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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Psalms 146

Verses 1-2

The writer vowed to praise God the rest of his life.

Verses 1-4

1. Man’s inability to save 146:1-4

Verses 1-10

Psalms 146

An anonymous psalmist promised to praise the Lord forever because of His greatness and His grace. His faithfulness to the oppressed of the earth-as Creator-is the particular emphasis in this psalm. Each of the last five psalms in the Psalter (Psalms 146-150) begins and ends with a charge to "Praise the Lord!" ("Hallelujah!").

"These five psalms are a short course in worship, and God’s people today would do well to heed their message." [Note: Wiersbe, The . . . Wisdom . . ., p. 377.]

"Psalms 146-150 constitute the last Hallel (’praise’) collection. These five Hallelujah psalms have the characteristic genre of the hymn of descriptive praise. These psalms were used at some point as a part of the daily prayers in the synagogue worship. The other two collections are the Egyptian Hallel psalms (113-118) and the Great Hallel (120-136)." [Note: VanGemeren, p. 864.]

Verses 3-4

He then warned against placing trust in human officials. They will die and their plans will perish with them. At death the spirit separates from the body, which returns to dust. Therefore it is foolish to put too much hope in what people can do.

Verses 5-6

2. God’s ability to save 146:5-6

In contrast to those who look to other people for deliverance, those who trust in Israel’s God, Yahweh, will experience blessing. He is the Creator who even made the humanly uncontrollable sea and all its creatures. Yahweh is not only supremely powerful, but He is also faithful to His Word.

Verses 7-9

The poet cited nine examples. In each case, Yahweh provides the particular need of the individuals in view. He alone can do this.

Verses 7-10

3. Examples of God’s power and faithfulness 146:7-10

Verse 10

The psalmist concluded by affirming that Israel’s God will reign as long as human life endures. This was his conclusion in view of what he had said about God’s abilities earlier in this psalm. Consequently people should praise the Lord.

Whereas human life depends on man’s need to trust his fellow man, we should avoid the temptation to trust in human beings entirely or even primarily. Yahweh is the only Person who is worthy of our absolute trust. Reflection on the differences between people and God makes this clear. [Note: See R. B. Allen, And I . . ., pp. 214-24, 225-38.]

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 146". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/psalms-146.html. 2012.