Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.

Psalm 146:3

Sonnet for Psalm 146

Governments and rulers cannot save us,
So why do we keep on hoping they will?
Time turns their plans and promises to rust –
Their engines of progress all become still.
No earthly leader will last forever,
And their promised castles, all made of sand,
Are subject to whims of tide and weather –
They offer nothing on which hope can stand.
Blessed, instead, those whose hope is in God.
From every nation, all generations,
They travel the road all pilgrims have trod – 
The safe narrow way to our salvation.
Let us trust God, who keeps faith forever,
Whose care for us is beyond all measure.


As I continue to write a sonnet based one of the psalms each week, I now turn to Psalm 146, which offers a clear and powerful reminder that princes and mortals are not where our help lies. Our political leaders are important, of course, and we should support and pray for them, but we shouldn’t put our ultimate trust or hope in any elected leader. Blessed are all who remember this, and whose final help and hope is in the Lord God alone.

Here, then, is an excerpt of Psalm 146, along with other scripture readings I had in mind when I wrote this sonnet, followed by the sonnet once again, and a closing prayer:

Psalm 146:1-6

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
    I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes,
    in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
    on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
    the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever.

Scripture Reading – 1 Timothy 2:2

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.

Sonnet for Psalm 146

Governments and rulers cannot save us,
So why do we keep on hoping they will?
Time turns their plans and promises to rust –
Their engines of progress all become still.
No earthly leader will last forever,
And their promised castles, all made of sand,
Are subject to whims of tide and weather –
They offer nothing on which hope can stand.
Blessed, instead, those whose hope is in God.
From every nation, all generations,
They travel the road all pilgrims have trod – 
The safe narrow way to our salvation.
Let us trust God, who keeps faith forever,
Whose care for us is beyond all measure.

Closing Prayer (From the Evangelical Lutheran Worship Hymnal)

Lord God, you call your people to honor those in authority. Help us elect trustworthy leaders, participate in wise decisions for our common life, and serve our neighbors in local communities. Bless the leaders of our land, that we may be at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

A picture I took while working on this sonnet during a visit to Sunset Beach, NC

6 thoughts on “Sonnet for Psalm 146

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