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Bible Commentaries

The Pulpit Commentaries
Psalms 111

 

 

Verses 1-10

EXPOSITION

ANOTHER "Hallelujah psalm," and at the same time an "alphabetic psalm." It has been called a "twin psalm" with the one which follows (Psalms 112:1-10.), and beyond all doubt closely resembles it. Both begin with "Hallelujah;" both are alphabetic; both consist of twenty lines, arranged into ten verses. The one is the complement of the other; while Psalms 111:1-10. "sets forth the greatness mercy, and righteousness of God," Psalms 112:1-10. is concerned with "the reflection of these in the happiness, beneficence, and righteousness of God's servants" (Kay). The two together seem to have been in tended to form an introduction to the "Hallel," or chant sung at the Passover, at Pentecost, and at the Feast of Tabernacles, which consisted of Psalm 113-118.

Psalms 111:1

Praise ye the Lord. Scarcely a part of the psalm—rather a heading or introduction. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart (comp. Psalms 9:1; Psalms 119:34, Psalms 119:58, Psalms 119:69). "With my whole heart" replaces the "greatly" of Psalms 109:30. In the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation. Professor Cheyne translates, "in the council and assembly of the upright;" and it seems to be generally allowed that two distinct assemblies are not spoken of, but that the one congregation of the faithful is designated by two names. Thus the Prayer-book translation is wrong.

Psalms 111:2

The works of the Lord are great. Not his material works, but the doings of his providence (see Psalms 111:3-9). Sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. Searched into and carefully studied by all who take an interest in such things. Derushim, "objects of study," is etymologically connected with madrasa, a college, a "place of study and research."

Psalms 111:3

His work is honorable and glorious; literally, honor and glory; but our translators have rightly paraphrased. And his righteousness endureth forever; i.e. his just and righteous dealing with all his creatures.

Psalms 111:4

He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered; literally, a memorial hath he made for his wonders; i.e. he has so done them that they cannot cease to be had in remembrance. Memorial institutions, like the Passover, are scarcely glanced at. The Lord is gracious and full of compassion; or, "compassionate" (comp. Psalms 103:13).

Psalms 111:5

He hath given meat unto them that fear him. The manna may be primarily in the writer's mind, but he is also thinking of the "food given to all flesh" (Psalms 136:25) continually. He will ever be mindful of his covenant. The covenant with Abraham, made "to a thousand generations" (Psalms 105:8).

Psalms 111:6

He hath showed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen; rather, in giving them. God manifested his power to Israel very specially by causing them to overcome the many strong Canaanitish nations, and to take their lands and labors in possession (Psalms 105:44). This was one of the greatest of his "works," or "doings."

Psalms 111:7

The works of his hands are verity and judgment. All that God does is right and just—"done in truth and uprightness" (Psalms 111:8). All his commandments are sure; i.e. firm, unchangeable—being based on truth and right.

Psalms 111:8

They stand fast forever and ever. This is exegetical of the "sure" in Psalms 111:7. In the sense in which they were given—the spiritual sense underlying them—not one jot or tittle of God's commandments ever passes away (Matthew 5:18). And are done in truth and uprightness; rather, being done. It is the intrinsic truth and equity of the commandments that render them ever lasting and unchangeable (see Cudworth on 'Immutable Morality').

Psalms 111:9

He sent redemption unto his people. The "redemption" from Egypt (Exodus 6:6) is perhaps especially in the writer's mind, but he may be thinking also of other deliverances. He hath commanded his covenant forever (comp. Genesis 9:12; Genesis 17:13; Exodus 31:16, etc.). Holy and reverend is his Name. Intrinsically "holy," and therefore "reverend," or to be reverenced.

Psalms 111:10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (comp. Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10; Ecclesiasticus 1:16; and also Job 28:28). The meaning seems to be that "the beginning of wisdom is not found in keen insight, nor wide experience, nor the learn-hag of the schools, but in the temper of reverence and awe. The fear of the finite in the presence of the Infinite, of the sinful in the presence of the Holy, self-abhorring, adoring, as in Job's confession—this for the Israelite was the starting-point of all true wisdom" (Dean Plumptre). A good under standing have all they that do his commandments; literally, that do them; but the "commandments" of verse 7 are, no doubt, intended. His praise endureth forever. The praise "of him," not "of it," as in the Prayer-book Version. As he had begun (verse 1), so the psalmist ends, with Jehovah's praise.

HOMILETICS

Psalms 111:1-10

The work of God and the wisdom of man.

