Trust God, Not Man 

Psalm 146

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • February 3, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 


  1. The last five Psalms, Psalms 146–150, begin and end with the same line:

    Praise the Lord
    1. That is precisely what the last five do, 
    2. they praise the Lord, 
      1. from the beginning to the end and 
      2. everything they state between. 
  2. Therefore, they are all the “Hallelujah Psalms.” 


  1. Psalm 146.1a | Our Purpose

    1a Praise the LORD!
    1. Last Lord’s Day evening Jenny Parker came forward for prayers and 
      1. I told you that she had discovered recently 
      2. what her purpose in life is. 
        1. Jenny, some people go through their entire lives and 
        2. never make the discovery that you made. 
          1. They think life is all about them. 
          2. They never discover life’s ultimate purpose. 
    2. She had told me that her purpose in life is to glory of God. 
      1. She is right on target. 
      2. I hope that after seeing the last five Psalms, you will agree with her. 
      3. The Bible shows that God is number one in our lives:

        13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
        Fear God and keep His commandments,
        For this is man’s all.
        (Ecclesiastes 12.13)

        36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22.36–38).

        31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10.31).

        11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 4.11).
    3. To show just how important glorifying God is consider what sin is:

      23 …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3.23).
      1. We sin when we fall short of the glory of God, because 
      2. we are supposed to be shooting for the glory of God. 
        1. He is the target. 
        2. However, we sin, 
          1. we miss the mark, 
          2. when we do things that do not glorify Him. 
  2. Psalm 146.1b–2 | Praise the Lord Relentlessly

    Praise the LORD, O my soul!
    2 While I live I will praise the LORD;
    I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
    1. We have to talk to ourselves constantly about things. 
      1. One thing to talk to your own soul about is praising the Lord. 
      2. Think of all the other things that you talk over in your mind. 
        1. None of them will have the soul-uplifting capability 
        2. that reminding yourself to praise the Lord does. 
    2. Make a promise or covenant with yourself 
      1. that you will praise the Lord while you live. 
      2. Include singing praises to your God as part of what you will do. 
        1. You may not sing everyday, and 
        2. you may only do it when assembled with the brethren, but 
          1. still praise Him daily. 
          2. As long as you have your being, Praise the Lord. 
  3. Psalm 146.3–4 | Do Not Trust in Man

    3 Do not put your trust in princes,
    Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
    4 His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
    In that very day his plans perish.
    1. Listen to what the psalmist said by the Holy Spirit. 
      1. Princes and other men are not your help. 
      2. They only help you as someone else gives them the ability to help. 
        1. When the psalmist said princes, 
        2. he referred to the government. 
    2. However, think on what the psalmist said in verse 4, because 
      1. he gave us a reason not to put your trust in princes or men: 
      2. The spirit of the man departs and he returns to the earth. 
        1. His spirit goes to God and 
        2. his body becomes earth again. 
          1. He dies. 
          2. Whatever plans he had, 
            1. whether for you or himself, 
            2. perish. 
    3. You cannot say that about God. 
      1. He is just as much present and 
      2. His plans are just as fresh 
        1. as the time of which Genesis 1.1 speaks. 
        2. Do not put your trust in any human, for 
          1. they will eventually perish and 
          2. even before that time they will disappoint you. 
    4. Contrast that with what the psalmist said next. 
  4. Psalm 146.5–9 | Why You Should Trust the Lord

    5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
    Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
    6 Who made heaven and earth,
    The sea, and all that is in them;
    Who keeps truth forever,
    7 Who executes justice for the oppressed,
    Who gives food to the hungry.
    The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners.
    8 The LORD opens the eyes of the blind;
    The LORD raises those who are bowed down;
    The LORD loves the righteous.
    9 The LORD watches over the strangers;
    He relieves the fatherless and widow;
    But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
    1. This psalmist, a flawed man, 
      1. referred to God as the God of Jacob, 
      2. another flawed man. 
        1. Eleven times the Book of Psalms refers God as the God of Jacob. 
        2. Only once does the Book of Psalms speak of the God of Abraham. 
        3. And not once does it refer to the God of Isaac. 
          1. All three of the patriarchs were great and godly men, but 
          2. of the three, I would say that Jacob was the most flawed. 
            1. Therefore, it was logical for the poet of Psalm 146 
            2. to call God the God of Jacob. 
      3. Jacob needed God’s help. 
        1. The psalmist needed that help, and 
        2. the psalmist refers to anyone who needs help. 
          1. The God who helped Jacob in his troubles 
          2. will also help you, if you make Him your hope. 
      4. The psalmist said you will be happy or blessed. 
        1. I have made Jacob’s God my God and 
        2. I am happy as I think on my blessings. 
          1. I am a flawed man, but 
          2. even as God helped Jacob so He helps me. 
    2. Here is why you are happy or blessed when you have God as your help: 
      1. He made the universe. 
      2. He made the sea and everything in it. 
      3. He keeps the truth forever. 
      4. He carries out justice for the oppressed. 
      5. He feeds the hungry. 
      6. He releases the captives. 
      7. He gives sight to the blind. 
      8. He raises those bowed down. 
      9. He loves the righteous. 
      10. 10.He watches even over strangers. 
      11. 11.He helps the fatherless and widow. 
      12. 12.He turns the way of the wicked upside down. 
    3. You cannot say those things about the government and men. 
      1. God uses men to do some of those things. 
      2. Sadly, people are making the government their god and church. 
        1. However, the psalmist warned in verse 3 not to put trust in princes, 
        2. do not put your trust in the government. 
          1. In America, our president can only preside for 8 years at the most. 
          2. Even if he was elected for life, 
            1. in so saying we imply that he will die, 
            2. then we can get another one. 
              1. However our God never dies. 
              2. When men killed Him, 
                1. He only used it as a plan 
                2. to help man. 
                  1. He rose from the dead and 
                  2. reigns from heaven. 
    4. In fact, listen further to what the psalmist declared. 
  5. Psalm 146.10ab | The Lord Reigns

    10 The LORD shall reign forever—
    Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
    1. Nothing limits His reign. 
    2. He reigns today 
      1. just as much as He reigned 
      2. in the days of the psalmist. 
        1. Regardless of what you see governments and man do, 
        2. the Lord God omnipotent still reigns. 
  6. Psalm 146.10c | Say It Again!

    Praise the LORD!
    1. In the early 80s, 
      1. I attended a lectureship cosponsored by 
      2. the Central and West Visalia Churches of Christ. 
        1. One year brother Roy Deaver spoke at the lectureship. 
        2. I was sitting behind him during one lecture by brother Gary Workman. 
          1. Brother Workman made excellent point and 
          2. brother Roy Deaver with his gravely voice shouted:

            “Say it again!”
            1. Without missing a beat, 
            2. brother Workman repeated his statement word-for-word. 
    2. In the opening line of this Psalm, 
      1. the psalmist praised the Lord. 
      2. Then the poet showed why we should praise the Lord and 
        1. the poet gave that final reason 
        2. that the Lord reigns forever to all generations. 
    3. That just makes me want to shout: “Say it again!” and 
      1. the psalmist did already. 
      2. Praise the Lord for any reason that you can find. 
        1. Do it every single day. 
        2. Do it to the moment of your dying breath.