Friday, December 23, 2022

Hindrances to Praise (Psalm 146)

"Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help" (Ps. 146:3).

The Christmas season is one of praise and thanksgiving for the birth of our Savior. But this praise should not be restricted to one season out of the year, but should emanate from our lives every day. Praise lifts our hearts and minds to heaven and is reserved as one of the highest duties of man. If this is so, why do we neglect so great a duty? We could spend pages expounding the various hindrances to proper praise—sin, spiritual sloth, ignorance of God and His Word, coldness of heart, pride, etc. 

Today we will focus on one hindrance that David, through the Spirit, sets forth in Psalm 146. Here David inflames his heart to praise God by considering His sovereign reign over all things. Many times we fail to give God His due because we share His glory with others. We put our trust and faith in men and their inventions instead of God Himself.

David says, “Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.” Calvin wrote, “That God may have the whole praise due to Him, David exposes and overthrows those false stays on which we would otherwise be too much disposed to trust.… Although princes are furnished with power, money, troops of men, and other resources, David reminds us, that it is wrong to place our trust in frail mortal man, and vain to seek safety where it cannot be found.

“The hopes of men are only stable and well-founded when they rest entirely upon God. For even the wicked sometimes come the length of acknowledging the folly of trust in man. Accordingly they are often angry with themselves for being so inconsiderate as to expect deliverance from men; but by neglecting the remedy, they are not extricated from their error.” Even when unbelievers recognize the frailty of human support, they refuse to give God His due. Let the church not fall into the same trap. Christ alone is our Prince of Peace, our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God. Put your trust in Him, and glorify Him with the praise He is due, not only during the celebration of His birth but with the dawn of every new day. Each day provides an unspoiled opportunity for you to praise your Creator and glory in your Redeemer. Remember that He is the Mighty One of Israel. He alone can keep us, His children, from stumbling.

Over the weekend, spend some time meditating on the glory of God, on His sovereignty, His power, and His holiness. Think about how you can maintain the spirit of praise that you experience on Christmas throughout the entire year. Keep Christ ever before you as you live every day of your life.