The uniting thought in the psalm is the work of God. It is evident (see Psalms 111:5, Psalms 111:6, Psalms 111:9) that the writer has in view those special manifestations of Divine power by which the people of God were delivered and preserved. But we may well give a much wider application to the thought; we therefore think of—

I. THE FOURFOLD WORK OF GOD.

1. In the broad field of nature; in the creation and formation of the earth and the heavens; in the agency of the sun and moon, of light and heat, of rain and dew, etc.

2. In the spiritual nature of men; in the instincts, aspirations, affections, capacities of man.

3. In the guidance of our individual life, and in human history.

4. In the redemption of the world by Jesus Christ. Everywhere, in the heights and the depths, around us and within us, all along the course of our human history, we see the handiwork of God: most, and best of all, in the redeeming death of his Son, our Savior, and in the life-giving energies of the renewing Spirit.

II. Four DIVINE ATTRIBUTES OF WHICH IT SPEAKS. "His work is honorable and glorious" (Psalms 111:3). It speaks of:

1. Divine power (see Psalms 111:6). In this sense God's works are "great" (Psalms 111:2); immeasurably surpassing our puny efforts.

2. Divine wisdom. They are "wonderful" (Psalms 111:4). The keeping of the planets in their orbits, the covering of the earth with fertile soil, the life and growth of tree and flower and fruit, the organization of the animal, the expansion of the human mind, the fitness of the gospel for the large and deep necessities of the human soul,—what depths of Divine wisdom are here!

3. Divine faithfulness (Psalms 111:5, Psalms 111:7, Psalms 111:8). All that God promises he does; he gave food to eat and water to drink in the wilderness; he has not allowed "seed-time or harvest to fail." He adds all needful things to those who seek first his kingdom. He is with us in the deep waters of affliction, and does not allow them to overflow us. It is the unvarying testimony of the good in every age that "God is faithful;" that he is "mindful of his covenant."

4. Divine goodness (Psalms 111:4). God has so ordered our human life that fatherly kindness, motherly tenderness, friendly affection, filial attachment, philanthropic pity and beneficence, Christian compassion, enwrap our souls, and shed their radiance on our life; and surely these are not the least of his "works."

III. THE FOURFOLD RESPONSE IT EVOKES.

1. Inquiry. The works of the Lord are "sought out" (Psalms 111:2). There is no worthier, no happier, no more elevating pursuit than the study of the works of God. In whatever field we are engaged we reap valuable fruits for our toil; more especially do we gather good to ourselves when we search those Scriptures which record his government of the world and the redemption of our race.

2. Reverence. We cannot study God's work in any sphere that is open to us without concluding that "holy and reverend is his Name;" that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalms 111:10). If "the undevout astronomer is mad," it may be truly said that the irreverent geologist, physiologist, historian, philosopher, is mad also. A hasty or a one-sided inquiry may lead to atheism, but a prolonged and unbiased search conducts to reverence and awe. As "knowledge grows from more to more," there will "more of reverence in us dwell."

3. Obedience. "A good understanding," etc. (Psalms 111:10). Men who make no response to God for all his goodness and love to them may be very "smart" and clever, but they outwit themselves; they are continually declining the one thing-devotion, obedience to God—which hallows, enlarges, and enriches human life. On the other hand, men may be very simple, unlikely to rise to eminent positions, and ill adapted to conduct great affairs of the city or the state, but they may have that reverence for God and that readiness to do and bear his will which make any and every human life both beautiful and blessed. The fear of God is the very foundation of wisdom, and they who do his will have a soundness of understanding which the most learned and the most astute may envy.

4. Praise. (Psalms 111:1.) Thanksgiving

HOMILIES BY S. CONWAY

Psalms 111:1-10

The works of the Lord.

This is the theme of the psalm. These works are named six times in this short psalm. They are the occasion and cause of the fervent praise, and exhortation to praise, with which the psalm begins. It is one of the nine alphabetical psalms; that is, psalms so arranged for aiding the memory. Psalms 119:1-176. is the most conspicuous instance of this. In the psalm before us the alphabet is not complete. An interesting and instructive study is to reproduce in English this same structure, being careful not to alter the sense. It has often been done. The psalm opens with a summons to all to praise the Lord, and declares the psalmist's purpose to do so himself, both amongst those who sympathized with him—"the assembly of the upright"—and amongst those, many of whom did not—"the congregation." It is easy to praise the Lord amongst people who are all of the same mind as ourselves, but not so easy where there is indifference or hostility. But the psalmist declares that amid both he will praise the Lord. And the inspiration of his praise is the works of the Lord. He makes six affirmations concerning them.

