Psalm 146 (My Paraphrase)
1Hallelujah! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
3Do not put your trust in rulers, nor in human beings, for they cannot save.
4When their spirit departs, they return to dust, and on that very day their thoughts, their plans perish.
5Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
6who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; and who keeps truth forever;
7who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free;
8the Lord gives sight to the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
9The Lord watches over the foreigner and upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he overthrows.
10The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!
Eugenia Gamble, in her sermon In Good Times and Bad on the 30 Good Minutes web site has this to say about Psalm 146:
The Psalter is the song and worship book of God’s people. In it we find expressed all that it is possible for a human being to feel: hope, joy, love, lament, anguish, fear, thanks, and praise.
Today’s psalm begins the final section of the song book. This section repeats many of the themes that have been heard in the earlier psalms. Today’s psalm gives us an imperative call to praise. This is not a text that simply says to us, “Say thanks to God when good things happen.” It is a text that calls us to praise God in every circumstance, not because we want to or feel like it, but because of the very character of God.
Her words remind me of something Job once said, “Though He (God) slay me, yet I will trust him.” But for me the Psalm is as much about hope as it is about praising God. We can hope because we know what kind of God it is we serve. God is a God who cares for us more than any human being could ever care, and his loving kindness is especially seen in his treatment of the last and least. And that, my friends, brings us right back around to praise.