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Daily Devotion – Setting the prisoners free

Psalm 146 (ESV)

Put Not Your Trust in Princes

146 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! 2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. 3 Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. 4 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. 5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, 6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; 7 who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; 8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. 9 The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. 10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!

When Jesus read Isaiah 61 in the synagogue, he was reading a passage that summarized an important theme found throughout the Old Testament: God will bring justice and freedom. Every faithful Jewish person would have known this, because they would have sung about this many times in the Psalms. Psalm 146 is a good example. Focus on verses 6 to 8, and compare them to what Jesus said in Luke 4:18. The key phrase is “The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down.” This refers to all of us when we are bowed down under the weight of our sin, and discouraged by our inability to do what God wants. It is when we recognize that we are “spiritually poor” that we become ready and willing to let Jesus fill us, lead us, and rescue us.