I. THEY ARE GREAT. (Psalms 119:2.) There can be no question as to this, whatever true test of greatness we adopt—motives, methods, spirit, results. Especially is this true of God's chief work in the redemption of man by our Lord Jesus Christ. But it is true everywhere, in nature, providence, grace. The question for us to consider is—Are they great to us? Too many men despise them, "make light of it."

II. "SOUGHT OUT OF ALL THEM THAT HAVE PLEASURE THEREIN." Those who have pleasure in any study are the first to welcome any fresh light on their particular department of inquiry. And so in regard to the work of God in our own souls; if we know that work truly, then the study of like work of God will ever be pleasing to us. If we do not care for such study, it is an argument to prove not only that we have no pleasure, but also no part therein. Thus may we test ourselves.

III. "HONORABLE AND GLORIOUS." (Psalms 119:3.) This is how God's works may ever be recognized. What is otherwise is not his work. It is as the psalmist here affirms, both in regard to God and man, in regard to righteousness and mercy alike. The motive from which it sprang, the manner in which it was accomplished, and the result that follows, all deserve the praise here given.

IV. THEY ARE TREASURED UP IN MEMORY. (Psalms 119:4.)

1. This is so in regard to his work of mercy. Probably some great manifestation of God's grace led to this psalm. But especially God's great work of mercy in Christ—that is remembered and told of everywhere.

2. And so in regard to his judgment-work. Such as the Flood, the overthrow of Pharaoh at the Red Sea, the fall of Jerusalem, and other such awful displays of God's judgment. Because the Lord is gracious and full of compassion, he makes them to be remembered, that so we may not bring like judgment on ourselves.

3. His work of grace. If that has been done in our soul, we can never forget it.

V. THE POWER OF THEM HE HATH SHOWED TO HIS PEOPLE. (Psalms 119:6.) The Divine power, that they may have strong confidence in God, and go courageously forward to possess the heritage of the heathen.

VI. THEY ARE WORKS OF VERITY AND JUDGMENT. There is no crooked, insincere policy about them, no lack of righteousness or equity. Let our works be as his.—S.C.

Psalms 111:5

Meat given to them that fear the Lord.

I. LITERALLY, THE DECLARATION OF THE TEXT IS TRUE. Each harvest as it comes round, the daily supply of needed food, all are in evidence to support the declaration. Three facts are noted concerning this.

1. It is the Lord who is the Giver. To speak as so many do about nature and law, as if they were the producers of our food, is merely an evasion, and a not always creditable one, of the real truth.

2. The gift is the special mark of the Divine favor to his people. At once the reply arises—But are not the wicked fed as well as, and often better than, the good? Yes, this is so; but as Sodom would have been spared had there been found ten righteous men in her, so the world of the godless is spared and fed for the sake of the people of God, the salt of the earth. Without these, wherefore should God keep the world going? Therefore, though the ungodly do share, and more than share, these Divine supplies, they do not take them as gifts from God at all; still less do they believe what is the truth, that it is not for their sake, but for the sake of "them that fear him," God vouchsafes these supplies. "All things are yours," said St. Paul to the believing people of God; and his word but echoes the truth before us now.

3. They are proofs of God's faithfulness and truth. He never fails to do his part, though at times, by the cruelty and mismanagement of men, the portion of meat designed for some of his children gets terribly diminished, and even intercepted altogether. But it is the duty of them that fear God to do their best to bring such wrong to an end.

II. SPIRITUALLY ALSO IT IS TRUE. We are authorized by our Lord to take the food of the body as symbol of the food of the soul; and so read, the text is still true, and, indeed, more so than read literally.

1. Christ is that living Bread. (John 6:1-71.) And as bread is that one food which all partake of because it ministers to the physical needs of all; so Christ, the Bread of life, meets the deeper spiritual needs of all, of every age, clime, rank, character, condition.

2. And how freely and abundantly it is given, and how indispensable is it likewise!

3. But as the bread for the body, so this Bread of life must be eaten, not merely talked about, if it is to do us any good. We must receive Christ into our hearts by a true faith, and we must do this day by day continually. If we do this we shall know how true the text is.—S.C.

HOMILIES BY R. TUCK

Psalms 111:1

The duty of witnessing in public for God.

The terms used seem to include the narrow and the wider spheres in which our witness for God may be, and should be, made. The Prayer-book Version brings out this point. "Secretly, among the faithful, and in the congregation." It is a point with the psalmists that God's praise can be no private thing merely, no personal indulgence or enjoyment only. If a man feels thankful to God, if a man recognizes his indebtedness to God, if a man is impressed with the greatness of God or the goodness of God, he lies under the solemn obligation to say so to somebody. If he is a sincere man, he feels the impulse to say so to somebody. He will even want to speak of these things to everybody whom he can reach. The sentences of the fortieth psalm may be taken as characteristic of the psalmists, and there is something guileful in the man who is unable or unwilling to recognize this duty of publicly witnessing for God. "I have not hid thy righteous ness within my heart: my talk hath been of thy truth, and of thy salvation. I have not kept back thy loving mercy and truth from the great congregation."

I. EACH MAN HAS A PUBLIC SPHERE OF HIS OWN. A circle outside himself, of which he is himself the center. Every man, in his own particular public sphere, is bound to make his witness for God. It is the same thing to say that every man must come into relationship with others outside himself; and these relations constitute his first public sphere. It may be a friendship. It may be the marital relation. It may be a family. It may be a business or social circle. If a man is for God, he must be active and voiceful for God in those first spheres. Illustrate by the stone thrown into a pond: it influences the waters that touch the shores only through influencing the little circle of waters just where it fell, and so on and on, through ever-widening circles.

II. EACH MAN HAS A PLACE IN THE GENERAL PUBLIC SPHERE, The congregation is made up of individuals, and the enthusiasm of each goes to make the enthusiasm of the whole. The congregation is no mere mass of receptivity. That mistaken notion spoils much of public worship. The congregation, as an aggregate of individuals, should make common witness, by praise, thanksgiving, and testimony. But the testimony that is healthy, and inspiring to others, is testimony for God and concerning God; not that weak and enervating thing, testimony concerning individual feelings and experiences.—R.T.

Psalms 111:2

Good will towards God guiding the search for God.

"Sought out of all them that have pleasure therein." "The pleasure in God's works is in germ the best incentive to thoughtful search, and in fuller measure its sufficient reward." In regard to man's search for God, it may be properly said that what he finds depends on what he seeks, and the spirit in which he seeks. This, indeed, is true even of scientific research. A man must know what he is looking for, or he will find nothing intelligent in the revelations of telescope or microscope. A man writes, "I have searched the heavens for God during fifty long years, and have never found him yet." He did not believe there was a God, and so he never would find him. Let a man want to find God, and his search will be fully responded to. God is revealed, God reveals himself, to moral moods, and not to mere intellectual research. Souls find God, not eyes or minds.

I. GOD'S WORKS ARE BEYOND THE REACH OF WISE INTELLECTS. Men by their science can find out things, and account for the forms of things. But they cannot explain the meanings of things, or the relations of things. Nothing in the world is more uncertain and untrustworthy than wise men's theorizings. The most humiliating book could be written on the 'History of Exploded and Worn-out Theories.' Illustrate by referring to "certain cruel and loathsome practices of the animal world—as, for example, those of apes, dogs, frogs, the barbarity of the cat to the mouse, the thefts of the eagle from the fish-hawk, the rapture of nests by stronger birds who turn out their original tenants to die of cold and slow starvation, the enslaving of the black ants by the red, and sundry other habits which shock our sense of justice or of decency." The intellect of man, without guidance from the sense of God, has never found the meaning of such things. The key to them is hid from the wise, who in fact blind themselves by refusing to carry to the consideration of such things those truths concerning God which are "spiritually discerned." Nature in only an open secret to the God-fearing man.

II. GOD'S WORKS ARE WITHIN THE REACH OF LOVING HEARTS. These only are prepared to think kind things, loving things, trustful things. When we have right apprehensions of the infinitely wise and gracious Doer, such apprehensions as enable us to set our love upon him, we simply refuse to accept explanations of nature-mysteries that are dishonorable to him. They cannot be true. We pass them by. There is something better to be "sought out." Our good will toward God will keep us from resting content with anything that is unworthy of him; and we search on, assured that mystery will yield at last to love.—R.T.

Psalms 111:5

The excellency of the Divine memory.

