1. Who are some people we place our trust in on a regular basis? (Doctor; Spouse; Close Friends; Other Drivers; etc.)
2. What are some circumstances that cause us to feel betrayal? (Abused by a loved one; Cheated by a friend; Denied a promotion; Confidant breaks the silence; Betrayed by a spouse; Wrong medical diagnosis; etc.)
3. How does experiencing betrayal in one relationship in our lives impact other relationships?
4. What makes it so hard for people to move past what they perceived to be a betrayal?
5. Do we ever feel that God has betrayed us?
When we place our trust in people, sooner or later we will be disappointed. Sometimes the betrayal by another person is intentional, sometimes not, but people will disappoint.
God is ever faithful to who He is and to His people. God truly feels with us, and He knows how to navigate us through life.
6. What can cause us to get bitter and doubt the faithfulness of God in our circumstances? (See Eccl. 1:1-11. Here the writer had become “self-focused” and had lost his focus on God.)
Let’s see what the writer of Psalm 146 has to say about God’s faithfulness.
The Declaration! Read Psalm 146:1-2
1. What one word describes for you the psalmist’s attitude toward praising God in these verses? (Give everyone an opportunity to voice their opinion.)
The word “Hallelujah” is a transliteration of a Hebrew word that literally means “Praise Yah”. Of course the implication of the last syllable is to finish the word “Yahweh.” One of my very favorite pieces of music is “The Hallelujah Chorus.” Take time to listen to it on “YouTube” this week. It will bless you.
The last five chapters in the book of Psalms all begin and end with “Hallelujah.”
The psalmist admonished his soul to praise the Lord and is determined to do so with his entire being.
2. What does it mean to praise God with more than just your lips? (Praising God should be a lifestyle not an event.)
3. What commitment have you made that is life-long—till you die?
Obviously, none of us have lived out our entire lives yet, and we don’t know the future. But the decision to praise the Lord is not dependent on present or future circumstances. The palmist made the declaration without knowing what his future held.
4. Should circumstances impact our commitment to “sing to my God as long as I live?”
5. Do people allow circumstances to have a negative impact on their praise offered to God? (Remember God is worthy of our praise because of who He is, not what He has done for us.)
6. What are some of the challenges of praising the Lord all your life?
7. In what ways does God show Himself faithful to believers today?
8. What are some appropriate ways of declaring God’s faithfulness to us?
The Warning! Read Psalm 146:3-4
There is a great contrast between the first two verses and these two verses. When the psalmist warns us not to trust in man, we are led to think about God, who can save. When he wrote about man being mortal and finite, we can’t help but to contrast him to the immortal, infinite God.
1. Why are people tempted to put their trust in human leaders instead of in God?
2. What are the dangers of trusting in another person for one’s security and well-being?
3. Do we tend to put our trust in “nobles? (Far too often we place our trust and hope in elected government leaders instead of God.)
4. What do we believe people need most—government’s help, education’s help, financial help, or God’s help? (I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.” Ps. 62:1)
The psalmist not only warns us against trusting in people, he also gives us several reasons God alone is worthy of our trust!
The Worthy One! Read Psalm 146:5-9
1. What are the ways listed here that God alone is worthy of our trust? (“Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them. He remains faithful forever, executing justice for the exploited and giving food to the hungry.” Frees prisoners, Opens the eyes of the blind. Raises the oppressed. Loves the righteous. Protects foreigners, helps the fatherless and the widow. Frustrates the ways of the wicked. These statements are certainly true spiritually and sometimes He accomplishes these things in a literal way.)
God is our Creator, Protector and King!
2. What in these verses, and in your experience, confirms God’s trustworthiness? (God stays true in every situation, wisely executing justice and extending grace fairly. God can be trusted to remain faithful forever.)
3. How does the list in these verses affect the way we praise God?
4. How should it affect the praise of all God’s people?
5. The psalmist declared his intention to praise God all of his life even when he didn’t know what the future held. As you look at verses 7-9 which of these circumstances are positive, and which are undesirable?
Of all the different people described in these verses, only the righteous and the wicked are what anyone could choose to be. Yet, God shows Himself faithful to every group described in this passage. He is even faithful to the wicked, because He has already promised that wicked ways lead to perishing (Ps. 1:6).
The Reality! Read Psalm 146:10
1. What does the first line of this verse mean to you?
2. What does work look like when God is our king? (We live and work to honor and praise our King. It should be a joy.)
3. What do actions in our home look like with Him as King? (If we are all obedient to the same King it should be a place where peace reigns and God is honored.)
4. What does solving problems look like when He rules? (Problems should be turned over to God. Read Phil. 4:8-9)
5. In what circumstance is God’s faithfulness most treasured: in times of prosperity or in times of despair?
6. How can believers show that they belong to God’s kingdom?
7. What responsibilities come with being part of God’s eternal kingdom?
Summarize and Challenge!
1. How is trusting God active rather than passive? (It is a conscious decision!)
2. Notice in your Bible again that Psalms 146-150 begin and end with praising God. What can we learn from this?
3. How would it make a difference in your day if you began and ended each day with praising God?
4. What can we do to help others place their full trust in Christ?
If you said no words, what would your actions teach about God?
How accurate is your picture?
Change your actions in the coming week to show praise to, and for, God in different ways!