1 Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, O 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 mortal men, who cannot save. 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, 6 the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— the LORD, who 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 alien 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.
Psalm 146 – Hallelujah: Praise the LORD
(Verses 1-2) We now begin the last five psalms with the words, ‘Praise the LORD’. Each of the five psalms starts and finishes with ‘Praise the LORD’ and repeat it often. The word ‘praise’ comes 540 times in the Bible, 207 times in Psalms, and 50 times in sixty-one verses of the last five psalms. ‘Praise the LORD’ translates the Hebrew ‘Hallelu Jah’. As ‘Hallelujah’ it comes only in Revelation, where it is used 4 times. If the Lord Jesus Christ, who is ‘Jehovah’ and Man, is your Saviour, you have much to praise God for. He died in your place on the cross to be punished for your sins. He rose again. He ascended into Heaven. He reigns there but will come back again in power and glory. He dwells in your heart if you have repented and trusted in Him as your Lord and Saviour. Every Christian and non-Christian should praise God for ‘common grace’ such as, food, family, friends, health and daily blessings. We lose some of those as we get older. If you know Jesus, you will never lose Him! So, the psalmist proclaims that, like David in Psalm 145, he will ‘praise the LORD’ all his life and sing that praise ‘as long as’ he lives. Ask God to make you become like that. It will change you. When praising God, you do not sulk or grumble.
(Verses 3-4) Those who trust the LORD praise Him. He is worthy of your trust. Don’t trust in even the most influential men (‘princes’). They will die, but God is everlasting and unchanging.
(Verses 5-9) The ‘God of Jacob’ (father of the twelve tribes of Israel but an ‘up and down’ man) is the Christian’s God too. Our certain ‘hope’ is in Him, the great Creator of heaven, earth, sea, and all creatures. He remains ‘faithful forever’, upholds the ‘oppressed’, feeds the ‘hungry’, ‘sets prisoners free’, makes the ‘blind’ see, ‘lifts up those who are bowed down’ and ‘loves the righteous’. All these were true of Jesus coming as Messiah. They are also true spiritually for every sinner who trusts in Jesus and so becomes ‘born again’. Just think about it and note that a person who truly believes in the Lord Jesus Christ:
- Trusts in no-one else but Jesus.
- Has that certain hope of Heaven.
- Finds that Jesus is faithful to him.
- Is upheld when under pressure.
- Is fed spiritually from the Bible.
- Is liberated from besetting sins.
- Has spiritual sight (understanding).
- Is lifted from guilt to God’s peace.
- Is counted as righteous in Christ.
A Christian must care for foreigners, strangers, fatherless and widows, as God does. They all need to trust Jesus, and the ‘wicked’ also need to repent and be saved.
(Verse 10) The psalm ends with ‘Praise the LORD’, having assured Zion of God’s eternal reign over ‘all generations’. Zion’s temple is the worship centre for Israel. Our triune God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—reigns in the hearts of all ‘born again’ sinners, and then forever in Heaven.