Thursday, April 21, 2011

Psalm 111

Praise for God's Tender Care

will sing my Maker’s praises and in Him most joyful be,
For in all things I see traces of His tender love to me.
~ Paul Gerhardt

 Psalm 111 is also entitled "Hallelujah - Praise the Lord!"  It is a hymn in praise of God, and it is written in an "acrostic" form having 22 lines, with each succeeding line beginning with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  We will see this again in expanded form when we study Psalm 119.
Biblical scholars believe that Psalm 111 was penned by David for the services of the church during their solemn feasts.  Through it, the psalmist exhorts us to praise God
  1. by setting himself as an example for us
  2. by furnishing us with matter for praise from the works of God
  3. and he recommends the holy fear of God and a conscientious obedience to His commands as the most acceptable way of praising God.  
Item #3 is very good food for thought, isn't it?  How well does my daily Christian walk reflect praise to God?
I will praise the Lord with my whole heart.
~ Ps. 111:1
He has made His wonderful works to be remembered. . .
He has declared to His people the power of His works.
~ Ps. 111:4,6
Matthew Henry notes that God's works are great like Himself; there is nothing in them that is mean or trifling

God works are the products of infinite wisdom and power

Psalm 111 is only 10 short verses, but holds such wondrous truths!  It
speaks of
  • God's wonderful works
  • His faithfulness to His covenant with His people
  •  the surety, truth and uprightness of His precepts
  • His redemption for His people
At the reading of this psalm, there is no other action than to praise His holy and awesome name!

We see once again the "fear of the Lord" mentioned - Ps. 111:10 is a well-known verse:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
~ Ps. 111:10

 As my Bible notes and we've seen in prior discussions, fear of the Lord is reverence and awe before Him.  True religion is a life that expresses its accountability to God.  This awareness of accountability to God is seen as the foundation of wisdom.
Men can never begin to be wise until they begin to fear God.
Where the fear of the Lord rules in the heart there will be a constant conscientious care to keep His commandments.   ~ Matthew Henry

  • God is worthy of our praise - with our whole hearts
  • God works are great, wonderful, powerful, everlasting
  • The works of God's hands are truth and justice
  • God's precepts are sure, everlasting, and done in truth and uprightness
  • God is our Redeemer
  • God is ever-mindful of His covenant and has commanded it forever
  • Holy and awesome is His name!
  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
On this Good Friday, how fitting to meditate upon a psalm that is full of praise to God!  May our hearts reflect on this day and the event that occurred over 2,000 years ago . . . and remember that it was the covenant God made with His people - to be their Redeemer - that He sent His Son to die for our sins.  As verse 9 says, He has sent redemption to His people.  By Christ's death on the cross and resurrection.  His praise endures forever!

Christ Jesus, You hung upon a cross and died for us
So that we might live for You.
Your body was broken and Your blood shed
So that we might be healed and made whole.
You were faithful unto death 
So that we might be faithful unto life.
Your last command was that we might love one another,
One family together from every tribe and nation,
A new creation united through Your sacrifice,
Redeemed by Your blood
Healed by Your love
United by Your covenant of peace
In Your death may we find life
~ Christine Sine

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