Reflections on Psalm 146

I praise you, Lord, with all I am, with every fibre of my being. I will praise You all my life with my life, for You are the source of my every breath.

I urge others not to trust kings or power brokers: they have all the shortcomings of human beings. They have a lot of motives for being “in charge,” and many of them aren’t for our benefit. Even if they were the best a human being could be, they couldn’t save themselves, let alone us. They’ll die and be buried, and then all the things they had planned to do from then on won’t happen.

The only people who have real help and lasting hope are those who honor God and make Him their King; who really put Him in charge of their lives. We never have to question His motives: His goal is always to save us, if we will choose to accept that salvation.

Who could know us better or care about us more? He’s the One who made us. Not only that, He freely gave us everything we need to have an abundant life here. We’re the ones who messed it up; He’s always stayed faithful and always will.

He’s the One who champions the cause of people others oppress, people who still need to be fed after others brush them off as insignificant. No one is insignificant to God, and whenever we use a small measure for them, it says a lot to God about us.

The Lord is the One who unlocks the doors that have kept us imprisoned by doubt or fear, lust or greed – flung them wide open, like the arms He extends to hold us close to Him. It’s as though cataracts had distorted our vision, and now we’ve had surgery. Suddenly, we can see clearly to walk through that open door and into His waiting arms. We come through with stooped shoulders, weak and stumbling, but He reaches out and lifts us until we’re standing upright, because we’re finally right with Him.

What an amazing change in our posture! We have a new backbone forged with His strength, a head held high because it reflects His image, a walk that is brisk with the energy and purpose of His Holy Spirit.

We come to realize that we were foreigners at the border of salvation. We were born in the country of self, oppressed by the sin that flourished there. We were hungry for even the scraps of God we found, vulnerable to the whims of man-made rules. But You, Lord, met us at the border and didn’t despise or reject us out of hand. We applied for entry through our honest repentance; we claimed the sponsorship of Jesus, who paid the price we owed.

Because of this mercy to us, we also will watch over the foreigner (who is no stranger to You); we too will give sustenance to vulnerable people. God will enable His work to be done, even through us, but He will frustrate those who care nothing for the weak and only want to blame or oppress or despise them. These kind of leaders may flourish briefly, but God will reign forever.

Praise the Lord.