REASONS TO PRAISE
Lord, cause me to realize the futility of trusting completely in another human.
Read PSALM 146
1 Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
2 I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
8 the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The Lord reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Spend some time counting your blessings. Large and small, what has the Lord done for you?
There are highly respected leaders throughout history who exhibit integrity and genuinely devote themselves to serving the public. The psalmist, however, warns us against putting our complete trust in any of them (3,4); they are fatally fl awed. Human beings cannot bring salvation; they die—and their plans die with them.
Is this overly negative? The psalmist is not undermining all human leadership; he is simply making the point that if we hitch our wagons to their stars, we will inevitably be let down. High hopes placed in the over-inflated promises of political leaders during elections, for example, usually leave disillusioned voters. They lack the capacity, knowledge and longevity to make good on their promises—and that’s even when their intentions are all good.
Contrast the Lord, who will outlast us. He will be there throughout the psalmist’s life (2). His faithfulness is “for ever” (6). He knows how the world works, because he is both Creator (6) and King (10). We are called to join with the psalmist in praise of this Lord. We also call ourselves to such praise (1b), taking time to remind our hearts that this is our God. We don’t belittle our leaders but neither do we put them on a pedestal. Instead, we look beyond them and remember that our God supplies all our needs out of his riches (2). His faithfulness assures our future (6), his compassion assures us that nothing can finally crush us (7,8), and his watchfulness assures that the weak will be protected and the wicked restrained (9). Of course, it does not always feel that way. That’s why we have psalms like this—to keep reminding us; to keep us on track.
Are you disillusioned with leaders? Have you elevated them beyond what they were meant to be? Pray for them and for yourself to refocus.
Lord, only You are in a position to bring about exactly what You have promised those who serve You faithfully.