Friday, August 08, 2008

PRAISE THE LORD, Psalm 146

The wise person keeps things in perspective. Sadly off track is the person who acts as if laptops, mp3 players, cars, houses, and other things are the main pursuit. Misguided is the person who puts too much stock in the words of men. In the big scheme of things, "stuff" doesn't count for much. And men are fallible and their thoughts will be judged by God. The 146th Psalm reminds us to give praise to God because of His goodness. In the middle of the Psalm is a sobering reminder not to, "3trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.4 His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his thoughts perish." A right perspective is maintained when we remember that men perish and things decay.

Being surrounded by so much that is not of God, it's easy to forget about the futility of things and the fleeting nature of this life. It's easy to begin to think materialistically. God forbid! I thought about these things, the futility of things, when a small company jet crashed in a cornfield outside of Owatonna, Minnesota killing all eight on board. It was very sad. But these things have a way of bringing into perspective what is most important. A funeral for a good friend has a way of bringing things into perspective. The Psalmist reminds God's people to "Praise the Lord." Without acknowledgment of Him, losing perspective here is almost unavoidable.

If we praise the Lord, we fix in our minds the necessary thought that there is someone bigger than us. We have a God who is worthy to be praised because of His great acts done on our behalf. This Psalm reminds the reader that God supplies abundant food and delivers us from our enemies. Yahweh is a just God who who cares about people. "9The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, But He thwarts the way of the wicked." In all of His works, there is evidence of His wisdom and care for His creation; especially for man.1 Imagine how lost and wayward is the man who does not know this.

Take a minute to put things in perspective. Praise the Lord for what He has done for you. Acknowledge His Son, Jesus Christ, and obey the Gospel.2 To obey the Gospel requires dying to self through repentance, being baptized into the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and being faithful to Him until death.3 In this way, we acknowledge the will of God and have cause to give Him praise.
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1. Gen. 1:26,27
2. 1 Pt. 4:17; 2 Thess 1:6-9; Rom. 10:16
3. Acts 22:16; 1 Pt. 3:21; Acts 2:21,38 "everyone that calls on the name of the Lord" is everyone that "repents and is baptized into the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins".

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