Psalm 111 – The worship of God.
Posted: 2 August 2012 in Psalms

Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation. The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant. He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen. The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. 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.

Although the psalmist gives specific reasons for worshipping God in this psalm, his central message is that he should be praised simply because he should be praised. There needs to be no motive beyond the fact that God is who he is. Nevertheless, this God has manifested his greatness in the world of men, and of history, so, as Paul says in Romans 1, those who would deny him, and withhold the worship which is his due, are without excuse. Amongst the more specific motives given for praising God are the commandments he gave unto men for their own good. Had they reverenced God and obeyed him, they would never have been cast out of Eden, but now we live in a fallen world.

The psalm ends with an observation which is a common biblical theme: Namely that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Measured by that standard, wisdom is a bit thin on the ground in today’s world.

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