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 forever.
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 forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.
(Psalm 146:1-10 NIV)
As we begin our time together with the psalmist, one of the first observations is that this psalm begins and ends with worship (“Praise the Lord”). Some scholars translate the phrase “Praise the Lord” as “Hallelujah”; both are worship terms.
The psalmist begins with a personal commitment to worship, focusing on his intentional choices to focus on the Lord with his entire person (his soul) and for the duration of his life (for as long as he lives) (vv. 1-2).
The psalmist then issues a warning against putting our trust in humans (princes represent political and business leaders), as they cannot save anyone, not even themselves. When they die, their plans end (vv. 3-4).
The psalmist contrasts the folly of putting our trust in leaders for salvation with putting our trust in the Lord. When we put our hope is in the Lord, and when we rely on Him for our help, we are blessed (v. 5).
The psalmist then worships the Lord by recalling all that He does for His own (vv. 6-9):
- He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them
- He remains faithful forever
- He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry
- The Lord sets prisoners free
- The Lord gives sight to the blind
- The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down
- The Lord loves the righteous
- The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow
- He frustrates the ways of the wicked
The psalmist ends by reminding himself (and us) that the Lord reigns forever, spanning all generations everywhere (v. 10).
When you stop to recall all that God has done for you and our loved ones, does that lead you to gratitude and to worship?
God’s goodness leads me to bow in humble thankfulness for who He is, and what He does in my life and the lives of my loved ones.
And to think that He invites me to join Him in His work – with all my faults and shortcomings and selfishness and pride – that He still wants to include me and use me for His great plan to love the world?
Like the psalmist, I have only one response: Praise the Lord!