Recent political ads have prompted candidates to come clean with disappointing information about their past accomplishments or specific plans for the future. The psalmist, too, notes the problem of misplaced trust that relies too heavily on "princes" and "mortals," whose plans are so fleeting. Help and hope belong only to the Lord God who made heaven and earth.
And who could ask for a better resume? Here is One who "keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry." And this is just the beginning. The list goes on. No wonder that such a resounding "Praise the Lord!" brackets the psalmist's song and fairly threatens to spill over into the whole of life: "I will praise the Lord as long as I live."
O God our Creator, you sustain the heavens, the seas and the land, and yet your boundless mercy reaches in faithful love to the oppressed and the hungry in our midst. Help us to place our trust in you and to sing your praises all our lives through. Amen.
Psalm 146 (NRSV)
1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.
4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!