"He will ever be mindful of his covenant." To the Jewish mind it was a source of constant satisfaction that Jehovah was actually under covenant-pledge to his people. Every look-back over the history of his race brought to view the fact, again and again, that Jehovah kept his covenant in mind. This, no doubt, seemed the more striking to him, because that same review of the history of the race revealed the fact that Israel had not kept in mind his covenant-pledge; but Jehovah's mindfulness of his covenant stood out in strong contrast with the people's unmindfulness of their covenant. See how this Divine memory of covenant becomes a ground of consolation and strength to the psalmist.

I. THE DIVINE MEMORY ENSURES PROMPT AND EFFICIENT HELP IN OUR TIMES OF NEED. It is memory of a solemn pledge to defend and succor. Illustrate by the influence which a vow, or pledge, or covenant has upon us. Illustrate by the free mason, who so solemnly pledges brotherly help to his brother freemasons wherever he may meet them. Long years after, and in distant lands, he meets a needy brother, remembers his covenant, and at once gives help and comforting and guidance. Whensoever his people are in need, God may be thought of as remembering what he has pledged. For his pledge we must look back to his entering into covenant with Abraham, and his renewing covenant with Isaac, Jacob, and Moses. What Jehovah promised to be to Israel, the Father of Jesus has promised, in the new covenant, to be to us. To see the importance of the Divine memory, we should conceive what our condition would be if our God were forgetful, and willingly disregarded his promises, on which we are permitted to hope. It would be sad and hopeless indeed if we were left to keep God in mind of what he has given us to rely on. There is always rest in the confidence we have in his faithfulness. He ever "remembers his word unto his servants."

II. THE DIVINE MEMORY IMPLIES DIVINE TRIUMPH OVER HUMAN UNFAITHFULNESS. The old covenant was broken by Israel, and so God was relieved of his pledge. No one could have complained if God had refused to recognize any further obligations. That he does remember his covenant is a triumph of Divine love, which will not be frustrated, in its beneficent designs, even by man's sin. Man may forget, God will not. The glory of Jehovah, and of Jehovah-Jesus, lies in this triumph of persistent redeeming love over all our failure, neglect, and transgression.—R.T.

Psalms 111:8

The distinction between truth and uprightness.

"Are done in truth and equity" (Prayerbook Version). The usual contrast to equity is "justice." Justice represents the absolute right according to standard; equity represents the practical application of justice with due consideration of circumstance. Or we may say that justice is right in the sight of God, equity is right between man and man. This distinction seems to be expressed in the words of the text, "truth" and "uprightness." Truth stands for the absolutely right. Uprightness stands for the practically right. Truth God appraises, who can read heart and motive. Uprightness man appraises, who can only estimate conduct.

I. THE WORKS OF GOD JUDGED BY THE ABSOLUTE STANDARD. "They are done in truth." There is no standard of truth or of righteousness separate from and independent of God. God himself is the Standard. We learn it by observing the things he has done. He has made his own standard. It is far above, out of reach, beyond our criticism. It embodies and expresses every virtue that we can imagine, and we look to find that all God's works are up to the standard which God himself has set. But this comes to bewilder men It is vague, speculative. Men cannot grasp any absolute things; and God's standard for himself is beyond intellectual grasp or imaginative setting. Therefore the absolute standard of truth and right is shown to us in the Person, words, and works of the Divine Son, the "Man Christ Jesus." And we can take that standard, apply it to the various works of God wrought in all the ages, and concerning everything we may say, "All his works are done in truth." It is so with the great work of redemption.

II. THE WORKS OF GOD JUDGED BY THE PRACTICAL STANDARD. The practical standard is the conception of righteousness and right, as between man and man, which is entertained in each particular age and nation. It is never perfect; but it always represents the highest and best thought attainable. Now, the psalmist is confident that all God's works, in their age, and in all ages, will even bear the testing of men's standards. They are done in "equity" as well as in "truth."—R.T.

Psalms 111:9

Reverence for the Name.

"Holy and reverend is his Name." "Reverend" here means "worthy of reverence." Horace Bushnell has a striking sentence: "This age is at the point of apogee from all the robuster notions of Deity." And therefore this age is an irreverent age. Even in the shaping of religious beliefs there are signs of undue familiarity with God. And that undue familiarity explains much of the weakness of Christian living, and lightness of Christian worship. The nineteenth century lacks awe of God.

