Praise The Lord

Title: Praise The Lord

Bible Book: Psalms 146 : 1-10

Author: Preston A. Taylor

Subject: Praise; Worship; God, Worthy of Praise



The names of several presidents of the U.S.A. are familiar to us. We know the name of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. We can name others. Those names are "sacred" in our memory. We thank the Lord for national leaders in every country who have been and many who today are leaders of integrity who have had the well-being of their countries and the world in their hearts.

And yet, we do not "deify" the leaders we have today. Those people serve for a time and then die like everyone else. Many are forgotten within a short time.

Psalm 146 reminds us not to "put our trust in princes." That is, we are not to lean upon any leader as though that one or any others are going to live forever and solve all the problems we face. Verse four of Psalm 146 states that their "breath goes forth, he returns to the earth; in that day his thoughts perish." Every earthly leader has "her or his" day. They all fall by the wayside.

If we can’t keep on confiding forever in earthly leaders, even the great ones, where do we turn or where do we go for help? This Psalm states that we will be the happy and blessed ones if we have the Eternal Lord as our help.

We are to "sing praises to the Lord." We are to praise Him because He lives and reigns eternally. Notice that Psalm 146 begins with the words "Praise ye the Lord." That is, everyone needs to give praise to the Lord. The Psalm closes with the same words. In fact Psalms 146 through 150 have the same praise refrain. Those five Psalms begin and end with "Praise ye the Lord." Thus God’s people need to praise Him.

I. We Praise Him as Creator

We praise the Lord because He is the Creator. We praise the Lord, David states, because He made heaven, earth, the seas, and all that are in them. Verse six of this Psalm gives us one of the first lessons that we learn from the Bible. That is, God is the Creator.

We don’t need to spend a lot of time thinking about this truth. All through the Bible we find the sparkling truth that behind all creation is the Creator. God is the Great Designer. We give Him thanks for being the Wise Maker of the universe.

II. We Praise Him for Compassion

We praise the Lord because He helps the poor and oppressed. He takes into account those who suffer. He gives food to the hungry.

Some may ask how God supplies food to the hungry. The answer is simple. God has made the earth. He gives rain in its season. He gives sunshine. He gives seed to the sower. He lets man work and produce what he needs to eat. God provides fish in the lakes and rivers and seas for man’s well-being. He created animals that God says we may eat. So God is gracious in this kind of way to help the hungry.

God uses His people who help others who are hungry. We are to give bread to those who do not have. The U.S.A. across the years has been known as a country who sends tons and tons of food to impoverished people in many, many places. Any nation can help another nation. We do this in war times and in peace times. We have a heart to help.

God uses individuals to help others. Isaiah 58:10 states that "if we draw out our soul to feed the hungry" that God will bless us for this. That word about "drawing out the soul" is the picture of a person who sees another in great need. The picture is a surgical one. That one takes out a knife, cuts deeply into his own soul, pulls out his heart, and provides for another to have life. We are to be compassionate. We praise the Lord who provides for others in many ways.

III. We Praise Him for Deliverance

We praise the Lord because He sets the prisoners free. Verse 7 states, "The Lord looses or sets free the prisoners."

David was essentially a "prisoner" of Saul for a long time. He had to flee from Israel’s first king. And yet, David realized that God is always the one who gives us freedom. God set Israel from from the pagan tries that surrounded Abraham when he moved into Canaan. He set that nation free from Egypt, from Assyria, from Babylon, from Persia, from the Greeks, and from Rome.

When Jesus began His ministry, He quoted from Isaiah 61 about God giving "deliverance to the captives" (Luke 4:18). David wrote about the future work of the Messiah in this Psalm.

We remember that God stepped into the picture when Simon Peter had been placed in prison in Jerusalem under Herod’s orders. The Lord didn’t deliver James of the "inner circle." But God did send an angel and give Simon Peter his freedom.

A. Deliverance from Guilt

God gives freedom to those who live in the prison of guilt. God gives abundant pardon for every sinner. And we all are sinners. Romans 3:23 states that no one escapes the reality of doing wrong. But praise the Lord for God’s Word in Psalms 103:12 that says God moves our sin as far from us as the east is from the west. He throws all of our wrongs behind his back and never remembers our sins anymore (Micah 7:19). We can praise the Lord for these truths.

B. Deliverance from Fear

God gives freedom to those who live in the prison of fear. Many people become saturated with fear. The aftermath of tragedies, such as the ones in New York and Washington D.C. in September of 2001, leave scars of fear in the minds of countless people. When we think about terror attacks, we may become fearful.

God reminds us that He can release us from all fears. Psalms 27:1 states a truth and then asks a question. "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"

When we latch on to the truth of Psalms 46 we don’t have to be afraid. God is our refuge. He is a very present help in time of trouble. Therefore, writes David, we will not fear even though the whole world falls in upon our heads!

C. Deliverance from Depression

God gives us freedom from depression. David became depressed on some occasions. He asked "Where are you, God." Then the Lord showed David that He was underneath him, above him, and around him. God encircles His people. John the Baptist became depressed when he spent several days in prison just before Herod had John’s head cut off. But Jesus encouraged John who found freedom from his depression.

In John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress the traveling man called Christian was on his way to heaven from the City of Destruction. He fell into the "Slough of Despond." Deep are those ugly waters and the mud of despondency. But by God’s help Pilgrim or Christian climbed out of that valley of depression by God’s help. Oh, that traveler was none other than John Bunyan himself. He spent 12 years in foul dirty prisons in England for preaching God’s Word. He felt depressed sometimes because of the filthy places where religious authorities threw him. And yet, Bunyan survived and after 12 years found freedom and extended opportunities for service - - virtually without any financial support for all his life time of service in God’s kingdom work. He knew what it was to accept God’s freedom and live in it.

