12/24/2015

Praise God As Long As I Live (Psalm 146)

"I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live" (Ps 146:2, NIV).

Psalm 1 began with "Blessed is the man" (Ps 1:1) and ends with "Blessed be the Lord" in the last five psalms--Psalm 146-150--the endless Hallelujah. In these psalms there is no reference to personal need and no petition. All is focused on God. All is praise, which aptly conclude the Psalms, as all five psalms begin and end with "Praise the Lord" (Hallelujah!). In early Jewish tradition an established practice is to recite these five psalms, together with Psalm 145 as part of the daily morning liturgy. Notice the step by step progression in this praise. It begins with the individual (Ps 146:1), involves the community (Ps 147:1,12), extends to heaven and earth (Ps 148:1,7) and to a people committed to mission (Ps 149) until everything that has breath praises the Lord (Ps 150:6).

Psalm 146 expresses individual praise.
  1. The praise of God (1-2).
  2. The power of God (3-6).
  3. The provision of God (7-10).
I. The Praise of God (146:1-2)

The act of praising the Lord is lifelong: "all my life" and "as long as I live." The Lord is worthy of the praise of the whole person and the whole life.

II. The Power of God (146:3-6)

Ps 146:3-4 guard the praise of God negatively, because all human objects of trust, whether outstanding or ordinary lack ability, continuance and reliability. In mortal man there is no salvation (Ps 146:3; 118:8; Isa 2:22; 31:1). A truly blessed, happy and joyful person is simply a person who adheres to the principle of trusting and hoping in God rather than in human leaders (Ps 20:7). The Lord can be trusted because of his infinite power as Maker of heaven and earth and his faithful character (Ps 146:6; 115:15; Rev 14:7).

III. The Provision of God (146:7-10)

The psalmist then considered the various ways in which God's concern is expressed as provision for His people: He provides justice, food, liberty/freedom, healing, restoration, protection, care and moral justice (Ps 146:7-9).