146:1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul!
146:2 I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
146:3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.
146:4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
146:5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God,
146:6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
146:7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free;
146:8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.
146:9 The LORD watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
146:10 The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD!
In these ten verses, the Psalmist declares the true majesty and Glory of who God is and all that He does. God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He never changes, and our hope in Him is safe and secure. When we choose to place our lives in God’s hands we are met with true joy, peace and happiness. This the God who provides for all of our needs, takes away our fears and extends Grace when we fall short.
This Psalm also describes God as the one true God and that we are not to put our faith in any other thing or person. When we attempt to look to other means for answers to life’s struggles or a means to answer our need for true help, we are left as verse 3 says “in whom there is no help.” These other “princes and mortals” all have a temporary affect on our lives. Their life span is measured by something whereas God is eternal.
When we come to the realization of who God is and all that He has done for us, we are humbled and amazed at how powerful, loving and in control God is over our lives and all that goes on in this world. He created this world, all living things, including us. His reign in this world is forever and never changing. There is nothing that happens in this world that He does not allow and it brings us true comfort and a reason to as the Psalmist is declaring “Praise the LORD!”.
When Jesus was questioned by John the Baptist about whether or not he is the Messiah he responded in a way that echos several Old Testament passages, including Psalm 149.
“Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.” (Luke 7:22)
Jesus also introduced His ministry in Luke by stating,
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” (Luke 4:18)
Jesus was familiar with the Psalms and Hebrew scriptures. Undoubtedly those who heard Jesus’ words were reminded of Psalm 149 where God is described as the one,
who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. (Psalm 149:8)
Indeed, Jesus is the Messiah. He is the one who sets the oppressed free. He sis the one who lifts men up and opens the eyes of the blind. Let us never forget that God sent a savior to us that is concerned with the least of us. Jesus came not for the righteous but for the sinners, the oppressed, the cursed. No man or woman is so far from God that Jesus cannot redeem them.
[Featured image from biblia.com]