“Hallelujah! Praise Yahweh, O my soul! … How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in Yahweh his God” Psalm cxlvi.1, 5.
Praise and trust. These are two appropriate human responses towards an eternal, almighty and omni-benevolent God who is eager to help anyone who seeks His help.
The psalmist declares that he will praise Yahweh all the days of his life (v.2). He is also determined to trust in Yahweh instead of trusting in any human benefactor. He, and all who sing this psalm, admonish fellow worshipers: “Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” (v.3-4)
Why should we praise Yahweh and trust in Him alone? The ten verses in this psalm give us a number of reasons to do so:
- Yahweh is the almighty Creator who made the heavens, the earth and the sea and all life in it. (v.6)
- Yahweh is faithful; He keeps His word. (v.6)
- Yahweh is a righteous Judge who comes to the rescue of the oppressed; to feed the hungry and free hostages or prisoners. (v.7)
- Yahweh is compassionate enough to give sight to the blind; and to encourage the downcast among his people. (v.8)
- Yahweh is not a distant God who keeps away from day-to-day affairs of the earth. He is the imminent Protector of foreigners who may be at the mercy of natives; of defenseless orphans and helpless widows. (v.9)
- Yahweh is determined to bring his righteous judgments upon the wicked (v.9)
- Yahweh is Sovereign – there’s no one above this King; He rules forever! (v.10)
This psalm offers a lesson to all who write ‘worship’ songs: If you wish to lead people to the higher planes of sublime worship, let your songs be about God and His attributes and less about other things. The attributes of God mentioned in this psalm will surely elicit praise from the lips of all who use it in worship.
If we have such a powerful and good God, why wouldn’t we praise Him? “I will praise Yahweh while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.” (v.2) If we have such a loving and helpful God, why would we trust in people? “How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in Yahweh his God.”