October 14, 2015.
Daily Reading: Psalm 111-113.
Background: Psalm 108-110.
Concepts and Connections.
Great are the works of the Lord: This psalm is an acrostic, meaning that each line in Hebrew beings with the successive letter in the Hebrew alphabet, and a psalm of praise to the Lord for His great works. Note that in the very beginning, the psalmist lays out his prose and gives thanks with his whole heart. Then he goes on to describe the works of God, full of splendor and majesty. His righteousness endures forever, He is gracious and merciful, He feeds those who fear Him. He is a champion for His people, showing them His power and continuing to be faithful and just. In verse nine the psalmist notes the redemption sent to His people, which was certainly a note of the redemption that He had brought to His people over the years, but was likely ultimately a reference to the redemption brought through His Son (see Matthew 1:21, Luke 1:68). Note that in the end, the psalmist affirms that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, for without a healthy understanding of who God is, we can never hope to be truly wise in this world. Wisdom must begin and be rooted in the fear of the Lord.
The steadfastness of the righteous: This psalm is another acrostic (see previous psalm) and describes the life of the righteous. Note that even though it is the righteous being described, the psalmist first praises the Lord, for it is from the Lord which righteousness stems. Further, the life of the righteous is first identified by one who fears the Lord and greatly delights in His commandments. Blessings then flow for those who are righteous, as their house is established and prosperity is gained. In all this, he still is gracious, merciful and righteous, dealing generously and lending to others.Then the heart of the message is reached, where we find the righteous standing steadfast, unable to be moved because of his trust in the Lord. He is not afraid or worried, but his heart is firm, for he knows that the Lord is in control. He gives freely- a verse that Paul quotes when he is teaching the Corinthians to be cheerful givers (see II Corinthians 9:9). The wicked see the righteous and are angry, but their desire will perish. Always, praise be to the Lord.
Praise the Lord: This is a psalm of praise to the Lord, lifting Him up and glorifying His name. The psalmist sings for joy in the blessing of the name of the Lord, for He is worthy to be praised. He is high above the nations, and His glory shines. There is none like He who is seated on high, none to compare. He raises the poor and tends to the needy. He gives the barren children, bringing joy to her house. Let us ever praise the Lord, for He is worthy to be praised from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Proverbs 28-29.
Praise the Lord.