Tuesday, February 13, 2024

2024.02.13 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 111:6–10

Read Psalm 111:6–10

Questions from the Scripture text: What has the Lord declared to whom (Psalm 111:6a)? How did He declare it? What else characterizes His works (Psalm 111:7a)? What is true of His precepts (verse 7b)? What do they do for how long (Psalm 111:8a)? What two characteristics of these appointments ensure this eternal longevity (verse 8b)? What has the Lord sent to whom (Psalm 111:9a)? What has He commanded (verse 9b)? For how long? What two things does this show about His Name (verse 9c)? What is the beginning of what in Psalm 111:10a? What do all who work have (verse 10b)? What endures forever (verse 10c)?

How is God glorified in His work? Psalm 111:6–10 prepares us for the opening portion of public worship on the Lord’s Day. In these five verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that God’s glorious power and steady faithfulness are glorified both in what He does for His people, and how He puts His praise in their hearts and on their lips. 

Glorious power, Psalm 111:6. When we were considering Psalm 111:1-5, we noted that the Psalm begins with the command to praise YHWH (Psalm 111:1a) and the commitment to praise YHWH (verse 1b). Now it is going to end with the statement that His praise stands forever (Psalm 111:60c). In this second half of the Psalm, there is a strong emphasis upon how His dealings with His people is the way by which He displays His glorious character. 

We saw the truth of Psalm 111:6 in a marvelous way in the Exodus. Providence had gathered the wealth of the world in the Egyptian superpower, but then the Lord brought Israel out with all of the treasures of Egypt. He is the real Superpower! And this will occur in a final and full way, when His saints inherit not just the broken and corrupted possessions of the rest of the world, but a totally remade world, with all of its new-creation richness (cf. Psalm 24:1; Matthew 5:5; 1 Corinthians 3:21–23). 

Steady faithfulness, Psalm 111:7-8Psalm 111:6 described the power of God’s works. Psalm 111:7-8 focus upon the faithfulness of God’s works. The works of His hands are truth and judgments (Psalm 111:7a, more literally translated). God’s work is an expression of Himself, like one’s words are an expression of himself. What He does is perfectly consistent with His character, perfectly consistent with truth. And it is not haphazard but deliberate—carefully and justly determined. “Precepts” is built upon a root that means “appoint.” Again, that which He puts into place is perfectly reliable. This is referring not only to what He has commanded us to do, but especially to what He Himself does. The enduring effectiveness of all of His works (v8a) is a consequence of the truth and righteousness in which He does it (Psalm 111:8b).

Awesomeness, Psalm 111:9-10. Again (cf. Psalm 111:5b), God’s covenanted (Psalm 111:9b) redemption (verse 9a) of His people is the way that He makes Himself known (verse 9c). It is how He “tells His Name” in space and time. And that Name is “holy and awesome.” The last adjective in verse 9c is the same root as the first noun in v10a. Recognizing YHWH’s glory is the first part of wisdom, because if we don’t understand whatever we see as from YHWH, and through YHWH, and to YHWH, then we haven’t begun to see it at all. 

A good understanding worships Him (Psalm 111:10a) and works for Him (verse 10b). While our version supplies “His commandments,” in the original, the word “works” stands alone in verse 10b. Wisdom both recognizes in worship and responds in work. The worship without the work is empty and failing to interact with the Lord as a Reality. The work without the worship fails to understand the reason for any reality at all. 

Finally, with the way the Spirit brings us into Psalm 111:10c, He is saying more than just that God will be praised forever. He is saying that God is saving and sanctifying a people who will worship Him and work for Him forever. YHWH’s praise endures forever, and it is especially in His redeeming His people that He shows forth His praise! So, let us tremble at His awesomeness, responding to Him with worship and with the work of our lives.

Where do you see moments of God’s great power? His steady faithfulness? At what times and ways do you respond with worship? What has been your experience of awe at those times? How are you responding with work?

Sample prayer:  Lord, You have declared Your power in giving to us the inheritance of the nations. Your works are true and just, and all that you have appointed is reliable. You do everything in truth and uprightness. Most of all, in redeeming us according to Your covenant, You display Yourself holy and awesome. Grant that by Your Spirit, we would be awed at You, responding with the worship and work that show forth Your praise, which we seek to offer through Christ, in Whose Name we ask it, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP111B “The Mighty Power of His Works” or TPH111A “Praise to the LORD! I Will Extol Him”

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