Praise the Lord!
Let all that I am praise the Lord. I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath. Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. Psalm 146:1-4
From the text, the Psalmist rejoices in an explosion of praise and worship to the Lord our God. The last five remaining chapters in Psalms begin and end with the phrase, “Praise the Lord!” Throughout the text, God’s wondrous glory is written out for all to experience. Praise is given for God's greatness on a grand scale, as well as for His attention and care He provides in each of those whose trust is in Him. In Psalms 146, the psalmist draws particular attention to the trustworthiness and saving power of God. The admonition is not to rely on the abilities of man; “Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them.” No man, no matter his level of intelligence or his earthly power, possesses the ability to save himself or others from the certainty of death. Whether it belongs to a president or a politician, a philanthropist or a billionaire, every human being will fail at some point. Breathing will cease, and our body will return to earth. This was a statement of certainty and fact; not one of fear. Man might not be able to help himself, but God certainly could! “Joyful are those...whose hope is in the Lord their God” (146:5). The psalmist knew that God was eternal for He “will reign forever (Psalm 146:10). The Christian of today has an even greater promise to cling to. Through the work of Christ, death has been defeated. “He has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News” (2 Timothy 1:10). For those of us who have accepted Him as Lord and Savior of our lives, our last earthly breath will be drawn not with fear but with joy as we prepare to look upon the face of God (see Revelation 22:4). Like the psalmist, we too must remember that God alone is capable of fulfilling this precious promise. There is nothing that we, or anyone else, can do to earn this privilege. That God is faithful forever is seen in His unchanging character, His sustaining and renewing of His creation. His reliable counsel or will and everything He does that sustains His plans for all of creation will never change (see Psalm 33:11). Just like the Psalmist, let us recount and tell the faithfulness and greatness of God. Offer to Him our praise and worship for He alone is worthy. Let us live our lives evoking glory that belongs to God.
Noel De Guzman