Psalm 146

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 23, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Hallelujah! Today’s psalm, Psalm 146, begins the last collection of hallel psalms, named as such because they are full of praise to God and hallal is the verb for “praise” in Hebrew. It is likely that these praise psalms were used as part of the daily prayers for the people of Israel worshiping in the synagogue.

We do not know who wrote this psalm, though there are some theories. The Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) and the Latin Vulgate attribute Psalms 146 and 147 to Haggai and Zechariah, but most scholars believe there is not enough evidence for this authorship.

As expected, this praise psalm begins with simply praising God in verses 1-2. The psalmist both individually praises God and invites those around him to join in as well. He knows that his life is to be lived in praise to God at all times because God is the one who gives him life.

In verses 3-4 we see that committing to praise God means that we don’t trust in our fellow humans. While we should have some level of trust for other humans, they cannot save us as God can, and they are not as perfectly trustworthy as God is either. People may leave us or die at any time, while God is eternal and will be the same trustworthy God forever and ever.

Verse 5 shows us that we need to look to God, rather than people, as our true help if we want to be blessed by Him. Again, we need to put our hope in God who will never fail instead of people who can fail us.

So who is this that we should praise? Verse 6 tells us, “He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them — he remains faithful forever.” God is the creator, the one who made everything, just as the Bible tells us in Genesis 1 and Exodus 20:11. He will always remain faithful to us. He is truly worthy of our praise!

What does God do after the work of creation was completed? Verses 7-9 tell us that He sustains His people. The nature of God’s faithfulness is explained here. He upholds His people, feeds the hungry, sets prisoners free, gives sight to the blind, loves us, and watches over and sustains His people. The Hebrew text uses participles for all of these actions, which indicates that God continually does them. He is eternal, and He continues to sustain His people through all generations.

Finally, the psalm closes with another call to praise God in verse 10. We see that the Lord reigns forever. He will be our God for all generations of all people!

As we look forward to celebrating Christmas and the birth of Jesus this week, we need to continue to praise God for all that He has done in our lives. When this psalm was written, the world was still looking forward and waiting expectantly for the Savior who they knew was coming. Today, we can look back a couple of thousand years and see that the Savior has already come! He came in the person of Jesus as a baby, He grew up as both fully human and fully God, and He lived His life without one single sin so that we could be saved and live eternally with God. We live in a time where the promise of salvation has been fulfilled, and that is the best reason there is to praise God all the days of our lives.

Just as the people of Israel used this psalm and others in their daily worship, we can do that also. These psalms have a different meaning to us, being on the other side of the salvation event of Jesus’ death and resurrection, but we are still called to praise God in all that we do. As you’re gathering with family and friends this Christmas, remember the reason for all the celebrating - the birth of Jesus who fulfilled the promises that the psalmists were longing for. If they could praise God before, we can truly praise Him now!

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