Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Daily reading assignment – Psalms 146-148
Our scripture reading today consist of three psalms, Psalms 146, 147 and 148. I will limit my devotional commentary to Psalm 146. The author of Psalm 146 is not known; however, his purpose in writing the psalm is obvious….it is a song of praise to the LORD. The psalmist employs numerous names for God meant to describe His nature, personality, and character.
You will notice in the verses my amplification of the text in brackets. Understanding a word in the Hebrew scriptures can be translated into English with more than one word, it is my desire to give you a broader understanding and insight into this beautiful psalm of praise for your own worship and edification.
Psalm 146:1-2 – 1 Praise [Hallelujah; Glory; Boast; Celebrate] ye the LORD [Yahweh; the sacred name of the LORD]. Praise the LORD [Jehovah; Eternal, Self-Existent God], O my soul.
2 While I live [have life] will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises [sing psalms] unto my God [Elohim; mighty God] while I have any being.
The psalmist begins Psalm 146 directing his praise and worship to the only One worthy of praise…the LORD (146:1-2).
Psalm 146:3-4 – 3 Put not your trust [confidence] in princes, nor in the son [children] of man, in whom there is no help [salvation; deliverance].
4 His breath [man’s breath] goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day [time] his thoughts perish.
The psalmist exhorts and admonishes the people to not put their trust or confidence in man (146:3-4). Whether a prince among men or a mere mortal man…all men live under the sentence of death (Romans 6:23); their breath disappears as a vapor, their bodies return to dust and their plans and designs perish with them.
Such is the spiritual lesson the rich man encountered in Luke 12. Experiencing an overflow of the fruits of his labor at the time of harvest, the rich man determined to tear down his barns and hoard God’s blessings (Luke 12:17-18). God judged the man a fool (Luke 12:19-20). His affections were on earthly riches and he died a spiritual pauper… “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself and is not rich towards God” (Luke 12:21).
While the rich man’s affections for earthly treasure perish with him, the psalmist describes the man who looks to the LORD as “Happy” (146:5) .
Psalm 146:5 – 5 Happy [Blessed; prosperous] is he that hath the God [Almighty God] of Jacob for his help [aid], whose hope [expectation] is in the LORD his God:
Why trust the LORD (146:6-9)? The psalmist suggests four qualities that lead us to trust the LORD.
1) The LORD is Creator of heaven, earth, the sea and “all that therein is”. (146:6a)
Psalm 146:6 – 6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth [preserves; guards] truth for ever [i.e. God is forever faithful; trustworthy]:
2) The LORD is faithful and true. (146:6b)
Psalm 146:7-9 7 Which executeth [lit. to make or prepare] judgment [justice] for the oppressed: which giveth food [bread and meat] to the hungry. The LORD looseth [sets at liberty] the prisoners: 8 The LORD [Jehovah; Eternal, Self-Existent God] openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth [lifts up; comforts] them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous [just]:
9 The LORD preserveth [keeps watch; regards; saves] the strangers [sojourners]; he relieveth [bear witness; admonish; protects] the fatherless and widow: but the way [journey; path] of the wicked [ungodly; guilty] he turneth upside down [subverts; thwarts;overthrows].
3) The LORD is just and compassionate. (146:7-9)
Psalm 146:10 10 The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.
4) The LORD is King Eternal, the God of Zion of whose kingdom there is no end (146:10).
How foolish to trust man or place our confidence in earthly possessions! The LORD is eternal, just, compassionate, faithful, true and our Creator! Why trust any other?
Let all who know the LORD trust and praise Him!
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith