Psalms 111 & 112

Part 16

 

Psalms 111 and 112 are referred to as the twin Psalms, because there are many similarities between the two. For example:

 

  • Both are acrostic poems using the Hebrew alphabet.
  • Both start with the phrase ďPraise the Lord,Ē which means hallelujah in Hebrew.
  • Both consist of 20 lines and are arranged in 10 verses
  • Both complement each other because Psalm 111 is about greatness of God, and Psalm 112 is about the greatness and blessedness of the man who has the right attitude toward God.

 

Since both of these Psalms are closely related and complement each other, it is only fitting that they be studied together.

 

Psalm 111:1 Praise the LORD! I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.

 

As the writer expresses God is always worthy to be praised with our whole heart. God deserves nothing less. Notice, the writer was offering God his whole being when he was gathered with those like-minded in the congregation. While their worship in the O.T. was different than our worship today, we both have in common this idea of gathering together with those that are like-minded and righteous. As Paul writes:

 

1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free -- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.

 

Unlike those in the O.T. who gathered together at a specific place, we can gather together wherever we want because we make up that one body of Christ. When we do so, we honor our Father in heaven and show that we care and appreciate what Jesus did for us.

 

Psalm 111:2 The works of the LORD are great, Studied by all who have pleasure in them.3 His work is honorable and glorious, And His righteousness endures forever.

 

Those who love the Lord are going to learn as much as the can about Him and what He has done. Not only should we desire to learn about His great works, when we do, we will discover all that God has done for us and it will increase our faith and confidence in God. The Bible make it clear that everyone can know that He is our God and that He exists because of all the mighty works He has done:

 

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

 

No one today can honestly deny that mighty works of God as David rightly said:

 

Psalm 8:3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

 

When we consider the universe and how God designed it and created us, it should cause us to stand in awe and be thankful that God is involved in our lives and how He loved us enough to set forth a plan of salvation so that we might be with Him forever in eternity. As our writer said, Godís righteousness endures forever.

 

Psalm 111:4 He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and full of compassion.

 

Again, the Psalmist comments on the works of God and how He has made them to be remembered. The writer points out some of the characteristics of God such as God being gracious and full of compassion. To be gracious means to have a generous spirit, and no one can honestly deny that God has generous spirit and that He is full of compassion. While many examples can be given of Godís graciousness and compassion, the writer mentions two examples of it:

 

Psalm 111:5 He has given food to those who fear Him; He will ever be mindful of His covenant.6 He has declared to His people the power of His works, In giving them the heritage of the nations.

 

Most believe verse 5 is referring to when God fed the children of Israel in the wilderness even though they were rebellious at times, which is why it says that God was ever mindful of His covenant. The great thing about God, is that He will always keep His promises even when we do not. There are many times in Israelís history that really tested Godís patience, but He would never let His people be completely destroyed for the wickedness. That is why we can see that He is gracious and full of compassion.

 

Most believe verse 6 refers to the time of Joshua and how God made it possible for them to fulfill the land promise. They could not have accomplished this on their own, therefore is correct to say that God is the one the gave them the heritage of the nations.

 

In a similar way, God provides for us through His providential care, and we can be confident that we will have our inheritance in heaven because of the great work He did through His Son, which was one the greatest works He did because it made it possible for all of us to have salvation. We should always be comforted by the fact that God loves us, is gracious, has compassion on us because without those characteristics, we would all be in a lot of trouble.

 

Psalm 111:7 The works of His hands are verity and justice; All His precepts are sure.8 They stand fast forever and ever, And are done in truth and uprightness.

 

The word verity means faithfulness or truthfulness. The message is that when God did His works, they were always done in truth and for justice. God does not abuse His powers or do anything without a purpose. I am sure most of us have heard of the book the purpose driven life, which I have never read, but one could right a book title a purpose driven God because everything He does has a reason and a purpose.

 

Along this same line, His precepts or we could say commandments has a purpose as well, and we can count on them and know they are true. We can know that His truth as found in our Bible and will never be destroyed because His Word will be around forever.

 

Knowing that God is like this and this His Word is like this should motivate us to be more faithful and true. We should have no doubts that on the Day of Judgment that we will receive a fair trial because our judge is gracious and compassionate, but He is also just. We will be judged by the Word of God, and we cannot offer up excuses for our sin because everything we need to know about being pleasing to God is found in the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

 

One way that people are attacking the Bible today is by teaching that there is no absolute truth, but I here to tell that when it comes to Godís completed Word, it is absolute truth, and we can rely on it without any doubts.

 

Psalm 111:9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name.10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever. ††

 

The psalmist praised God for how He redeemed His people from the Egyptians. We can be just as excited if no more excited about how God has redeemed us from the power of sin through His Son. Truly, our God is an awesome God.

 

Verse 10, is so true because until you fear God that is show reverence to Him, you cannot become wise. When you lack reverence for your Creator, you will not listen to what He has to say and you end up disrespecting Him, and He will allow you do this, but when the Judgment Day comes everyone will show their reverence to God whether they are bound for heaven or hell.

