Sunday, January 7, 2018 pm                                                Psalms Index

Psalm 146

              Tonight, we continue our study of the psalms.  This is another psalm of pure praise that describes how our God is.  We live in a time where so many are without hope.  They have not been taught there is a God in whom we can trust and place our hope.  No wonder so many are miserable and hopeless.  The psalmist here knows who his God is and praises Him for it.

 I.                     Hallelujah (1-2)

a.       We have addressed this phrase many times.  This is Hebrew for Praise YHWH (Praise the LORD).

b.       Here the psalmist declares that his soul and being will praise Him.  It will be with all that he is. 
Not half-hearted – just as we love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength – Luke 10:27

c.        As long as he lives, he will praise Him – again, we are reminded this is a lifetime commitment – Revelation 14:13

d.       He will sing praises to Him – while there may be many ways we can praise the Lord, one of the surest ways is through our worship to Him.  Consider all that we have addressed about worshipping God properly – John 4:24.   Worship is something we do privately, but He has also always commanded public worship.  Therein, we show that we are not ashamed of Him.

 II.                   Failed trust (3-4)

a.       Do not trust in princes – a prince would be a ruler, or a future ruler, or someone with power that can supposedly help you with something.  
Psalm 118:8-9 – better to trust in the LORD than man or princes.
In worldly affairs it is not uncommon for men to turn to other leaders for help.  And from a diplomatic or physical standpoint that is not always a bad idea.  Often wars involve coalitions, with the hope that strength and superiority will cause one to relent before disaster or war occurs.
Business leaders often team up for better success.
BUT, man can be a disappointment.  That was a major concern with both Israel and Judah as they would often turn to other nations (and their gods) for help instead of trusting in God, at times in direct rebellion against the LORD’s instructions. Almost always, it got them in trouble and often it angered the LORD.   
- Solomon’s wives were foreigners who turned his heart away from God.  (1 King s 11:1-13)
- Isaiah said, “Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord, “Who take counsel, but not of Me, And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, That they may add sin to sin; Who walk to go down to Egypt, And have not asked My advice, To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, And to trust in the shadow of Egypt!  (Isaiah 30:1-2, see 2 Kings 17:4)
- 2 Chronicles 16:7 records Hanani, a prophet coming to Asa, a somewhat good king in Judah, and rebuking him for bribing Syria to fight against Northern Israel (who prior was working with Syria to fight against Judah).
Jeremiah 17:5, Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord.

- Then there is the sheer wickedness of rulers who bribed rogues to do evil things.  Often, the wicked work together.

b.       How many today put their trust in men and the ways of the world instead of God?  
As nations, we rely on our massive armaments and standing in the world and think that we don’t need God.  In the business world, far too many trust in their riches or business associates, to the neglect of trusting in God (e.g. honorable business dealings, etc.) 
We are not to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God – 1 Timothy 6:17. 
1 Corinthians 2:5 speaks of how our faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

c.        All men die (vs. 4) – Ecclesiastes 12:7, Solomon observed the vanity of trusting in the things of this world – we die.  He said, Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
Hebrews 9:27. This is one reason we should not put our trust in men. 
James 4:14 tells us our life is a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
1 John 2:15-17 – we do not love the world, or the things in the world…because it is passing away.
NO matter how much you rely on men, there is always uncertainty. 
NOTE: We are not saying friends and cooperation are not good things, but NEVER let such stand in your way of trusting God and seeking first His kingdom (Matthew 6:33).
The rest of this psalms explains why we should trust in God.