I. JEWISH REVERENCE FOR THE NAME. Explain that in older times a name was supposed to gather up, and suggestively express, the attributes of a person. Moses asked for a name which would express God—stand for God to the people. And though the word given him was, properly, a declaration of fact rather than a name, it came to be treated as God's Name, and such a superstitious reverence for it grew up, that the Jewish people persisted in altering the vowels of it, so that never, by any accident, should they pronounce the hallowed Name. There was at least the danger of their coming to reverence the Name, rather than the Divine Being who was represented by the Name. If they did, their honoring of God was but a helpless and degrading formalism. A proper reverence for the sacred Name was enjoined in the third commandment (Exodus 20:7); and such reverence was characteristic of all loyal and saintly souls. See Abraham (Genesis 18:22-23); Jacob (Genesis 32:29); Moses (Exodus 3:13, Exodus 3:14); Joshua (Joshua 7:9); and also the psalmists and prophets. It may be said that reverence for the sacred Name was the key-note of the Jewish system. Of nothing were they more jealous. And if in this they were sometimes wrong, they were mostly right; for "holy and reverend is his Name."

II. CHRISTIAN REVERENCE FOR THE NAME. The Name of God revealed in Christianity is not the same as that revealed in Judaism. To the Jewish Church God is the one Existence, unique, spiritual; absolute Being. To the Christian Church God exists in relations, and only the highest and dearest of human relations is fitting to represent him. He is our Father. But that is the most reverend of all names. And the filial feeling ought to triumph over the superstitious. Show the reverence that is due from us in all our relations with the heavenly Father, the holy Father, the righteous Father. The Father-Name must never be "taken in vain."—R.T.

Psalms 111:10

The starting-point of human wisdom.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." This is the familiar statement of the Book of Proverbs (see Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10). "Here the fear of God, keeping his revealed commandments, is the key of 'wisdom,' which is the knowledge of the true end and purpose of life." The "fear of the Lord" is the Old Testament term for piety. The fear is not dread, but loving reverence, which finds its expression in ready and hearty obedience. It includes belief in God, knowledge of God, recognition of the claims of God, awe of the power and holiness of God, and the cherished sense of the presence of God. The fear of piety is a glorified fear.

I. PIETY IS THE INSPIRATION OF THEORETICAL WISDOM. It always awakens a thirst for knowledge. It has been constantly observed that when a man becomes pious he begins to become intelligent. His eyes are opened to the supreme mystery, and he wants to know all mysteries. He who becomes interested in God is sure to become interested in God's works and God's Word. And it may further be urged, that wisdom cannot be limited to the knowledge of material things which the senses can give us. There is a spiritual world apprehensible by those spiritual faculties which are only quickened by the revelation of God to the soul. The scientific man who ignores the spiritual cannot attain true wisdom. Belief in God is the absolute foundation on which alone can rest a complete knowledge of the world, of facts that are both sensible and spiritual. "Spiritual knowledge—the knowledge of self, the universe, Christ, and God—is the true knowledge. This grows out of piety—grows out of reverent love."

II. PIETY IS THE INSPIRATION OF PRACTICAL WISDOM: which is, obedience. Every man has the practical ordering of a human life, and human relations. A man of him self can only shape his life under the impulse of what he finds pleasing to himself. And no life can be ordered wisely under that rule. Man cannot act wisely if he be his own king, because he is created as a dependent being; and can no more bear fruit by leaning on himself than can the trailing vine. Dependent man must fear God. He must cherish the sense of duty; must carry out the designs of his Creator. Practical wisdom is taking our lives to God day by day, and saying, in filial love, to him, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Life is only ordered aright when God orders it.—R.T.

HOMILIES BY C. SHORT

Psalms 111:1-10

The works of the Lord.

I. GOD'S WORK CLAIMS OUR EARNEST STUDY.

1. His work in nature. Presents three aspects.

2. His work in providence. God in history is working out a righteous government of the world.

3. His work in redemption. This the manifestation of his grandest power—the power of God unto salvation. Three kinds of power.

II. GOD'S WORKS ARE A REVELATION OF THE DIVINE THOUGHT AND NATURE.

1. They reveal his infinite greatness. (Psalms 111:2-4.)

2. They reveal his unchanging righteousness. (Psalms 111:3.)

3. They reveal his grace and compassion to the sinful. (Psalms 111:4, Psalms 111:5.)

4. They reveal his laws for the government of our lives. (Psalms 111:5.) They show that obedience is the highest wisdom. (Psalms 111:10.)—S.

 


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Bibliography Information
Exell, Joseph S; Spence-Jones, Henry Donald Maurice. "Commentary on Psalms 111:4". The Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tpc/psalms-111.html. 1897.

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Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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