Read Psalm 111
1 Praise the Lord.
I will extol the Lord with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
2 Great are the works of the Lord;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
giving them the lands of other nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
8 They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.
Psalm 111 is a reminder of God’s faithfulness to His people. In Genesis 12, God made a covenant with Abraham that promised him land, seed (offspring) and blessing. God keeps His word as He fulfills His covenant. Throughout this passage, we see God keep His promises, true to His word time and time again. The Lord remains faithful to His people and provides food, inheritance, and redemption. God has lifted His people up to display His splendor and glory.
The passage begins with a posture of gratitude. From this gratitude, David is moved to give thanks to the Lord. He describes the work of the Lord: gracious, merciful, full of splendor and majesty, righteous, powerful, faithful, just, and trustworthy. These are not just things God does, this is the character of our Savior. He is worthy of our praise as we remember His wonderful works.
Our God is not fickle in His promises to us. He does not hesitate to restore our brokenness. He is trustworthy. He is keeping His covenant as He consistently acts to rescue His people. This is the God we serve—a promise maker and promise keeper, a Holy God who delights in showing Himself even in the small things, and a rescuer of our sinful hearts.
All throughout the Word of God, we are encouraged to remember who God is and how He has worked in our lives. Joshua 4 is a practical example of stones of remembrance. In verses 6 and 7 we read, “When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” This is how the people of Israel reflected on God’s fulfillment and faithfulness to them.
Another tangible way we are called to remember is Luke 22:19-20: “And He took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, ‘This is my body which is given for you: do this in remembrance of me.’ Likewise, also the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.’” Remembering what God has done for us is our opportunity to praise Him.
- How can you tangibly reflect on God’s faithfulness in your life? Is it writing on physical stones? Keeping a gratitude journal? Telling your Life Group of ways God has redeemed you?
- Psalm 111:1 says “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart.” How is your heart divided? What else reigns in your heart that keeps you from wholeheartedly giving your thanks and praise to God?
- “In design, in size, in number, in excellence, all the works of the Lord are great. Even the little things of God are great” (Spurgeon). How has God shown himself in the small things to you?
“Faith deals with the invisible things of God. It refuses to be ruled by the physical senses. Faith is able to say, ‘You can do what you like, because I know God is going to take care of me. He has promised to bless me wherever he leads me.’ Remember that even when every demon in hell stands against us, the God of Abraham remains faithful to all his promises. Jesus Christ can do anything but fail his own people who trust him.”–Jim Cymbala
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1 thought on “Psalm 111”
Years ago and many times since, I’ve read 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Other than the Bible, no other book has impacted my life quite like it. Her challenge was to take the simple, the sacred, the suffering, all of our moments and turn them into thanksgiving to the Father. She explores how to live fully right where you are by sharing her real & raw personal experiences. Since then I’ve kept a gratitude journal and trained my eyes to see God in all of the good & bad days, turning it all into praise to Him. It’s something I must be intentional about, otherwise I default to self-pity and grumbling when the hard comes. Sarah Ban Breathnach aptly says “Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”