 

Romans 14:11 For it is written: "As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God."12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

 

When we fear God, we will do our best to learn exactly what He expects from us, and we can gain wisdom by going to His Word and living our life by His commandments. As the writer ends his Psalm, His praise endures forever.

 

Psalm 112:1 Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who delights greatly in His commandments.2 His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed.3 Wealth and riches will be in his house, And his righteousness endures forever.

 

As with our previous Psalm, this Psalm starts out with the same phrase Praise the Lord!, which means hallelujah in Hebrew. This Psalm will focus on how great a man can be when He is faithful to God.

 

Again, this writer stress the importance of fearing God, and says that that He blessed when He does so. This same thought is given numerous times throughout different Psalms including the first one. Those who fear God, are going to have strong desire and love for studying God commands. If we find studying Godís Word as being boring or a time waster, then I can tell you do not have much respect for God, and you are not blessed.

 

The writer gives us some general examples of how God blesses those that fear Him. He says they will be mighty on the earth and that exactly what see happening with the children of Israel as long as the feared God. They were very successful, and managed to be in a position of power, but when they stopped fearing God, we saw how their kingdom was divided and destroyed. While they remained faithful, they had riches and they were considered to be righteous.

 

While this is not teaching that if you are faithful that you will be guaranteed to be physically rich today, but it does promise that we will be blessed. For some, it might be material wealth, but more importantly, every Christian will be rich spiritually. History shows that nations that fear God usually prosper, but when they push God out of their lives, they usually end up falling. Again, Israel is great example of this.

 

Think about our nation. Our nation was built on religious principle and our country has been very successful, but if we keep pushing God out of our lives as whole, we will most likely fall hard as well.

 

Psalm 112:4 Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

 

The ESV makes this easier to understand because it says:

 

Psalm 112:4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;

 

Many times the Bible refers to those things that are righteous or close to God as being in the light, and everything else is in the dark. So, those who are upright and follow the way of God are never in the dark. In fact, in the new testament we are taught to be a light for God by being reflection of Jesus.

 

As the Psalmist said, we are to be gracious, full of compassion and righteous. If you will remember these are the same characteristics that Psalm 111 said God had. The reason for this is because we are supposed to become like God as much as we can because we represent Him. So, if He is gracious, we must be gracious. If He is full of compassion, we must be full of compassion. If He is righteous, we must be righteous. Next, the Psalmist gives us some examples of how we can have these characteristics of God.

 

Psalm 112: 5 A good man deals graciously and lends; He will guide his affairs with discretion.6 Surely he will never be shaken; The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance.

 

Lending to those in need is not a new concept and it is taught to us in the NT as well. Of course, the N.T. usually holds us to a higher standard:

 

Luke 6:33 "And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.34 "And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.35 "But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.36 "Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

 

You will also notice that the Psalmist says that a good man will guide his affairs with discretion, which means that when he does lend, he will use sound judgment and not just lend to everyone that asks for a loan. This would apply to anything that we do. We should always examine what we do closely and pray about it because a rash decision is bound to be the wrong one.

 

As the Psalmist said, the righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. One example of this would be some of the faithful people we read about in our Bibles, but more importantly, God will remember us because our name will be written in the book of life.

 

Psalm 112:7 He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.8 His heart is established; He will not be afraid, Until he sees his desire upon his enemies.

 

Whenever respect God and live our life for Him, we will not fear those who are evil because we know that they can only destroy our physical bodies, but they cannot touch our souls. Since we have that assurance from God, our hearts will be steadfast as we put our trust in God.

 

When we have that kind of faith in God our hearts will be established, and nothing will shake our faith. Nothing will cause to be afraid before we see our enemies face the wrath of God.

 

Finally, the Psalmist says:

 

Psalm 112:9 He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted with honor.10 The wicked will see it and be grieved; He will gnash his teeth and melt away; The desire of the wicked shall perish.

 

Those that love God and follow His example are going to be gracious givers, and they will help those that they can. Giving to the needy is just one of many works that we can do to glorify God in heaven. When we mimic our Father in heaven, our righteousness will endure forever, and we will be exalted with honor.

 

When the wicked see the righteous prosper, they donít like it one bit, and it grieves them, but there is nothing they can do about. All they can do is gnash their teeth and melt away and their desires will melt away and perish.

 

This can happen to them while they are still living, but there is no doubt that it will happen to all the wicked at the end of time. Again, at the Day of Judgment, there will be a separation of the righteous and the wicked. The righteous will live forever in eternity, and the wicked will live forever in eternal torment, where their will be gnashing their teeth forever.

 

In conclusion, we have learned that God is worthy of our praise, and when we praise Him, we should do so with our whole heart. Just as God is gracious, full of compassion, and righteous, we should do best to be the same because without these characteristics, we cannot be pleasing to God. If we find that this is not important to us and we find Godís Word as being boring, then we do not fear God, and we will not be blessed. When we do fear God and we mimic His example, we will be blessed in this life and in heaven. So, I hope that you will fear God so that you can obtain the wisdom you need to make it to heaven and avoid the terrible place called hell.