Psalms 146:1. Praise ye the LORD.
Or, “Hallelujah.” I am sorry to see that great word, Hallelujah, HalleluJah, praise to Jah, Jehovah, become so hackneyed as it is, by talk about “Hallelujah lasses”, and Hallelujah — I know not what. The Jews will not even pronounce the word Jah, or write it; it seems a great pity that it should be thus draggled in the dirt by Gentiles. “Praise ye the Lord.” Whenever you make use of the word Hallelujah, let it be with the due reverence which should be given to that blessed name, for remember “the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”
Psalms 146:1. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Whatever we exhort others to do, we should be ready to do ourselves; yea, our own soul should praise the Lord most of all, since, if we rightly know our obligations, no one in the world is so much indebted to God as each one of us should feel himself to be. “Praise the Lord, O my soul;” not my lips only, but my innermost spirit, for soul-music is the soul of music: “Praise the Lord, O my soul.”
Psalms 146:2. While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
I will lisp his praises when I can do no more; when my being seems to be dried up, in the weakness of the death-throe, still, “I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.”
Psalms 146:3. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
What is the connection here between praising God and not trusting man? Why, this connection, that we never praise God better than by exercising faith in him! Quiet trust is among the sweetest music that reaches the heart of God; and when we put our trust in man, we rob God of his glory; we are giving to others the confidence which belongs alone to him.
Psalms 146:4. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
What is man, — with a life dependent upon his breath, such a vapoury thing, each a thin, unsubstantial thing is human life, — what is he that we should trust in him?
Psalms 146:5. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:
He is the happy man who has learned to trust in the invisible God.
Psalms 146:6. Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:
Never did his promise fail. Perhaps, dear brother, you have not pleaded the promises enough of late. Then the mercy-seat is the place where promises must be pleaded, with the certainty that then they shall be fulfilled.
Psalms 146:7. Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:
Souls that are in bondage will never get freedom till the Lord looses them. Oh, that prisoners of hope, who are here this evening, might have grace to look to God! You cannot pick the look of your prison yourself, nor forge your way through the iron berg of despair, but, “the Lord looseth the prisoners.” Ay, but when they get loose, they are blind, for man by nature is blinded by sin! Therefore the psalmist adds, —
Psalms 146:8. The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind:
He can not only give you liberty, but understanding, insight into his Word, a knowledge of himself. Ay, but when men get their eyes opened, they see much to make them sorry, and he that increaseth knowledge often increaseth sorrow! Yes, but look at the next words, —
Psalms 146:8. The LORD raiseth them that are bowed down:
He can take away depression of spirit, and relieve the heart of its burdens and, as the woman who was bowed down for many years was made straight by the word of Christ, so can those that suffer from mental infirmity be restored. And best of all, —
Psalms 146:8. The LORD loveth the righteous:
He loves them, and his love is wealth and health. The love of God is all a creature wants.
Psalms 146:9. The Lord preserveth the strangers;
When our eyes are opened, and we are no more bowed down, but feel we have a sense of God’s love, yet still we know that we are exiles, banished ones, strangers and foreigners, as all our fathers were. It is comforting, therefore, to be assured that “the Lord preserveth the strangers.”
Psalms 146:9. He relieveth the fatherless and widow:
He does so literally: “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.” He also relieves such spiritually. When any feel themselves to be poverty-stricken, and unable to help themselves, let them look to him who is both able and willing to succour them, for “he relieveth the fatherless and the widow.”
Psalms 146:9. But the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.
Where they looked for joy, they experienced disappointment, where they expected success, they met with defeat, and whereas they thought to heap to themselves pleasures according to their lusts, they find that they have only increased their misery.
Psalms 146:10. The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.
The sovereignty of God should be the delight of his people. God anywhere is blessed, but God on his throne should make his people shout their Hallelujahs with all their heart.
Now let us read in the New Testament about one who glorified God and gave thanks to Jesus.