Psalm 146 (NRSV)
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!
When I hear daily news of the turbulence and terrors around the globe, my heart races. It’s hard to sleep well when worried about the welfare of families separated by immigration policy, drug dependency, and war. I turn to Scripture for reassurance that God’s Kingdom is real and is at hand.
In Psalm 146, I find hope in the Creator God. Hope stems from faith, and God keeps faith forever. Hope grows in knowing that there will be justice. The hungry will be fed, the ill will be healed, and the ones who suffer will be protected. In Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship, we read that this Psalm “is noteworthy for giving particular attention to God’s love for the lowly: prisoners, strangers, orphans, and widows.”
The Psalmist warns us not to trust in other people, who ultimately can’t deliver us and who live only for a season. I take this to heart. I’m here for a season, so I will pray for peace, act as God’s hands and feet on earth, and trust God for salvation in every sense. I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath – as Isaac Watts wrote in his hymn of the same title, based on Psalm 146.
For a fresh take on Watt’s words and those of the Psalmist, listen to Kurtis Parks’ arrangement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYveKxrGWcw
Divine and Powerful God, grant us wisdom to act and faith to believe that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Help us to praise you in word, in deed, and with song every day we live and breathe upon your earth. Amen.