Summary: Life is not always wonderful; but we have the greatest reason to rejoice: our God is the powerful God of history, the Personal and Active God, and the God of Creation.
Theme: The Psalmist’s Picture of God
Text: Psalm 146:1-10
A. I’d like to thank God for His sufficient grace that sustained us amidst the increasing political and economic crisis that we are experiencing in our country(Philippines). I know we all feel these pressing circumstances. But thank God, He has promised not to leave us nor forsake us.
B. In the wall of the manager’s lounge of PHILBEST(where I pastored) is hanged a magic frame. In it you can see a very wonderful view: an island, seawaters, and underwater creatures. Someone has told me that a great whale can be seen if I would intently fix my eyes on the frame.
C. Many times I looked at the frame to find the semi-invisible whale until I was successful to find it. I learned that focus and concentration were needed. But I learned one more lesson. The moment I focus my eyes and concentrate on the big whale, I realize that the images of the smaller creatures at the surface are fading. Then I remembered Hebrews 12:2 which says, “Fix your eyes on Jesus the Author and the Finisher of faith.” The moment we focus our eyes on Jesus, the images of the circumstances surrounding us will come to fade. The image of our seemingly engulfing challenges pales upon the image of our big God.
D. Being God’s children, we should therefore not be worried of what is going on in this world, for we have a God bigger than the world. We just need to focus our eyes on Him, believing that His eye is on us too.
E. Who is this Big God? According to the Psalmist of Psalm 146, He is the God of Jacob, He’s the God of Creation, and, He’s the Living and Personal God. In other words, He is the Powerful God of History, the Present Personal God, and the Creative God of the Coming Things!
F. This Psalmist may have personal predicaments and distresses. He said, “Do not trust in man.” He might have been double-crossed or being betrayed by a friend. Whatever it is, his circumstances would have dragged him down to the pit of despair. But he refused to live in the life of defeat and despondency. Instead, he rose up to a life of hope and rejoicing. He encouraged himself; he strengthened himself in the Lord, and said, “Bless the Lord O my soul”. Then He exclaimed, “I will sing praises to God while I have my being!”
G. What revolutionized his spirit?
a) His hindsight of God’s acts in the past.
1) The particular history that he’d been looking at was the life of their patriarch Jacob and the establishment of their nation. The wonders that God had wrought in the life of Jacob and to his descendants were innumerable.
2) The hand of the Almighty God was upon this patriarch, in his life in Haran, in his entire journey, and in his sojourn in the land of Egypt. God had blessed him wherever he went. Of course, not all experiences were good. There were times that Jacob went through the refining fire of God. There were times that Jacob went through painful chastisements. But God helped and upheld him so that those bad experiences would turn to good, and so that what God had promised to him would ultimately be fulfilled. God’s favor and mercy was upon Jacob also because he kept himself humble before and put his hope in Him.
3) Now, what did the Psalmist learn from the history of his patriarch?
v Behind every detail of life is the Mighty hand of God. It upholds, guides, protects, preserves, provides and molds. Everything that happens to one’s life is an act, either directly or indirectly, of God.
v God chooses to show His special favor to His chosen people. Though God showed His goodness to all without discrimination, He chooses to bestow His special blessings to his chosen ones. But behind this generous act of God is a humble spirit. Nothing can move the hand of God most to do wondrous things than a humble spirit.
4) The Establishment of Israel was also a great miracle. No one would expect that these oppressed slaves of Egypt become a great nation. Egypt was the most powerful empire of the time. Israel was her slave. Who would expect the exodus of Jacob’s descendants from that land of cruelty and slavery to happen? But God emancipated them and brought them to the Promised Land with great wonders and miracles.
5) The Psalmist here realized that God is the God of miracles. The most despised group of people, of which he belonged, became the medium through which God manifested His Omnipotence! Having realized this he exclaimed exuberantly, “Blessed is he whose hope is in the God of Jacob!”