Spurgeon: “We are now among the Hallelujahs. The rest of our journey lies through the Delectable Mountains. All is praise to the close of the book. The key is high pitched: the music is upon the high-sounding cymbals. O for a heart full of joyful gratitude, that we may run, and leap, and glorify God, even as these Psalms do.”
Guzik: “Psalm 146 begins series of five final songs in the Book of Psalms, and the five are known as the Hallelujah Psalms.”
Guzik quoting Boice: “Hallelujah is a compound word made up of two Hebrew words: hallel (an imperative verb meaning ‘praise’) and jah (a contraction of the name for God, Jehovah). So hallelujah means ‘Praise the Lord (or Jehovah).’”
Psalms 146:1 ¶ Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Psalms 146:2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
The psalmist opens his song urging the people to praise the LORD. Interestingly, he then reminds himself to praise the LORD. To praise the LORD is to boast about and celebrate the glory of the LORD. It’s an attempt to magnify and honor our great God.
The psalmist declares that as long as he lives, he will praise the LORD with singing—the most natural way for a musician to express his appreciation of and honor for the LORD.
Spurgeon: "As our life is the gift of God's mercy, it should be used for his glory.”
Psalms 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
Psalms 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
The psalmist warns the people not to put their trust in any human, no matter their stature among the people. All men are but weak creatures that will one day die. I think the wording of the last clause is a bit misleading. After looking at the Hebrew and other translations, it seems that the psalmist is just emphasizing the truth that a dead man can no longer help you.
EBC Abridged: “The negative exhortation here is a positive way of renouncing humanism and of affirming a God-centered way of life.”
Psalms 146:5 ¶ Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:
Psalms 146:6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:
Happy = Blessed (from the Hebrew) Webster: “Experiencing the effect of favorable fortune; having the feeling arising from the consciousness of well- being or of enjoyment; enjoying good of any kind, as peace, tranquillity, comfort; contented; joyous….”
“the God of Jacob” = the LORD, YHWY, the self-existent, eternal God
hope = confident expectation
Though most of the world refuses to accept it, the LORD, the God of Israel (Jacob), is The Creator and the only true God. Only those that accept Him as their LORD are truly blessed. All those that accept Him as their LORD benefit from his protection and provision.
The truth of God never changes; it will stand for eternity.
1 Peter 1:22–23 “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Psalms 146:7 Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:
With this verse, the psalmist begins to describe how the LORD cares for us.
We have to remember that in context, the psalmist is talking about what God does for those that have placed their faith in the LORD. As we read through this list, it is obvious that we know that people of faith have been/are oppressed by the wicked, suffer hunger and imprisoned. I have to remind myself often to read the scripture from God’s perspective to temper my own expectations. There are no time designations mentioned—just the fact that He will act in accordance with His word, including the Holy Spirit’s inspired words of the psalmist. Though God’s response is not always according to our desires and/or expectations, He always keeps His promises. Sometimes provision is made by taking the one in need home to be with Him in heaven.
Psalms 146:8 The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:
Psalms 146:9 The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.
Psalms 146:10 The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.
The psalmist closes his psalm as he began it—by praising the LORD. He again declares The LORD to be the God of Zion, the people of Israel. He also is fully confident that the LORD will reign over His creation forever!