohim and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For Elohim will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Eccl 12:13–14)
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true Elohim, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)
For Elohim so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For Elohim did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of Elohim. (John 3:16–18)