PSALM 111

1 Praise he the LORD, I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.

2 The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.  3 His work is honorable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.  4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.  5 He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will never be mindful of his covenant. 6 He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen. 

7 The works of his hands are verity and judgement; all his commandments are sure.  8 They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.  9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.  

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Commentary taken from Warren W Weirsbe’s book ‘BE Exultant’.

Life is not easy for the Jewish remnant that returned to Jerusalem after their exile in Babylon…… Ezra the scribe and the prophet Haggai describe some of these problems in their books and point out the Jewish people were not always faithful to the Lord or generous to each other.  This is why God withheld his blessing.  This psalm may have been written by one of the Levite’s to remind the people to put the Lord first and trust Him to meet every need.  The next psalm describes the blessings God will give to those who truly fear Him and do His will……The writer gives us 4 instructions to follow if we would enjoy the help and blessing of the Lord in the difficult situations of life.

     1. Begin With Worship and Praise (v. 1).  Psalms 111 and 112, along with 115-117, are “hallelujah” psalms that either begin or end with “Praise the Lord!”  If we cannot rejoice in our circumstances, we can always rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 4:4).  This opening verse is actually a vow; the writer is determined to praise God no matter what happens.  Sometimes we simply need to get ourselves by the nape of the neck and decide to do what is right no matter how we feel!  But he does not stay at home and worship in private, as important as that is; he goes to the sanctuary and joins in with others, for we encourage one another as we praise God together……All of us have people in church who are very special to us, and as long as we do not form an exclusive clique, there is nothing wrong with worshipping God with your close friends.  The “growth group” movement in the church today has proven very helpful, especially in larger congregations.  But the important thing is that we are wholehearted in our worship, giving God our very best.

     2.  Remember God’s Great Works (vv. 2-6).  God’s people do not live in the past, but they know how to use the past to give them encouragement in the present and hope in the future.  The celebrating of special days and weeks as commanded in Leviticus 23 was one way the Lord helped His people recall His great deeds on their behalf.  But even more, His works reveal His attributes, for like Him they are great (v. 2), glorious, majestic and righteous (v. 3), wonderful, gracious and compassionate (v.4), powerful (v. 6), faithful, just and trustworthy (v. 7), and holy and awesome (v. 9).  Who could not trust a God with that kind of character!……There are no “sacred places” where God dwells in some unique way, but there are special places where God can bring edifying memories to mind that will help us remember His greatness and grace.

    3.  Rely on God’s Word (vv. 7-9).  From the works of God it was an easy transition to the Word of God, for it is God’s Word that brought all things into being and that keeps things together (Ps. 33:6-11). God gave His law to His people so that they might enjoy His blessings……God’s Word is trustworthy, and we can rely on it……As for the covenant He made with Israel, He has been faithful to keep it even when Israel was not faithful to obey it.  If we obey His Word, He is faithful to bless; if we disobey, He is just to chasten us in love……”Reverend is His name says the KJV (v. 9), meaning “His name should be revered and held in honor.”  The Word “reverend” is usually applied to the clergy, but there is no biblical basis for this.  Both the NIV and NASV use “awesome.”  To the Jewish people, God’s name was so awesome that they would not speak the name “Jehovah” but substituted  “Adonai” lest they would inadvertently blaspheme His holy name……

     4.  Obey His Will (v. 10).  The awesomeness of God’s name leads to the importance of  fearing the Lord and obeying His will.  The fear of the Lord is a topic mentioned frequently in Scripture, especially in the book of Proverbs.  It is not the slavish fear of a criminal before a judge but the loving and reverential fear of a child for his or her parents. ‘If we want to understand God’s works and God’s Word, we must maintain this reverential fear of the Lord, for this attitude is the basis for receiving spiritual wisdom and understanding’……Fearing the Lord leads to obeying the Lord, and obedience is important to spiritual understanding (John 7:17).  How all this works out in our practical daily lives is explained in the next psalm.

“God’s Word is trustworthy, and we can rely on it.”  This is why it is so important to always make time to read your Bible daily.  He listens to us daily when we pray and we also need to allow Him to speak to us. 

I wish everyone a very blessed day. 

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