BY MICHELLE WILLIAMS, GRACE ATTENDER
Psalm 146: Praising the Goodness of God
1 Praise the Lord!
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.
3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
there is no help for you there.
4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
and all their plans die with them.
5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6 He made heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them.
He keeps every promise forever.
7 He gives justice to the oppressed
and food to the hungry.
The Lord frees the prisoners.
8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.
The Lord loves the godly.
9 The Lord protects the foreigners among us.
He cares for the orphans and widows,
but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.
10 The Lord will reign forever.
He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations.
Praise the Lord!
Have you ever heard the phrase, Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? I believe this phrase hits the heart of what it means to praise the goodness of God.
Verse 6 of Psalm 146 instantly transports me to the Creation story in Genesis, where we get a first-hand account of how God Himself praises His own goodness. In the midst of His creating, he paused six times to look at what He had done and see that it was good. And then after He created us in His image, he looked out over all of Creation a seventh time and saw that it was very good.
Simply pausing to look for and see the good as God did, we praise it through our imitation of Him. His goodness is everywhere—after all, this great artist’s majestic name fills the earth and Creation bears His image. Seek His goodness, and you will find it.
As we seek and praise the goodness of God throughout His Creation, we must also remember that the addition of His human image-bearers is when it all became very good. That’s you and me. We are God’s image-bearing children, and we are very good. Seeing, recognizing and feeling your soul’s worth to God is an act of praising His goodness.
In my experience, once you see the divine image of God in yourself, it’s impossible to “unsee” it. I think this psalmist would agree. I will praise the Lord as long as I live. When you awaken to feeling the goodness of God dwelling within yourself, your entire life is transformed. It’s so good. Praise the Lord!
Do something creative and see it as a flattering imitation of God. Creativity can be expressed in many forms, such as art, music, writing, cooking, crafting, problem-solving, story-telling, engaging with nature—even something as simple as makeup. Be sure to pause and reflect on the goodness of what you did.
Read the article Proper Posture for the Heart. Assess your own ability to see the good, divine image of God in yourself and in others.
Read Genesis 1:1-31. Be sure to take note each time God pauses to see that His Creation is good.
Questions for Reflection
In what ways do you see God’s image imprinted on yourself? In what ways are you like Jesus?
Verses 3-4 of Psalm 146 warn against putting confidence in powerful people because their plans die with them. Contemplate how this prideful way of living contrasts with seeing and knowing the goodness of God and living in His hope.
Although the plans of prideful or wicked people die with them, God’s plan lives on in those whose hope is in Him—those who joyfully serve as a temple of the Holy Spirit, accepting the God of Israel as their helper. In what ways do you or could you respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to assist God in keeping the promises listed in verses 7-9 of Psalm 146?