Kiln blog: Psalm 111

(Because of brevity, this one is reposted here in whole; source.)

This and the next psalm are short acrostics in Hebrew. This would make them easier to memorize. Reading this in most English translations, it seems little more than a collection of stock ritual phrases, perhaps just a little contrived or formulaic. But the language is not poetically forced; it’s very simple. Precisely for this reason, in Hebrew it would be one of those grand old favorites that no one forgets. It fits any occasion because it hits all the high points and provides a comfortable setting for awakening the mind to hear the song of the heart.

The first word is hallelujah — praise Jehovah. It’s meant to be shouted. Following that is a declaration that we will throw up our hands at the name of the Lord, but doing so from the heart, and shamelessly in front of all God’s people.

The imagery is condensed, and merely translating the words weakens the effects. The products of God’s hands are extravagant and anyone with good sense strives to stand in His favor to receive them. We are greeted by a parallelism declaring that God’s actions are unforgettable, and those actions mark Him as the ideal sovereign. His household never lacks because He always walks by His own covenant; it’s His nature to do so.

Indeed, under that covenant He demonstrates to His tribe the power to carve out their inheritance from the riches of other nations. He plays favorites for those who cling to Him. What He does defines truth and justice. His revelation changes everything; it’s more trustworthy than all human wisdom and knowledge put together. What He promises will surely come true. He elevates His own family above all the rest of humanity and stands behind His promises. His very name is awesome beyond words.

The first fruit of wisdom is learning to take Him seriously. People who walk in His revelation are the very image of prudence. The ultimate wisdom is to acknowledge Him as Creator.

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About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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