(1) Praise Yahweh! Give thanks to Yahweh for (he is) good, for his steadfast love (endures) forever. (2) Who can speak of the mighty deeds of Yahweh or declare all his praises? (3) Blessed are those who maintain justice, who practice righteousness at all times. (4) Remember me, Yahweh, in your favor to your people. Help me when you save them, (5) that I might see the prosperity (good) of your chosen ones, that I might rejoice in the gladness of your nation, that I might glory with your inheritance.
This psalm opens with the exclamation, “Hallelujah!” or “Praise Yahweh!” Three additional times Yahweh's name is mentioned in this segment (vss. 1, 2, & 4). Two more repetitions are found in these verses. The verb “to praise” (vs. 1) occurs a second time and is translated “glory” (vs. 5). The adjective “good” which describes Yahweh’s character (vs. 1) is found again, this time as a noun, and is translated “prosperity” (vs. 5).
I. Praise for Yahweh's steadfast love and mighty deeds (1 & 2)
II. Principle: Yahweh blesses those who live righteously. (3)
III. Prayer for Yahweh's favor (4 & 5)
May Yahweh, the God of steadfast love and mighty deeds, show us his favor as he prospers his chosen people.
Occasionally we may hear other believers say something like, “Our prayers should be selfless, never for ourselves, but always centered on the needs of others.” This kind attitude can subtly cast a shadow of guilt over our hearts when we come to God with our personal desires and difficulties. What is God's will when it comes to presenting our own needs when we come to him in prayer?
As in so many areas of the Christian life, balance is called for. Consider Paul’s exhortation: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil. 4:6). Paul did not specifically direct us in this verse that our praying should be limited to requests for others rather than for our own concerns. In fact, his use of the word “everything” makes it clear that there is nothing about which we cannot talk with God. The apostle’s purpose in penning this exhortation was to encourage believers to spend more time in prayer, bringing to God whatever might be on our hearts.
The psalmist never hesitated to pray for himself: “Remember me, Yahweh, in your favor to your people; help me when you save them” (vs. 4). What matters to God is that we actually come to him and seek him in prayer whether it be to intercede for others or to bring to him our own needs. It is that personal relationship with those whom he loves that God eagerly desires and richly blesses.