Psalm 111 is one of the acrostic Psalms. In the acrostics of the OT, each line or verse begins with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet, beginning with Aleph and ending with Tau.
This particular psalm of praise recalls the Exodus, the wilderness wanderings, and the conquest of the Promised Land. It is a beautiful picture of God’s ultimate conquest and deliverance of sinners, by grace through faith in the atoning sacrifice and resurrection of The Lamb of God, The Lord Jesus Christ.
- 111.1 Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.
Psalm 111 is one of the Hallelujah or Praise The Lord Psalms. This is a corporate psalm of praise to God for His faithfulness to His people and for the wondrous works He has done.
My whole heart- This speaks of the totality our being in worship of The Lord. Worship of God engages our minds, our affections and our wills. Worship engages our thoughts and emotions, as well as our voices. Worship of God is always vertical and with undivided affections; holding back nothing. Many of the expressions of worship in the psalms are described by verbs like, shout, lifting hands, clap, etc. Worship of God is passionate and from the depth of our heart.
In the congregation- While worship is a private matter. God has also designed gatherings for corporate worship.
The Lord Jesus Himself is an example of worship within the community of saints. The Messianic 22nd Psalm writes this about Jesus: **I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation. Psalm 22.22,25
- 111.2 The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.
The works of The Lord are great- They are great in number; great in magnitude; great in wisdom; great in goodness; great in intensity.
How great are the works of Him Who gives to every plant its leaf and flower and fruit; to every animal its faculties and functions; to every man his understanding, affections, and will. Samuel Summers
When we seek out the works of The Lord in both creation and redemption, they become a source of great delight and pleasure.
The testimony of the redeemed in heaven is:
- Rev 15.3 Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, thou King of saints.
God’s works are expressions of His character.
His majesty (vs 2); His glory and righteousness (vs 3); His grace and compassion (vs 4); His faithfulness (vs 5); His power (vs 6): His holiness (vs 9).
Have you lost that sense of the greatness and glory of God? Pray this
- Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3
- 111.3 His work is honourable and glorious: and His righteousness endureth for ever.
His work is honorable and glorious- literally, “Honor and glory is His work”; beloved, all that God does is honorable and glorious. Behold what He is doing right here and right now is honorable and glorious.
Every act of God is abounding with glorious majesty.
His righteousness- This of course ultimately points to Jesus Christ, The Son of God and His righteousness that endures forever. When we take The Lord’s Supper together this morning, we will be thanking God for His unfailing righteousness.
- 111.4 He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
Literally, “Memory hath he made for his wonderful works.” The highest and most appropriate exercise of memory is to retain and treasure the lessons that the works of God teach. God did not create a universe so that we would worship creation. He created the universe in order that we might marvel, and treasure and worship Him, The Maker of heaven and earth.
It is a sad commentary that we tend to forget what we are told remember, and remember what we are told to forget.
Gracious and full of compassion- This is The God that we worship, He is gracious and full of compassion. Jesus said, Follow Me. In other words, be like Me. May God baptize this body of saints to be a body that is following the example of Jesus by being gracious and full of compassion.
- 111.5 He hath given meat unto them that fear Him: He will ever be mindful of His covenant.
He will ever be mindful of his covenant – He will never leave or forsake His people; He will be faithful to all the promises that he has made to them.
Encouragement from the past: “He hath given meat.”
Confidence for the future: “He will ever be mindful.”
- 111.6 He hath shewed His people the power of His works, that He may give them the heritage of the heathen.
The power of His works. In other words, the works that only God can do. The gospel that we are remembering this morning as we partake of The Lord’s Supper is the power of God.
- Romans 1.16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
- 1 Corinthians 1.18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Heritage of the heathen- This is a reference to Jehovah giving the land of Canaan to Israel.
The church has no such earthly inheritance.
- Hebrews 13.14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. We are looking for that heavenly city that Jesus spoke about who’s builder and Maker is God (Hebrews 11.10).
- 111.7 The works of His hands are verity (absolute truth) and judgment (faithful and right); all His commandments are sure (fixed, established and trustworthy).
- 111.8 They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.
Truth and uprightness- God always acts according to the glorious principles of truth and integrity. There is no shadow of darkness in anything that God does. Whatever God has promised, He will bring to pass, in His way and in His time.
- 111.9 He sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant for ever: holy and reverend is His name.
Redemption- The psalmist has in mind the great acts of redemption that God performed in their past. Redemption is the gift of God that grants salvation from sin’s debt; sin’s penalty; sin’s condemnation and sin’s misery through the gospel of Jesus Christy.
The most spectacular work of God that is to be remembered (vs.4) is His work of redemption.
- In Whom we have redemption, even the remission of sins. Ephesians 1.7
Jesus said, speaking of The Lord’s Supper, do this in remembrance of Me. The Lord’s Supper is a covenant meal that is to be remembered.
Redemption is a fit theme for the heartiest music. Spurgeon
Reverend- Fearful, awe-inspiring.
His Name- His Name speaks of God in all of His attributes and perfections. God’s Name is to be revered because God is holy. (Isaiah 6; Revelation 4).
Only God’s Name is holy and reverend. There is absolutely nothing holy or reverend about either the name Raymond or Viola.
- 111.10 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.
Fear of The Lord- The proper response to all that God is and what He has done is one of reverential fear. To fear the Lord is to trust in Him, obey Him, and worship Him as God and Savior.
The fear of The Lord is both a shrinking back from the holiness of God out of a sense of awe, and at the same time, the fear of The Lord is an attraction to Him out of a sense of adoration and wonder.
Is the beginning of wisdom- Men can never begin to be wise until they begin to fear God. PhD’s. Degrees and diplomas do not make a person wise, the fear of God does.
A good understanding have all they that do His commandments. Where the fear of the Lord rules in the heart, there will be a delight and a desire to walk after His commandments; not to just talk of them, but to do them.
Do you want a life that is a snare and bondage? Fear man and desire the fallen thrills and pleasures of the world.
Do want a life that is blessed? Fear God and walk after His commandments.
- Blessed is the man that feareth The Lord, walks in His ways.
- Ecclesiastes 12.13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man
- His praise endureth forever- Revelation 4 & 5.
Today, we are observing the two ordinances that God has left for His church to observe. The Lord Supper and Water Baptism.
- But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 1 Corintians 1.30,31
In verses 5 and 9 we see reference to His covenant.
- Matthew 26.26-28 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
And now, let us prayerfully observe the power of God at work in the lives of these saints who are publically professing their faith in The Lord Jesus Christ.