Have you ever noticed how much competition there is every day for your attention, and your money? It is really incredible the battle that goes on to captivate your passions. Advertisers frame their publicity in such glowing personal tones that one ends up becoming personally and emotionally attached to things. Take for example vehicle advertisements that make the purchase of that particular car or truck to be the absolute fulfillment of all you have ever dreamed to have in life! Fast food ads speak of their edible goods in terms of contentment onthe moral level for eating a certain hamburger or sandwich.
The truth is that we need to get around and we need to eat. We want a reliable vehicle and good food to follow the examples we just shared. But these can never bring us the ultimate satisfaction we crave as they are advertised. We are fall in the deceptive trap thinking that they actually can deliver true happiness and satisfaction. How in the world can things created give to us creatures any sense of contentment or joy in life? But that is what the world tries to sell us every day! And…you and I fall for it!
Psalm 146 is God’s antidote for that erroneous thinking. After the declaration by the psalmist to praise the Lord has long as he has breathe, he challenges our tendency to trust, to find satisfaction, to find joy in that which does not last forever. If we have the choice between trusting in that which is temporary versus trusting that which is eternal, what do we choose? If you will allow me to ask, , what do you choose? Is it not true that we try to get satisfaction out of that which could never give it to us! The Rolling Stones had it right, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”
Psalm 146:3 says, “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.” Human beings are tempted to trust in the temporary every day. The advertising industry is built on this premise. They are experts at awakening that part of you that yearns to be satisfied. But the great ‘shell game’ in that is that what you think you are going to get is impossible from that source no matter how attractive it is. Why? Because it is temporary. Verse 4 says, “When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.” That is a short term investment.
How much better to find real, lasting, deep satisfaction,and real joy in the One who can actually deliver the goods. ‘The goods’ being that which can bring us true satisfaction and joy in this life and in the next. Verse 5 says, “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God,” This is truly incredible! Our hope, or our trust in is God, the writer mentions the God of Jacob. Jacob is that Old Testament character whose life was dramatically turned upside down by his encounter with God, you can read about it in Genesis 32:22-32. Jacob was trusting in what he could do, in fact his desire to get his father’s inheritance lead him to trust in his mother’s plan. But God met him, touched his life and Jacob took God as his hope and treasure. Only God could fill him with the satisfaction that he previously sought in a temporal blessing.
This God who asks us to trust him is described in Psalm 146:6, as the One “who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever…” Then we have a litany of examples given as to how God provides now and eternally for people’s needs. He is the One in whom we find all of true, lasting satisfaction in life. As I read this Psalm I find myself indignant with my own shortsightedness in trying to manufacture my own contentedness with anything I could purchase with money.
One of my favourite television programs when I was a small child was Captain Kangaroo (yes, that does date me!). He would always say at the end of the show, “”You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool Mom.” All of us, including Moms, can be fooled into thinking that anything this world has to offer us will bring us such satisfaction that it will last forever. Only God can truly offer that. What are you trusting or hoping in today?