Psalm 146 Commentary
The psalmist will praise the LORD all his life. Verse 2. Unlike Psalm 145 where the psalmist will praise the LORD forever and ever, this psalm is less ambitious. He is looking at praising the LORD as long as he is alive.
The focus is on the activities between the date of birth and the date of death. At the expiry date, all human plans come to nothing.
Verse 4 is interesting. The human spirit departs and the body goes back to the ground. Where does the spirit go? Is there a hint of eternity even in this less ambitious psalm?
A mother’s love can be very strong, but it is confined between the two dates. It can be genuine and often it is. It can be unconditional. Yet it is restricted by both the mortality of humans and the inherent incapacities.
On the other hand, the Creator God is almighty and faithful. Princes may represent everything human including none material elements like the love of others, popularity, respect, or care. They all have limits. Don’t put your trust in them. It should even be more stupid to put one’s trust in drugs especially since they don’t know what it means to be compassionate. They will knock on your door even when you don’t have money.
It is a blessing to have the LORD God as your help and hope.
He is concerned about your freedom. The oppressed can look up to him for deliverance. The hungry can have food. The blind can see. Doesn’t this sound like the mission of the LORD Jesus Christ? He came to set the prisoners free and to let the blind see. Maybe this psalm is not less ambitious, after all!
So the prisoner is free; the oppressed is at liberty; so what? Won’t they still face the ugly and rude date of death? A point at which all human projects come to an end, good or bad?
The New Testament saint won’t have these questions because his trust is in the LORD God who remains faithful forever. We know the LORD Jesus Christ releases prisoners from their prisons of addictions, hatred, emptiness, and importantly, from the prison of mortality.
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” First Corinthians 15 verse 55 to 57.
Maybe the focus of this psalm isn’t between the two dates of mortals. We can look at it again and be happy that the LORD has answered all our questions. Praise the LORD.
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