A meditation on Psalm 146


Psalm 146


Praise the LORD, O my soul!*

I will praise the LORD as long as I live;

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

2Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth,*

for there is no help in them.

3When they breathe their last, they return to earth,*

and in that day their thoughts perish.

4Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help!*

whose hope is in the LORD their God;

5Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them;*

who keeps his promise for ever;

6Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, *

and food to those who hunger.

7The LORD sets the prisoners free;

the LORD opens the eyes of the blind;*

the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;

8The LORD loves the righteous;

the LORD cares for the stranger;*

he sustains the orphan and widow,

but frustrates the way of the wicked.

9The LORD shall reign for ever,*

your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.


1. Do not put your trust in rulers, there is no help in them.
2. Happy are they with the God of Jacob for their help. He made everything.
3. He gives justice to the oppressed, food to the hungry, freedom to prisoners, sight to the blind. He frustrates the way of the wicked. He loves the righteous and cares for the stranger.
4. His kingdom is without end.

I love the Lord! I love His word. All of it. Rulers (even democratic ones) assume too much. Here in the USA they represent a society that robs the poor, oppresses the poor. And God says, “I made everything and I feed the hungry.” And here in the US city after city has said, “Don’t feed the homeless on the street here, it is unsanitary.” If we are a nation that hates who God loves and drives them away, we oppose God.
God will feed the hungry and give justice to the oppressed. The church’s wealth belongs to the poor. It does not belong to men but to God.
This text is so liberating because it is saying that even when rulers stand in the way of God he will care for the needy. One way or the other God will provide.
This passage cuts through all the arguments of “what the poor need” and “who is enabling poverty”. God’s is an endless rule. If I seek to do His will, he will provide. Does this promise we will not suffer? No. Sometimes cities oppress and scatter a work of God. But it goes on His way. We don’t stop being disciples because rulers don’t like us.

In his nobel prize acceptance speech Dr. Martin Luther King said,
“The well-off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst. The poor in our countries have been shut out of our minds, and driven from the mainstream of our societies, because we have allowed them to become invisible. Just as nonviolence exposed the ugliness of racial injustice, so must the infection and sickness of poverty be exposed and healed – not only its symptoms but its basic causes. This, too, will be a fierce struggle, but we must not be afraid to pursue the remedy no matter how formidable the task.”

Prayers: for our mayor, Francis Slay, our governor, Jay Nixon, our president Barack Obama, and all who are entrusted with serving the public good. That all may live in peace and treat each other with dignity. That we stand up for the rights of all those oppressed, whose right to autonomy is smothered. We are a city that believes in the moneyed persons right to be entertained. But we were not created to amuse ourselves, but to glorify you. Change our hearts O God. Call us back from an economy of greed to an economy of care. Teach us hospitality again Lord.


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