Psalm 146: Praise
July 21, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
“Praise” seems a foreign concept to many of us today. It seems something distinctly religious, and perhaps even somewhat divorced from “real life.” Added to this is a common question: Why does God want us to praise him? Is he so insecure that he needs us to affirm how great he is?
This psalm gives us one answer to this set of questions: the praise that we give to God is an expression of where we ultimately put our trust. So verse 3, “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.” This statement is the contrast to the constant praise affirmation of this psalm directed towards God. In other words, the psalmist is saying that we have a choice: do we trust in people, or do we trust in God? And the expression of trust in God, as well as the fuel towards trust in God, is praise.
So we praise God because he made everything (146:6), cares for the poor and the prisoner (146:7), lifts up “those who are bowed down” (146:8), “watches over the foreigner” and “sustains the fatherless and the widow” (146:9), “loves the righteous” (146:8), “frustrates the ways of the wicked” (146:9), and ultimately because “the Lord reigns forever” (146:10). All these are reasons why God is so great. And when we praise God for these things, we are expressing our trust in God and fighting for that trust too. Praise connects us to God, so that then we discover that “blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God” (146:5).
Today then, consider this: what you praise expresses what or who you trust. If you say how wonderful “x” is, then it is likely that you are putting your trust in “x.” If such-and-such a car is, for you, the best car on the market, then when you tell your friends about that car, you are praising it, and by praising, showing that you trust that car. If you, at a higher level, think that God is the best, then you will praise God, and that will show you put your trust in God (not in people, 146:3). What is more, if you are struggling to trust God, then try this: praise him. You will find that “blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob” (146:5).
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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