111:1 Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
111:2 Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them.
111:3 Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.
111:4 He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the LORD is gracious and merciful.
111:5 He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
111:6 He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.
111:7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.
111:8 They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
111:9 He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name.
111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.
This Psalm begins with a call to always praise God with a righteous and honest heart. Our worship is not to be done so that we are drawing the affection of others. We are to praise God because we genuinely want to worship Him for who He is because He is worthy to be praised.
There is much reason to praise God and as followers of Christ, we are to exemplify that praise by living a life that honors and pleases Him. This Psalm brings to light a call to praise God through our obedience to Him. Each day we are faced with making choices in our lives that will either show Christ-likeness or the complete opposite. Praising God is not just to be reserved for corporate worship in Church. It is to be shown in our lives and through our thoughts, actions and deeds.
God sets the example of what it means to follow after Him. He has shown us through the work of creation and the many blessings in our lives that He is worthy to be praised. We ought to pray for a stronger desire each day to love and worship the things of God and seek to show others that He is living in our hearts.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.
When I was a child I feared my father. He was big, strong, and doled out spanking when needed. Many people have a similar remembrance of their fathers. Yet we loved our fathers. We feared our fathers but we respected them as well. As we grow into adulthood we slowly lose the fearful aspect of this relationship but we still respect our fathers. We understand that their instructions and their discipline was for a reason.
Like our earthly fathers, the Lord gives us instructions. He gives us life parameters to live by. Unfortunately, at times he has to do the disciplining as well. But we learn from these lessons. We accumulate life experience and we being to understand the wisdom of the Lord. We go from obedience to understanding. The goal of obedience is to one day bring life and understanding.
As Christians it is right to love the Lord but it is healthy to recall that God is a good father who trains up His children. We aught to have a healthy level of fear and respect for the Lord. My mother used to say the old line “I brought you into this world, I’ll take you out.” While she said this is jest, God really does have the power of life and death. We should not test the Lord.
[Featured image from livingwords.in]