Daily Devotion – September 16, 2021 – Dr. Pat Taylor Ellison

Psalm 146
146:1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul!
146:2 I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
146:3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.
146:4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
146:5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God,
146:6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
146:7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free;
146:8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.
146:9 The LORD watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
146:10 The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD!

I’m betting that the author of this psalm was not rich. Maybe a poor poet or songwriter. Maybe a person who asked for help a few times and was turned away by someone who could just as easily have helped him.

I’m betting this because the psalmist praises the Lord who has even more power than rich people and who is much more generous with that power. Rich people will ignore poor people, and they die just like everyone else and cannot provide for anyone forever. But the Lord’s generosity is for now and for all time and seems to favor those who really need it.

The Lord does miracles for the oppressed, the hungry, the prisoners, the blind, the bowed-down, the foreigners, the widows, the orphans! For how often all those groups get ignored, thank goodness for the Lord.

Those people who have known oppression or sickness or despair, they know God. How about the rest of us who live in comparative comfort? Do we know? Do we believe in God’s goodness? We might try on the notion that the comfort we have is merely a gift, an accident of our birth, or at least only partly of our own making. The Lord is the author of all good things. If we lived our lives every day being grateful, and acting grateful, and thanking God and other people for our blessings, how might it change us?

Gracious God, Thank you for loving us. Thank you for being good to us. Help us to remember all good gifts come from you. Help us to live today and every day in gratitude. Amen.