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Everlasting Life

Daily Devotional • June 9

A Reading from Psalm 145

1 I will extol you, my God and King,
    and bless your name forever and ever.

2 Every day I will bless you
    and praise your name forever and ever.

3 Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised;
    his greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall extol your works to another
    and shall declare your mighty acts.

5 They will recount the glorious splendor of your majesty,
    and on your wondrous works I will meditate.

6 They will proclaim the might of your awesome deeds,
    and I will declare your greatness.

7 They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness
    and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

8 The Lord is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

9 The Lord is good to all,
    and his compassion is over all that he has made.

10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
    and all your faithful shall bless you.

11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
    and tell of your power,

12 to make known to all people your mighty deeds
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

The Lord is faithful in all his words
    and gracious in all his deeds.

14 The Lord upholds all who are falling
    and raises up all who are bowed down.

15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food in due season.

16 You open your hand,
    satisfying the desire of every living thing.

17 The Lord is just in all his ways
    and kind in all his doings.

18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.

19 He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;
    he also hears their cry and saves them.

20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.

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


Anyone who prays Psalm 145 three times a day is sure to have everlasting life. No, really. At least according to the Talmud. Justification debates aside, “Why and how does Psalm 145 save us?” is a decent question, and arguably one anticipated by the Talmud’s claim.

Psalm 145 is about God as the Psalms tend to be. It is about the mighty works of God. It is about the community of God’s people, and about the generations here and the generations yet to come. It is about God who provides every need we’ve ever had and every desire we’ve ever felt, and it is about those who pray and wait and hope. And we are saved in this hope.

Hope is often an underwhelming savior (may I be honest?). A hope that is seen is no hope at all, and I like to see, feel, and hear things that I love. Things unseen lead me to look elsewhere, things hoped-for lead me to look for what is already here. Hoping is hard, because it assumes that what you desire is not yet here. 

Thomas Aquinas says that in the Old Testament, ceremonial law served the purpose of giving us something to do while we resisted idolatry. One might think that while we’re hoping, we should probably find something to do also. So receive the sacraments, pray, read, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the imprisoned. Do these things not to create hope, but rather hope creates them. 

Chase Benefiel is a friend, Tennesseean, preacher, and student (in that order) currently finishing his M.Div. at Duke Divinity School.

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The Diocese of Southeast Florida – The Episcopal Church
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