Anyone can put his or her burdens of "prison life" on the Lord. He cares for us. We don’t have to mope and grope around in darkness. The outcome depends upon our accepting and living in the freedom which God gives. He "looses the prisoners." Thus, David wrote, "Praise ye the Lord!"

IV. We Praise Him for Sight

We praise the Lord because He opens blind eyes. Psalms 146:8 states, "He opens the eyes of the blind." Again, one of the strong descriptions of the Messiah, our Redeemer, is that He came to fulfill this ministry of giving sight to people. Luke 4:18 quotes Isaiah 61 and this Psalm that Christ’s ministry included the work of an eye surgeon.

The New Testament records instances where Jesus gave sight to the blind. One time Jesus healed a blind man and the man didn’t see too well. When Christ asked the man how he was doing, the fellow said, "I see men walking about as trees" (Mark 8:24). Jesus touched the man again and then he had 20-20 vision. Perhaps a lot of people need to go back to Jesus for that "second touch."

Everyone needs their spiritual eyes opened. We need to see the "shortness of life." The Bible reminds us that "we spend our days as a story that is told." We are like a vapor that soon disappears. Life ends soon.

A. Sight to see the Glory of the Gospel

We need our eyes opened to the glory of the gospel. Christians are the only people in all the world who have a Redeemer. Christ is the eternally promised Savior. No other religion in all the world claims a redeemer. They may have a "system of religion," but they don’t have one who has come to pay the price or the penalty of their sins. The Bible says there is one Mediator between God and man. That One is Jesus.

We need eyes open to the ravages and ruin of the wrong way of life. Sin has a destructive penalty. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Everyone ought to know that you can’t sin and get by with it forever. Sin’s destructive power is awesome. The wrong way of life rips apart individuals, families, communities, churches, and the entire world. Satan’s power is fearful. Proverbs states that "There is a way that seems right to a person, but the ends thereof are the ways of death."

B. Sight to See the Glories of the Future

We need to have our eyes open to the glories of the future. God has stretching out before us an ageless future. We need to know this truth and realize that life is more than 20 or 40 or 80 years. We have eternity waiting for us.

We need to have our eyes open to personal responsibility. No one can live for us nor die for us. We have to give an account of ourselves unto God. We can’t play that old "blame game" that Adam and Eve played in the Garden. As one of Shakespeare’s plays states, "The fault lies with you, Brutus!" We are responsible and we have all the resources available for our help. If we only respond to God’s Word and God’s way, then our "open eyes" will lead us down the right path.

V. We Praise Him for Lifting us Up

We praise the Lord because He lifts up those who are bowed down. Psalm 146:8 states that God raises up those who are bowed down.

Edwin Markham wrote a meaningful poem entitled, "The Man With The Hoe." Some of the lines go like this, "Bowed by the weight of centuries, he leans upon his hoe and gazes upon the ground. The emptiness of ages in his face, and on his back the buren of the world."

One day Jesus met a woman who had been "bowed down" for eighteen years. He spoke to her and her body became straight. We have seen people care facilities as well as those who walk up and down the streets of our towns who are "bowed over" physically. The Savior is coming again and will give us immortal bodies without those problems.

Many people all around us are bowed down with grief. They have lost loved ones. They face terrible days. Some people bend over with the years that have come upon them. Some face illnesses. Many have suffered enormous losses. What do we do when we are "bowed down" with more than physical infirmities? We can ask Jesus for His help and we can accept that healing and live with it. We don’t have to stay in the "same old ruts," unless we decide to stay there. We can live in the sunshine with the Son of God if we make a commitment to walk that new route of the new creation in Christ.

VI. We Praise Him for Loving the Righteous

We praise the Lord that He loves the righteous. Verse 8 of this Psalms declares this truth. If we want to know God’s love, all we need to do is to let Him make us righteous. God’s love goes out in a special way to those who come into a relationship with Him through faith in Christ, the only Son and Savior.

Daniel had the name of "God’s beloved." David was called "A man after God’s own heart," even though he transgressed many times. Abraham was called "A friend of God." Sarah was beloved of God because she believed in the Lord. Paul wrote about "those women" who helped him in the ministry. All those people and countless others are in the circle of those whom God loves. He loves the righteous.

When we return to the Lord, when we repent of sin and accept God’s life, the Bible tells us three times in Luke 15 that the angels in heaven rejoice. We can praise the Lord because He loves us. No reality is greater than the truth that God loves you and He loves me. We can praise the Lord for this, can’t we?

VII. We Praise Him for His Concern

We praise the Lord for His concern for the strangers, widows and orphans. This Psalm is a "Divine Defense" for those who are the disenfranchised. Psalms 146:9 did not get left out of this Psalm because God wants us to know that He keeps His hands and His eyes upon those who may struggle without any visible support.

God preserves the strangers. He relieves the fatherless and widows. He comes to the help of a big part of society who can only find help from the God who cares.

When those live among us from other lands, we may not take time to help them. And yet, God preserves them. When the victims of war and terror acts don’t have another resource, God becomes their help. The book of James states that true religion is to help the widows and orphans. God’s concern ought to be a part of our concern, too.

VIII. We Praise Him for Correcting Evil

We praise the Lord because one day He will "turn the way of the wicked upside down."

God is slowly doing that work today. He will complete that work in the future.

Psalms chapters one and two give a picture of the eternal Lord who will uproot the wrong and establish eternal righteousness. Evil will have had its day. Truth will prevail.

Longfellow wrote, "Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne; Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown; God stands within the shadow, keeping watch above His own."

God is going to rule and be Sovereign forever. David says we had best get on God’s side. When we get right with God, we may continually "Praise the Lord." Are we doing it?


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