Thoughts on Psalm 111

Praise the Lord! 

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.

Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.

Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.

He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful.

He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.

He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations.

The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy;

They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.

He has sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever.  Holy and awesome is his name!

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.  His praise endures forever!

Psalm 111

There is so much spiritual nourishment in this tiny psalm!  I’m so glad my studies brought me to it today.  Let me share with you some thoughts about it.

Notice how the psalmist starts and ends the psalm by simply giving praise to the Lord.  Not a day goes by in which Jehovah does not deserve all of our praise and adoration!  To start each morning with a song or prayer of praise to the Lord on our lips would be a wonderful thing.

Then the psalmist gives thanks to God “with my whole heart.”  Friends, when we stop and think about all that God has done for us, it becomes increasingly clear how much we owe him and how much we have for which to thank him!  A penitent, upright heart is a grateful heart.  I do not find it a coincidence that the psalmist gives his whole-hearted gratitude to God “in the company of the upright, in the congregation.”  Brethren who together recognize just how much they owe God are quick to praise him together.

As verse 2 brings out, the works of the Lord are indeed great.  They do indeed delight us, even though we take them for granted.  Think about it.  Physically, we owe everything to God.  Every breath we take, every drop of water we drink, every morsel of food…it all comes from him.  Every luxury we have is because he allows it and opens doors providentially for us to receive it.  And for faithful Christians, his grace and mercy lovingly offers us eternal salvation from the hell we deserve!  Want your faith and gratitude to grow?  Study the works of the Lord, and delight even more in them.  They are indeed full of splendor and majesty, and worthy to be remembered.

The psalmist elaborates on just a few of them, and yet each of them are noteworthy because we depend completely on them.  His grace and mercy.  His benevolent providing of the necessities of life.  His willingness to stand by the covenant he has made with man.

Each and every day he shows us the power of his works!  The sun gives us life and heat due to his power.  We live, move and breathe every day because of the power of what he has going on behind the scenes to keep this universe sustained.  Nations rise and fall, and the benefits their citizens get from them are because God allows it.  We do not realize just how faithful and right his works truly are.  If God were not faithful, then how could any of us survive?  If he were not faithful and just, what hope of anything other than hell would we have?  I am so thankful that “all of his precepts are trustworthy.”  The more I come to obey them “with faithfulness and uprightness,” the more I come to trust that they truly are the right call!  How thankful I am that they are “established forever and ever.”

I’m even more thankful that Almighty God “sent redemption to his people.”  We didn’t deserve it.  We still don’t.  Yet he extends his grace to us anyway.  Let us receive his gift with faithful obedience!

His name is indeed “holy and awesome.”  Why besmirch it by taking it in vain?  Some translations have the word “reverend” instead of “awesome” in verse 11.  Why do we call some “reverend” when the term here is reserved as a just description of God?  Just a thought.

Finally, the psalmist is correct by citing the fear of the Lord as “the beginning of wisdom.”  Our society needs more fear of God and less pride.  I’ve yet to find someone who has truly acted foolishly while simultaneously showing true fear of God.