Psalm 111

Psalm 111 is a hymn of thanksgiving to God for his goodness and deliverance.  This particular psalm does not focus on an individual’s delivery from evil, but rather retells the story of God’s deliverance of His people.  The writer kicks things off with a loud and joyous “Praise the Lord”!  There is much to be grateful for as our Lord is always good, all the time.  He reminds us that praise and thanksgiving is both personal, and a choice we must make.  “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation”.  The psalmist chooses to give thanks and does it publicly and before others.  That is what our praise should look like – bold and open before those in our patch.

The author then goes on to recall why God deserves that praise – His deeds are worthy:

  • Great are the works of the Lord
  • studied by all who delight in them
  • Full of splendor and majesty is his work
  • his righteousness endures forever
  • He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered
  • the Lord is gracious and merciful

This description is the high level view of God’s goodness.  He describes God’s wonderful works or deeds.  There is much to praise God for!

The Psalm goes on to become more personal and descriptive and brings the list of God’s actions down to the individual level.  Whether it is God providing food (“He provides food”) likely referencing the manna in the Wilderness, or giving them access to their covenant land (“giving them the inheritance of the nations”) referring to the Promised land, God has been good.  God gave them His Word (“all His precepts are trustworthy”) and set His people free (“sent redemption to His people”) by bringing them out of Egypt in the Exodus and wilderness wanderings.  The psalmist recalls the stories of God’s covenant relationship with His people which is the foundation for why God should be praised and thanked continually.

The chapter ends with the author reminding us of the promise God has made to His people.  “He has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name”!  God is an awesome God.  And as a result, the writer reminds us that He is worthy of our fear.  Fear in this use is about being in the presence of a holy God through a relationship of respect and reverence.  We need to be in an active and alive relationship with the God of the Bible and make sure we keep Him where He belongs in our life!

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