Psalm 111 – God’s Works Are Awesome
Psalm 111:1-10 NIV
Praise the Lord. I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them.
Glorious and majestic are His deeds, and His righteousness endures forever.
He has caused His wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He provides food for those who fear Him; He remembers His covenant forever.
He has shown His people the power of His works, giving them the lands of other nations.
The works of His hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy.
They are steadfast for ever and ever, done in faithfulness and uprightness.
He provided redemption for His people; He ordained His covenant forever – holy and awesome is His name.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding. To Him belongs eternal praise.
When we are so stuck in our own troubles and ambitions, we fail to see God’s wonders. The Psalmist wrote this because he saw God’s wonders. We get so busy trying to improve ourselves but the beauty of God is right before our eyes.
Some believe Psalm 111 was intentionally placed before Psalm 112. The former talks about God’s almighty works while the latter talks about how blessed a person is if he or she follows God. Together, both psalms create a perfect picture of God and an upright person, father and child. Read both psalms together as a complete praise to God.
The Psalmist praised God and His works “with all my (his) heart” in the presence of others.
God’s great works are clear for all of us to see, and “pondered by all who delight in them”. We should take time to admire and think about God’s wonders. If we don’t do that, it reflects how little we appreciate God and our relationship with Him. It is a litmus test for us who claim that we believe in God. The Bible is full of true stories that amaze us with His wonders. Have we stopped reading about them and praising God for His wonderful acts? Or are we lost in our own works, proudly thinking that we are the ones who have created wonders?
God’s deeds and His righteousness are glorious and majestic. Do we think about what God has done for His people, especially each of us as individuals? Do we look upon His righteousness fondly, or as a pressure to us?
God “caused His wonders to be remembered” with His graciousness and compassion. He created many beautiful things in the universe, but it is Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, exhibiting His mercy and love that is the biggest reason why we remember His wonders.
I try to cause my daughters to remember my love too. When I return home from work every evening, my two youngest girls will be waiting at the door, ready to hug me. This is a little practice I created since they were young – giving each of them a tight five-second hug to remind them that I love them. It is a deliberate practice, to cause them to remember my love.
The Psalmist paired God’s provision of “food for those who fear Him” with His remembrance of His covenant. I believe He was making reference to Leviticus 24:8 NIV, “This bread is to be set out before the Lord regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant.” Food is still one of our most basic needs even though our many other needs today have become varied and even intangible. Our spiritual needs is God’s biggest concern, and He has provided that to us through Jesus, the Word.
God provided another basic need to the Israelites, “giving them the lands of other nations.” Formerly slaves from Egypt, they had no place to call home. God showed “His people the power of His works”, giving a nation with no war experience numerous victories over the Canaanites over the years. It was a demonstration of God’s power, as well as the provision of an important need for the Israelites.
God understands the needs that are important to us, and provides for us because He cares. He also demonstrates His power to us when He does so. Do you see His concern for you and His power? Do you trust His will?
“The works of His hands are faithful and just”; He is personally involved in our life. Like a daddy involved in building 'forts' and 'castles' with his children and in different aspects of their life, God’s hands work in our life. He wants to be continually involved in building us up because He is faithful.
All that God does is “done in faithfulness and uprightness”. He isn’t fickle-minded and selfish like us. His works are consistent, “for ever and ever”, in accordance to His will.
The Lord has “provided redemption” for us through the blood of Jesus. It is a covenant God has set with us; it is official, confirmed and everlasting. As long as we remain in Jesus, Jesus will remain in us.
We will have “good understanding” of our life and destiny if we follow God’s words. But that begins with the “fear of the Lord”. This is not a command to read our Bible daily, but it is to our loss if we don’t. Our fear of God and desire to gain wisdom should motivate us to read our Bible.
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit.