We are stirred by this Psalm to make God our trust – the structure is simple and its message is clear.
Unbridled Praise – Verses 1-2
The psalmist rouses his soul to present himself to God in a life of wholehearted praise:
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
Turn praise to prayer! Stir up your soul! Ask God to use this song to re-dedicate your life, & re-tune your heart, to Him.
Untrustworthy Princes – Verses 3-4
Regardless of rank or riches, don’t put your trust in mortal men: powerless plans and promises always perish at his death.
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.
Assuredly give thanks when a Cyrus helps the church. Hope for deliverance in the President is misplaced & will be trumped! Look to Yahweh to elicit lasting change.
Unmatched Power – Verses 3-6
True blessing is resourced through hope of help in Jacob’s God – as wind, waves & whale taught Jonah, Israel’s Maker has pledged to move heaven and earth for us.
Blessed is he whose help is in 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.
Is hope ebbing or help needed? To congregation & Christian, for both Church & State, the lesson is obvious – ask God to move heaven & earth, then return gratitude.
Unstoppable Providence – Verse 7-9
His program of promises comes with cast-iron guarantees – homeland security, justice department, famine relief, prison reform, health care, and widow & orphan policies are implemented effectively – the good are esteemed & the evil executed.
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. The LORD watches over the sojourners; He upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked He brings to ruin.
Repent of all evil! Seek redress from God! Ask Jesus to provide! Pray ‘break sinful habits’! Ask for fresh insight! If downcast seek uplifting! Walk right narrow paths!
United Prayer – Verse 10
The first word could be translated ‘He will’ or ‘May He’ reign for ever: the former is assured and the latter is asked.
The LORD will reign for ever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!
OT saints craved a divine Messiah & Prince. NT believers now know Jesus ‘must rule’ all things for us ’till God puts all foes, even death, under His feet!’ Take heart!
Do you doubt that God can bring about great change? Have you been relying on a feeble human help or prince? Do you see that our omnipotent, unstoppable, LORD cannot be thwarted by frail flesh? Use this prayer, with praise, to lift your heart to Him!
This post was originally written by Rev Andrew Kerr for the Gentle Reformation Blog. Check out the blog for more posts like this.