There are some things in life that are really obvious. Things like, the start of the year is January and the end of the year is December. That’s obvious.
Yet here I am approaching the end of November and it’s really dawning on me that the end of the year is near. I watched a movie at the cinema recently and on leaving was reflecting on how many films I’ve watched this year so far.
What does that have to do with revisiting Psalm 146? That’s a good question to ask. Recently I was reading Psalm 146 again and was really taken with its content to such an extent that I wanted to write about it. Then it occurred to me that for the first 150 days of the year, I had be making my way through the Psalms and so on Day 146 I had written something about. Here it is for your reading pleasure. Go ahead and read it. I’ll be right here when you’re done.
The beauty about reading this Psalm again, though, was in seeing what it says about our God. I touched on the faithful aspect of God in the previous piece and mentioned in passing some of the other aspects of Him that are revealed in this scripture. What really intrigues me on this reading, however, is just how much God is a one who cares for His creatures, with particular note on the often marginalised.
There’s something in the list of those He looks out for that, for me reading it, nudges at what He means when He says He loves the righteous. The righteous would share the same concerns that God addresses in the rest of the Psalm. Their righteousness is not measured by adhering to a moral code based on things to avoid. This righteousness is about sharing the heart to see justice for the oppressed, see the hungry fed, look out for the orphan and the elderly. So much spiritual, social, physical and relational in how God reveals Himself and as a result what He expects from those who are His image bearers.
Don’t get me wrong – this Psalm is all about showing off about how great God is and what He does. Knowing this is the God we serve is massively reassuring. There is something about this, though that develops not just a trust in Him in a passive way as though we just keep our fingers crossed when bad things happen. There’s a trust in God to depend on Him and long to see that kind of rule manifest in our present age. If that is a desire, it changes our approach to wrong from either neglecting it or berating to being more compassionate and responsive.
That’s what I got from revisiting this particularly Psalm. As time passes by and I recollect what movies I’ve watched this year, I also reflect on the goodness of God that I have experienced this year, which is of vastly greater significance. Even in that reflection, looking at how great God is and what He does in my life and those of others motivates me to want to see Him do that more and be available whenever He calls me to be involved.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden