Weds 29 December - Psalm 146
1 Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord, my soul.
2 I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them –
he remains faithful for ever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
8 the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The Lord reigns for ever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.
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Meditation on Psalm 146
As we come to the end of this cycle of Psalms, it’s good to end the year on a high note.
Psalms 146-150 are the final group of the Hallel Psalms, each of which begins and ends with ‘Praise Yahweh’. These Psalms could be called the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ of the Old Testament.
And we who have put our trust and faith in Jesus as our personal Saviour will be among that ‘great multitude that no-one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language standing before the throne and before the Lamb……they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’ Revelation 7:9-10
But we don’t have to wait until that great day. Psalm 146 bring us back to the present. Here is a psalm of praise from beginning to end.
This psalm reminds us of one of Isaac Watts great hymns. Space doesn’t allow me to copy all three verses, so you can look it up and, alongside this psalm, ‘Praise the LORD.’
‘I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath,
and when my voice is lost in death, praise shall employ my nobler powers:
my days of praise shall ne’er be past,
while life and thought and being last,
or immortality endures.
Happy the man whose hopes rely
on Israel’s God! He made the sky
and earth and sea, with all their train:
His truth for ever stands secure;
He saves the oppressed, He feeds the poor,
And none shall find His promise vain.’
- PRAISE THE LORD Verses 1-2a
Here is a personal response to the LORD – ‘my God’
Here is a challenging response to the LORD – ‘all my life’; ‘as long as I live’
Why should I / we praise the LORD?
Turn back to Psalm 145 as a starter.
- His greatness
- His mighty acts
- The glorious splendour of His majesty
- His abundant goodness
- His righteousness
- His grace
- His compassion
- His goodness to all
- His everlasting kingdom
- He is trustworthy
- He is faithful
- His care
- His nearness
Into Psalm 146 we have more reasons to praise the LORD every day.
- TRUST HIM Verses 2b-6
- We can put our trust in others – whoever they may be. But …
- they cannot save
- they don’t last – when they have died, all their plans come to an end
- We can put our trust in the LORD. He is ‘the God of Jacob’ and He never let Jacob down, even though Jacob failed on many occasions.
- He is the Creator – and when He had finished His creation He looked and saw all He had made ‘and behold it was very good.’
- He is faithful – remember what Joshua said to the people: “not ONE of all the LORD’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.”
- HE CARES Verses 7-9
Stay for a while on the ministry of the LORD as the psalmist saw it.
Then link it in with the ministry of the LORD Jesus during those three years of reaching out to others…
- the oppressed
- the hungry
- those in prison – not just those behind bars but those who, by their circumstances, are trapped
- those bowed down
- the foreigner
- the fatherless and the widow
- the righteous
That is a challenge for us as go into the New Year – are we reaching out into our communities?
Notice, also, that He ‘frustrates the ways of the wicked’. Perhaps we look around and wonder if that is true.
It is true …
- because He is on the throne and He gives permission to Satan to go so far but no further – read the opening chapters of the book of Job.
- because He will ultimately have the victory over all that is evil thanks to the finished work of Jesus on the Cross when He cried out “It is finished.”
- HE REIGNS Verse 10
What a great assurance as we go into another year.
Here’s another old song to take with you into the New Year.
The Lord is King! Lift up your voice,
O earth and all ye heavens rejoice;
from world to world the joy shall ring,
The Lord omnipotent is King!
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