Daily Family Worship

Psalm 146: The Freedom Psalm

by | Jul 11, 2024

psalm 146

This composition begins the series of “Hallelujah Psalms” which comprises the rest of the Book, and they are all full of praise and thanksgiving. One writer beautifully remarks, “No sooner is one Hallelujah ended than another is begun!” Like the glorious thunder amidst the mountains – height answers back to height, and peak flings back to peak the rolling sound! I am afraid we are often too inclined to confine our praises to set times and cliché-like phrases. Special seasons of deliverance undoubtedly call for special outpourings of thanksgiving; but of the Lord’s mercies, it is said that they are new every morning, and I am quite sure that every night we have fresh reasons for praise and thanksgiving! Nor, in fact, is there an hour – or even a moment – in which the voice of gratitude should be silent; for there is not one hour nor minute in which the Lord’s tender care and upholding hand is withdrawn. O that we may adopt the Psalmist’s holy resolution! While we live, and while the Lord gives us life and breath, let us praise Him for all His mercies to us!

There are so many times in our lives when we so painfully feel the insufficiency of all human help and trust – not only from their inability to aid us; but also from the indifference with which man so often turns aside from us when we are like a worn-out instrument, which is no longer able to administer to his vanity or his comfort. “Oh! had I but served my God as diligently as I have served my king,” cried the dying Cardinal Wolsey, “He would not have deserted me in my grey hairs!” Wolsey probably never knew the power and the sweetness of the Lord’s promise: “Even to your old age I am he, and even to hoar hairs will I carry you.” He had put his trust in an earthly prince; and when the hour of need came, he found that there was no help in him. The doom is legible on the highest of men as well as the lowest; for even though they may be looked upon as idols, “yet they shall die like men.” “It is the voice of a god, and not of a man,” shouted one of the flatterers of King Herod; and a tiny loathsome worm justly avenged the blasphemy! 

What a contrast is here presented, then! How great is the difference between a child of the dust, who is a worm of the earth; and the God of Jacob, Who made heaven, earth, sea, and all that is therein! And how beautiful it is for us to see this addition to the attributes of Him Who does great wonders: He “keepeth truth for ever!” (verse 6) He has said – and He will be faithful to His Word – “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee!”

But Who is this of Whom it is said that He “keepeth truth for ever”? Jesus Himself told us, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” “I saw heaven opened,” wrote the beloved Apostle, “and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True!” In the synagogue at Nazareth, at the beginning of His earthly ministry, there was delivered unto Jesus a scroll of the prophet Isaiah’s words; and He opened it at that passage which testified of His own self! The language of Isaiah speaks of the Savior fulfilling the very same wonderful works which the Psalmist here records of Him Who made heaven, earth, sea, and all that is therein. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” the Prophet foretold, “because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord!” Yes, O blessed Jesus, You are the One of Whom Psalmist and Prophet both spoke! You are He Who was expected to come, and we have no need to look for another. All power is given unto You, both in heaven and on earth. How wonderful it is for us to remember that our Jesus is mighty, majestic, and powerful; and yet, at the same time, He is full of the most endearing tenderness – even to the feeblest, the poorest, the hungry, the blind, the bowed-down, and those who are so particularly the cherished ones of His family: the fatherless and the widow! And the concluding verse of this Psalm testifies to that which brings all this lovingkindness home to ourselves. Yes! David’s God is our God. He still gives food to the hungry, and He still relieves the fatherless and widow – for He is the same yesterday, today, and forever; He is our God, and our children’s God, unto all generations. “Praise ye the Lord!”

Lord, we repent of times when we have placed our trust in man – a child of the dust, whose very breath is so fragile – instead of reposing all our confidence in You; for You are truthful forever, and You have promised that You will never leave us nor forsake us! We also give You thanks for releasing us from the prison-house of slavery to sin. Amen.

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