 III.                 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob as his help

a.       The psalmist speaks of the God of Jacob.  Consider this in light of the many idols and pseudo gods that so many relied on, including those in Israel and Judah who knew better.
This is a declaration of FAITH in the ONE true God. 
HE is the only God who can help (save, deliver, etc.) – John 17:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:9 - the true God.

b.       He is a God who gives us hope – Romans 15:13, Paul described Him as “the God of hope”
1 Peter 1:3, Blessed be God who …has begotten us again to a living hope
1 John 4:4 – God is greater than he who is in the world. 
John 16:33, as Jesus Himself said, “I have overcome the world.”

c.        He made heaven and earth and all in them – He is Creator.  Genesis 1:1. 
He is the ONLY creator!  He did not leave us without witness – Acts 14:17. Romans 1:20 – there is enough proof that God exists, AND that the God of the Bible is He! 
Acts 4:24, So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, part of a prayer by the disciples for boldness after Peter and John were released from the council (the first time)

d.       He keeps truth forever (6) – He is a God who keeps His word.  Hebrews 6:18 tells us it is impossible for Him to lie.  Numbers 23:19, God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.  Depending on when this psalm was written, God had continually proven Himself to be their God and able to keep His word – from delivery out of Egypt, to giving them the land, to protecting them, sometimes in miraculous fashion. 

e.       He is a God of justice (7) – He executes justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry – we see a God that cares and takes notes of how those who belong to Him are treated. 
His salvation is not an elitist plan, but available to all.  Romans 3:26 – He is just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Furthermore, He cares having provided for man what He needs.
We have noted often how we are to care about others, especially the needy.  God WILL take note of this when we stand before Him (cf. Matthew 25:31-46, 10:42 – a cup of cold water, James 1:27, etc.)
ONE of the oft repeated downfalls of both Israel and Judah was their oppression of the needy and poor.  Jesus rebuked it as well (Matthew 23:14).

f.         A LORD who gives freedom – Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

Luke 4:17-19, where Jesus in Nazareth reads from Isaiah 61 noting that He is the fulfillment of that passage.  We enjoy freedom from sin in Him – Romans 6:18.
Again, Israel in reflecting on their history can retell many times when God gave them freedom.

g.       He demonstrates by His works (8) – the psalmist takes note of the wonderful works the LORD had done in their midst.  He declares here His ability to do whatever is needed, including miracles.
One of the challenges Isaiah made against Idols was to demand that they prove themselves by doing something, ANYTHING to prove their power – Isaiah 41:21-24. 
God has over and over demonstrated Himself to be God.  None other, even among so-called gods today, have or can.
ALSO, what is mentioned here COULD be prophetic as it describes the types of miracles Jesus performed - the eyes of the blind opened, those bowed down were raised, etc.  cf. John 9:32-33 – His works declared who He was.   Matthew 11:5 – Jesus proved to the followers of John that He was the coming one performing great miracles.
God’s ULTIMATE deliverance is from sin and it is found in Jesus.  He proved Himself while on earth.

h.       He loves the righteous – God knows those who belong to Him and does love them. John 14:21-23.

i.         He watches over the strangers and relieves the fatherless and widow – again, we see that God takes note of those who the world often ignores or spurns.  Should we not do the same?

j.         He turns upside down the ways of the wicked (9) – again, a study of Israel’s history shows this more than once.  Examples include Israel delivered from Egypt (including the Red Sea), the defeat of Sennacherib at the gates of Jerusalem (Isaiah 37), the punishment of Israel and Judah for their wicked ways, the humbling of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:28-33), Haman in the book of Esther, etc. 
Of course, some might ask, what about today?  We may not understand why or how. 
And while the wicked may get his way in this life, in the end he will be overcome.  Furthermore, God is in control and can stop whatever He wishes.  While God can work today (consider Acts 17:26-27),
We may not understand why God allows things to happen as they do, but that does not diminish His power or His reign. 

k.        He shall reign forever (10) – kingdoms of this world come and go.  They change!  But God’s kingdom will last as long as this world and beyond. 
Revelation 11:15, Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”   Yes, this book is highly symbolic, but the overall message is that God WILL win!  His kingdom endures forever – 2 Peter 1:11 (everlasting kingdom)


And thus we conclude our examination of another psalm.  Far too many in this world put their trust in princes and the ways of men.  May we put our trust in the one true God.  This psalm has mentioned several reasons why we ought to do this.  Hebrews 12:28 says, Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.  Where is your trust?