Praise is the Psalmist's sweet employ. God's claims to
praise are stated. May they attune our hearts to sing the heavenly theme!
1-2. "Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul.
While I live will I praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I
have my being."
Gratitude demands that praise should be our untiring
exercise. Its performance brings delight. Happy are the hours thus
consecrated. Thus earth assimilates to heaven, where Hallelujahs are the
3-4. "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of
man, in whom there is no help. His breath goes forth, he returns to his
earth; in that very day his thoughts perish."
It is a natural tendency to be influenced by external
facade. Hence it is a common fault to court the favor of the rich and great.
We are prone to lean on their support, and to look to them for help. But
every man in his best estate is empty worthlessness. The Lord speaks, and
thrones crumble. The Lord speaks, and the palace is exchanged for the grave.
Tibni dies—Omri reigns. The grandest prince is but dust; and to dust he must
5-7. "Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his
help, whose hope is in the Lord his God; who made heaven and earth, the sea,
and all that therein is; who keeps truth forever. Who executes judgment for
the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry."
While men are emptiness, sufficiency abounds in God.
Happy are those who find safe shelter in His covering wings. Think of His
boundless power. The heavens, the earth, and all therein are the creation of
His will. Precious is His treasury of promises. Not one of them shall ever
fail. Their payment may be desired at the mercy-seat, and surely they will
be redeemed. Many foes oppress His servants, but their efforts are impotent.
The cause of the righteous is vindicated. None prevail against them. All
their need, also, is supplied. They lie down in green pastures; beside still
waters they repose.
8-10. "The Lord frees the prisoners; the Lord opens
the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises those who are bowed down; the Lord
loves the righteous. The Lord preserves the strangers; He relieves the
fatherless and widow; but the way of the wicked He turns upside down. The
Lord shall reign forever, even your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise
Precious lessons are learned from contemplating God's
gracious dealings. His people are born in the prison-house of Satan. God
removes the shackles; they go forth free. They are blind by nature. He opens
their eyes to see all the wonders of redeeming love. Heavy burdens often
oppress them. He enables them to lay aside every weight so as to run with
patience the heavenward road. He delights to cheer them with manifestations
of His love. They are strangers and pilgrims in an enemy's land. He is their
constant guardian. In family destitution He brings relief. But just wrath
burns fiercely against His adversaries forever and forever. God shall reign
inhabiting the praises of His people. Bless the Lord, O our souls. Amen.