Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. Psalms 146:1-7
There once was a man who had planned to build a township in one of the islands of The Bahamas. He had the financial means and the drive to do so. His venture would have created much industry and provided numerous jobs for the people around that community, on that island and The Bahamas.
Unfortunately, at the height of the project, when it seemed that nothing could go wrong, the man took ill and died. His plans and dreams died with him. There was no one who shared his ambition and dreams, therefore, the project never came to fruition. Even to this day, the project lies dormant and may never again see the light of day.
The people who had placed their trust in the man and his project were terribly disappointed. They expected much but got nothing.
People often tie their whole future to what they expect from persons who make promises to them. But instead, unfortunately, they set themselves up for disappointments. Humanity will disappoint you.
The psalmist of this text placed his trust in God. He saw praise as an attitude of life not just words. He felt driven to praise God. Consequently, he wrote: “I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” What a commitment!
Many of us talk about praise but our actions are far removed from our words. One commentator explained that two great convictions lie behind the attitude of praise. The first is assurance that nowhere else but in God can salvation be found. The second is that no man who turns in humility and sincerity to God does so in vain.
This Psalm was written by King David, a man of royalty. Notwithstanding his royalty, he warns that even princes fail.
He was not writing about something that he memorized as a youth or hearsay. As a king, he was writing from personal experiences. David had his shortcomings.
Someone said God gave the earth to the children of men who achieve much during a life time. The children of men lay claim to earthly possessions. However, his claim is only good while he lives. After a while, the only plot of land he claims is that portion which holds his body. Even then, he does not claim it because someone else has control over it.
Even though civilized life demands that we trust one another, we will find wanting if we lean too heavily upon a neighbor. We can only lean with confidence upon God.
The psalmist encourages us to place our trust in God. God does not have human frailties; He will never disappoint you. God will uphold those who have their hope in Him; those who take Him for their God, serve and worship Him.
Every believer may look upon Him as the God of Jacob. He is the God of power who created the heavens and the earth. He has kept faith and executed justice and fed the hungry.
As a guarantee of our salvation, God gave us Jesus Christ who shed his blood and died for our sins. When we cling to God, we have the full assurance that we are holding on to the everlasting arms. The Lord is our rock, our fortress, our all.
Therefore, be sure that you are grounded in God. Then when mankind disappoints you, the aftershock will not overwhelm you. Amen.
Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, Pastor of the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr., P. O. Box N 4794, Phone 242-426-9084, Webpage: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Samuel.Boodle.