The book of Psalms continues to influence my understanding of God and how to express my worship. From the musical element of a Psalm being sung to a meditation, it offers guidance and form to both the personal and corporate expressions of worship. As an instrumentalist, I am particularly fond of the last several chapters in which the expressions of worship are given voice through a wide range of musical instruments. In this blog, I’d simply like to break down some verses from Psalm 111 as an exercise in adapting and expanding a text into my own words. This is a way to personalize the text and further experience the richness and depth the Psalm. I encourage you to do the same in the context of maybe your personal devotion time or any other context in which you are seeking to mediate and ponder God’s Word.
1Praise the Lord. I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
The Lord is worthy of exaltation and admiration. To extol is to do these things. This happens in both a personal and corporate context. As we exalt God in our heart it spills out into the external behavior and actions of the worshipper as he gathers with others who do the same. This is the power of the assembly as the praise and exaltation of God is multiplied and amplified bringing a heightened awareness of his glory for all who are gathered.
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.
It is good to mediate on the works of the Lord. We are surrounded by His creation which reveals His beauty and greatness. We ourselves are His handiwork, made wonderfully complex in His image. The work of the Lord is lasting. His deeds are righteous and just.
4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
The wonders of God are not easily forgotten. When pondered and reflected on, they are placed into our memories and remind us along the way of God’s active presence and His compassion in our lives.
9 He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever — holy and awesome is his name.
God’s greatest work is found in the redemption of his people. God has always been about making old things new. Through his Son, we have been given new life, new purpose, and an assurance of eternity with Him. This is God’s promise, His covenant that will not be broken.