Loving Lord, I need perspective in perplexity, patience in the trial, and strength in adversity. I pray for grace equal to today’s challenges.
1 Praise the Lord.[a]
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 Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verse 10
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live’ (v 2).
After our readings from Romans, this psalm lifts our eyes away from ourselves and our troubled world to focus on our Sovereign God. Paul encouraged the Roman church in united, embodied worship of our Lord; here in this psalm we are helped to do just that. The psalm is the first of five ‘Hallelujah’ songs, which conclude the book of Psalms with praise to God. Possibly written by Haggai and Zechariah, we can imagine the words ringing out around Jerusalem as God’s people celebrated his reign.
The community invitation is echoed by the psalmist’s own personal commitment to praise (‘my soul’, v 1). It is intentional. He lays down his reasons for why we can confidently adjust our perspectives and trust our God. Writing this in the midst of the pandemic, I know that my own and others’ plans may come to nothing (v 4)! We are aware of the frailties of our human rulers and fellow citizens – like Adam, we are only dust. The psalmist invites us to pause and refocus our thoughts on the God on whom we can rely.
Verses 5–9 celebrate, in contrast to human weakness, the character of God. Those who trust in him will be blessed. Hope in him enables joyful praise, because we know God is watching over us in the midst of challenging times. It is our Creator God who sustains this world. It is his faithfulness on which – whether or not we know it – we all depend. The psalmist highlights God’s familiar bias – his special concern for the poor and powerless (vs 7–9). Like Father, like Son, the words here recall those prophesied about Jesus.1 If we are truly to be living sacrifices,2 we need willingness to be shaped by this loving God and his Servant-Son, Jesus. And so, to worship him.
Remember those who are ‘bowed down’ (v 8). Praise the Lord for his faithfulness. Hallelujah!
Lord, whose every word is good and true, let the words from my mouth be the overflow from a good and true heart, a heart surrendered to your will.
1 Luke 4:18; Isa 61:1–3 2 Rom 12:1
Book and Author Intros
Last Updated on August 20, 2022 by kingstar