THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Psalms: God's Nurture Of The Inner Man In The Life Of Faith
CXI: Revering And Praising God For His Mighty Works
A. Psalm 111, an acrostic psalm designed around the Hebrew alphabet, calls believers to revere and praise the Lord for His mighty works (Ryrie St. Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Psa. 111), a simple but richly edifying practice.
B. We thus view this psalm for God's guidance in heeding the psalm's call that we similarily praise the Lord:
II. Prophecy Of The Messianic King-Priest, Psalm 111:1-10.
A. The verse numbering system in the Hebrew text matches that of the English Bible (Kittel, Bib. Heb., p. 1074), so we stay with the English Bible's numbering system for this lesson and mark the acrostic entries en route.
B. We thus translate Psalm 111:1-10 (as follows):
1. "Praise Jah[weh]. (Aleph) I will extol Jahweh with my whole heart (Beth) in the council of the upright and in the assembly," Psalm 111:1.
2. "(Gimel) Great are the works of Jahweh; (Daleth) they are pondered by all who delight in them," v. 2.
3. "(He) Glorious and majestic are His deeds, (Waw) and His righteousness endures forever," Psalm 111:3.
4. "(Zayin) He has caused His wonders to be recalled; (Cheth) Jahweh is gracious and compassionate," v. 4.
5. "(Teth) He provides food for those who revere Him; (Yodh) He remembers His covenant forever," v. 5.
6. "(Kaph) He has shown His people the power of His works, (Lamedh) giving them the lands of other nations," Psalm 111:6.
7. "(Mem) The works of His hands are faithful and just; (Nun) all of His precepts are trustworthy," v. 7.
8. "(Samech) They are steadfast for ever and ever, (Ayin) done in faithfulness and uprightness," Psa. 111:8.
9. "(Pe) He provided redemption for His people, (Sade) He ordained His covenant forever -- (Qoph) holy and awesome is His name," Psalm 111:9.
10. "(Resh) The fear of Jahweh is the beginning of wisdom; (Sin) all who follow His precepts have wholesome, good understanding. (Tau) To Him belongs eternal praise."
C. We consider significant observations regarding this psalm (as follows):
1. The specific works of Jahweh named in this psalm are (a) His provision of food for those who revere Him (v. 5a), (b) remembering His covenant forever (v. 5b) and (c) giving Israel the lands of other nations (v. 6).
2. These works, considered in the wide Bible context, are very great and extensive (as follows):
a. The Lord provided manna for 40 years for 2 million Hebrew people as they travelled in the barren wilderness, Ex. 16:35. Recalling from Numbers 14:22-34 that the vast bulk of this time was spent in God's causing the faithless generation to die off while a new generation took its place testifies not only of the great power, but of the great grace of God in preserving the nation for so long in such a miraculous way!
b. God's recollection of His covenant for ever (Psa. 11:5b) is seen in His redeeming Israel from Egypt after 400 years of bondage for recalling His Abrahamic Covenant (Ex. 2:23-25; 12:40-41). Then, His leading Israel by a cloudy pillar by day and a fiery cloud by night all during their travels to Canaan (Ex. 13:21-22) clarified He was in that time period always recalling so as to keep His Genesis 15:15-21 pledge to Abraham to bring his seed out of bondage to inherit Canaan, marked by a "smoking fire pot and a flaming torch" God initially used as He passed between the carcasses used in His covenant to Abraham! Finally, Revelation 12:1, 5 that recalls Joseph's Gen. 37:9-11 dream that further describes the Gen. 12:1-3 Abrahamic Covenant shows us God still has yet fully and literally to fulfill that covenant, producing our dispensational, premillennial and pretribulational view of prophecy. In other words, God is still recalling and will yet recall and fulfill that covenant at Christ's Second Coming and keep fulfilling it forever!
c. God's giving Israel the lands of other nations (v. 6) involved His not only giving Joshua and Israel victory over nations east and west of the Jordan River (Num. 21:10-35; Jos. 6:1-12:24), but doing so after these other nations had built houses, cities, farms, orchards and vineyards so that Israel only had to occupy them and not have to construct them with her own labor, Deuteronomy 6:10-11.
Lesson: The psalmist urged God's people to join him in revering and praising the Lord for His mighty works as seen in His provision of food, remembering His Abrahamic Covenant and giving Israel the lands of other nations.
Application: May we revere and praise God for His mighty works in our behalf today and in our blessed future!