Bible Reading: Psalm 146
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord while I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Do not trust in princes,
In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
His spirit departs, he returns to the earth;
In that very day his thoughts perish.
How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
Whose hope is in the Lord his 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 raises up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
The Lord protects the strangers;
He supports the fatherless and the widow,
But He thwarts the way of the wicked.
The Lord will reign forever,
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!
The last five chapters of Psalms are songs of praise, all beginning and ending with “Hallelujah,” which translates “Praise the LORD!” Today’s psalm gives us many reasons to place our hope in God rather than men. He is faithful to his word. He lifts up the downtrodden. He meets our needs.
Twelve times in the psalms we are told about the God of Jacob. Psalm 146 says blessed is one whose help is the God of Jacob. Jacob is for me one of the most relatable characters in scripture. Jacob deceives his father Isaac for his blessing and he bargains his brother out of his birthright. Jacob is treated unfairly by his father in law. He lost his favorite son Joseph. He was sure his brother Esau was going to kill him.
At the end of Jacob’s life he was hungry and afraid. Out of fear and selfishness, Jacob said he only had two sons (Joseph and Benjamin, both with Rachel), and one was dead (Joseph) and the other was at risk (Benjamin). Jacob spent much of his life fighting for himself. But in the end, Jacob received God’s blessing not through deception, but through wrestling with Him (Genesis 32).
He finally also surrendered in sending Benjamin to Egypt. God not only preserved Benjamin but gave him Joseph back. Genesis 49 tells of Jacob blessing Judah his fourth son. The name Judah means praise, and it is through Judah’s line (and Leah, not Rachel) that Jesus would come and save us from ourselves. Let us accept God’s blessing and experience joy in trusting Him to be our help and hope.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15.13).
Weekly Bible Reading: The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. Psalm 145.8