December 11, 2018
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 11 December 2018
The last five psalms that conclude the Psalter (Ps 146—150) are Hallelujah psalms. The primary emphasis of these concluding psalms is the rendering of praise to God; hence all begin and end with the words, “Praise the Lord!” (a translation of the Hebrew words Hallelu Yah, which is familiarized as “Alleluia” or “Hallelujah”). Psalm 146 begins with the psalmist’s determination to continue praising for all life. God is worthy to be praised because He is always trustworthy. Humanity is powerless before the power of God, thus the Creator is worthy to be praised (vv. 1-3).
Everyone has been helped by someone, whether family, friends, or caring people in general. Nevertheless, there is a limit to human help. Even if friends are influential or powerful, their “spirit departs” returning “to the earth” (v. 4; cf. Gen 3:19; Isa 2:22), when the best made plans will cease. Others may have great plans for helping others, yet there is only One who is immortal and whose plans and purposes are unceasing (cf. Ps 118:8-9).
God is entirely trustworthy, which is why the psalmist declared, “How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob” (Ps 146:5). The person who praises the Lord (vv. 1-2) will trust Him throughout all life. The divine name “God of Jacob” refers to the faithfulness of the Lord that extends to the time of the patriarchs. God has never deviated from his promises. As the Creator of “heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them” (v. 6), God is unlike “mortal man, in whom there is no salvation” (v. 3). Certainly, the Lord God is worthy of the believer’s confidence and trust as the Lord “who keeps faith forever” (v. 6). When your trust resides in the Lord God, you can praise Him regardless of the circumstances.
God continually “executes justice for the oppressed” (v. 7). He identifies with those who are mistreated by those who abuse their power (vv. 7-8). He overrules those finite rulers who a person may be tempted to trust. God “gives food” to those who are oppressed by the ungodly. God cares for those whom the world oppresses and regards as outcasts. He honors those who seek to live righteously before Him, while those who deliberately follow “the way of the wicked” cannot expect to enjoy the saving grace they have rejected (vv. 6-9).
Psalm 146 concludes with the wonderful assurance, “The Lord will reign forever.” God’s people can be certain that the Lord reigns for “all generations” (v. 10). The Lord’s just reign will never cease. Praising the Lord is the appropriate response to all that has been revealed in this psalm. God’s revelation demands an unreserved response. Isaac Watts’ hymn “I’ll Praise My Maker” was based upon Psalm 146 and its first stanza prioritizes the reason to magnify the Lord God.
I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath; and when my voice is lost in death, praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne’er be past while life and thought and being last, or immortality endures.
To God be the Glory!
Your Missionary to our Political Leaders,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.