The Worshipping Heart Is a Thankful Heart.

All Christians know the experience of sinning after we've been saved and the guilt that accompanies it. Some even know what it's like to doubt their salvation after falling into sin. What a joyful relief to remember that God's love never changes! Psalm 146 is a thankful song of God's people when they are given another chance. Most Bible scholars attribute its composition to Haggai or Zechariah, prophets who preached to God's people when they were returning to the land of Israel from Babylonian exile. This is one of the "hallelujah" psalms, the last 5 chapters of the book of Psalms, each of which starts and ends with the same wording: "Praise the Lord!"

The writer of Psalm 146 rehearses truths that cause God's people to rejoice personally and corporately.

God has not changed. (verses 1-2)

When God's people, once convicted, are restored to fellowship, they respond with thanksgiving because they realize afresh that God is worthy of praise. He is the covenant-keeping God who never changes His mind. He has promised to keep us. This is the first thing we can be thankful for!

The prophet who wrote this psalm preached to God's people who had become spiritually lethargic. He included himself as needing forgiveness. As a leader, he admitted that he sinned and had been restored to fellowship with God. He was overwhelmed by God's constant, abiding love in the face of his own failure. A modern chorus expresses similar gratitude:

"Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul. Thank You, Lord, for making me whole. Thank You, Lord, for giving to me Thy great salvation, so rich and free."

God can be proven. (verses 3-7)

God doesn't mind being tested. He welcomes the opportunity to prove Himself in the lives of His children.

This section begins with negative truth: mankind is temporary. Pagan kings gave God's people permission to return to their land, but they were not ultimately in control. The Israelites faced many roadblocks, but no one could thwart God's will. There is nothing a human can do to keep God's people from walking with or worshipping the Lord.

Nothing human can be trusted. Even the conscience can lead one astray. The solution to man's eternal problem can't be found within ourselves. Every human idea, even a good one, eventually fades. God never changes. He can be depended on.

Next week, we will continue to look at the proven character of God in His compassion, benevolence, activity and reign.

Application Points

  • What do you primarily give thanks for? What comes to your mind first when prompted to give thanks? Prioritize your thanks-giving with eternal spiritual truth. If you have been saved, you are forever forgiven!

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • 1 John 1:9 – When we sin after salvation and ask for forgiveness, we can feel the same relief as when we were forgiven all our sin at salvation.
  • Exodus 15:2 – God is the one who has become our salvation.
  • James 1:2-16 – When we are weak and tempted, God is always strong.
A Hymn to Encourage: "Praise My Soul the King of Heaven"

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
to His feet thy tribute bring;
ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
evermore His praises sing:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise the everlasting King.

Praise him for His grace and favor
to our fathers in distress;
praise Him still the same for ever,
slow to chide and swift to bless:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Glorious in His faithfulness.

Father-like, He tends and spares us;
well our feeble frame He knows;
in His hand He gently bears us,
rescues us from all our foes.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Widely yet His mercy flows.