January 1, 2014
READ: Psalm 146:1-10
Joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God (v.5).
Happy New Year!” “Have a joyous New Year!” We will hear a lot of these greetings today. And you’ll find yourself saying them to others too. Undoubtedly we hope that 2014 will be a blessed and joyous year for us. The psalmist articulated his desire for happy days ahead with this confident affirmation: “Joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God” (Psalm 146:5).
Psalm 146 is the first of the five “Hallelujah psalms” (the last five songs in the Psalter), so called because each of these songs (ch.146-150) begins and ends with the refrain, “Praise the LORD!” or “Hallelujah!”
Let’s begin the New Year by joining the psalmist in exclaiming, “Praise the LORD! Let all that I am praise the LORD. I will praise the LORD as long as I live” (vv.1-2) is a good way to start the New Year. We begin the year with gratefulness, acknowledging the greatness and the goodness of our God (vv.1-9).
Psalm 146 is a call to trust in the Lord—the Sovereign Creator God who is eternal, faithful, just, gracious, compassionate and loving. He defends the oppressed, feeds the hungry, heals the suffering, loves the godly and protects the vulnerable. And lest we forget, He also punishes the wicked (vv.7,9).
The psalmist’s call is a timely reminder: trust in God only, not in man (v.3). Only those who trust God can be truly happy (v.5), for God is the only One worthy of our trust (v.6). “Joyful are those who live like this! Joyful indeed are those whose God is the LORD” (144:15), for the Lord is sovereign. “The LORD will reign forever. . . . Praise the LORD” (146:10). That makes for a very happy new year! —K.T. Sim
› Genesis 1:1-2:3
Read Psalm 84 and see how you can remain joyous throughout the year (vv.4-5).
What’s one thing you can praise the Lord for today? How does praising God change our perspective of life and its challenges?