Great Are the Lord’s Works
111 Praise the LORD!
I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the LORD,
studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the LORD is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!
Psalm 111 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Redemption: An act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake; the state of being redeemed; deliverance, rescue; Within theology – deliverance from sin; salvation.Dictionary.com
There are many different images within Psalm 111 which speak toward the rescue of God. Two worth noting are the deliverance from Egypt and the return from the Israelite’s captivity of Babylon. Consider then the definition of redemption. In both cases, these were redeemed from a mistake the people had made. They were delivered and rescued in the timing of God.
The reality is until Jesus came, all of humankind was held hostage to their sin. Through His sacrifice, He paid the price for our freedom to those who believe in Him and His name, accepting Him as Savior. Before Jesus gave of Himself, people were caught in the Old Covenant of laws and rules. Sin was atoned for but briefly. Through Jesus, sin is dealt with once for all! We who are people living in redemption can approach our God freely through the blood of Jesus.
The redemption for each of us deeply personal. Our stories, our histories all make up who we are. When Jesus redeems us upon our confession of sin and acceptance of faith – we too have such stories of being released from the bondage of our own Egypt. We too have the testimony of Him releasing us from our captivity of Babylon where our choices landed us. His grace is amazing. His mercy unending. His redemption all-encompassing.
Psalm 111 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His instructions have good insight. His praise endures forever.Psalms 111:10 HCSB
Do you have good insight? The NASB translates it as “A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.” Let’s dig deeper into that illustration. The passage states that you cannot begin down the path of wisdom until you have bowed down in humility to the Lord. The fear of the Lord is not just wisdom. It is the beginning of wisdom.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.Proverbs 9:10 NASB
That word “beginning” can also be translated as “chief,” “primary,” or “principle.” The word wisdom can also be translated “abiding success” or “victory.” In other words, it’s not just any wisdom that an intellectual person may possess, but rather, the chief victory for our lives! This is why the HCSB (one of my favorite translations) uses the phrase “insight.” When you think about that term, it brings to mind a certain type of revelation that was otherwise missing or absent. So, when we dig deeper into the relationship between these two concepts (fear and wisdom), we discover that it is a very specific type of insightful spiritual victory and it is always preceded by fearing God.
What is fear? In this context, it means obedience. The first half of verse 10 is general and the second half is practical and specific. It answers the question of, “How do we fear God in order to gain wisdom?” Follow His instruction. Do His commandments. Honor Him with your life – not just in word – but in deed as well. Those who seek to align their ways with the Lord’s ways will be given spiritual insight and victory through Christ!
I believe this is missing in the church body these days. There are many people who believe in Jesus but cheaply accept His grace without considering the cost to follow. How do we know if we are such people? If we are lacking spiritual growth (i.e. – greater humility, more compassion, an eagerness to sacrifice, a heart for service, etc.) then maybe we are not understanding the immense cost that Jesus paid for us. If we did, fear would follow, obedience would flourish, and we would experience victory and fruitfulness.
All of us have rough edges and experience valleys in our faith. But Jesus commends the one who perseveres to the end, continually seeking the Lord by faith, and walking in joyful obedience to the best of their ability. Does this describe you?