Psalms 109-111

The one hundred and ninth and tenth psalms are Messianic psalms. They are prophecies concerning Jesus Christ. Now you’ll have no problem with the hundred and tenth psalm in understanding and seeing how that is a prophecy of Jesus Christ. Psalm one hundred and nine trips up a lot of people because it is known as one of the imprecatory psalms. That is a psalm in which there is a prayer for judgement upon the enemies. The prayer for judgement does not sound like the image of Jesus Christ that we so often have in our minds. We think of Jesus on the cross saying, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” and we think of how Jesus taught us the importance of forgiveness. Yet in this psalm we find the prayer for judgement upon the enemies.
God is gracious. In fact, we read in psalm one twelve that he “is gracious and full of compassion and righteous”. We know that God is gracious, we know that God is merciful and in God’s grace he has provided for our salvation, he has sent his only begotten son who suffered immensely in order that you might be saved. He suffered the shame of the cross, he suffered the cross itself and the abuse. He suffered all of this that you might be saved. I do not believe that we fully appreciate the tremendous price that was paid for our salvation. We always talk about the gospel being free, that’s free to us but it cost God immensely. God, having provided this salvation for us, has commanded that all men should repent and believe upon his son. This is the only way by which a person can be saved.
Now we read in the book of Hebrews that if a person despised Moses law all they had to do what just speak evil of the Law of Moses. If there were two or three persons that would bare witness and say

Yes I heard him say that about the law” then he would be stoned, he would be put to death. The author of the book of Hebrews said “Of how much worse punishment you suppose the person would be counted worthy who hath trodden under foot the son of God, who had counted the blood of his covenant where with he was sanctified an unholy thing and has done despite to the spirit of grace? For we know him who has said vengeance is mine I will repay saith the Lord. It is a fearful thing to fall in the hands of a living God.”

God has provided at tremendous cost for your salvation. If you reject that salvation that God has offered then there only remains a certain fearful looking forward to the fiery wrath of his indignation that shall devour his adversaries. So yes there is forgiveness, yes he’s full of compassion and yes he’s gracious but for those who reject his grace, those who reject his love and those who turn a deaf ear to his pleas the judgements of God have already been established and they are set. Jesus said concerning those that would reject that offer of God’s salvation that he has made to man that “they shall be cast into the lake that is burning with fire that was prepared for Satan and his angels” but they will have their part in that judgement of God. So yes God is full grace and compassionate but also he is righteous and he is holy and he is a God of justice and truth. The justice of God demands the penalty for the sinner and those who would reject God’s offer of salvation.
Though we are prone to think of Jesus only in the terms of sweetness, gentleness, kindness, loving, forgiving and compassionate listen to what he said to those who had sort of rejected this love, this forgiveness and this compassion.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you will neither go in yourselves, nor will you allow those that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows houses, and for a pretense you will make long prayers: therefore you will receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you encircle the sea and the land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell then yourselves. Woe unto you, blind guides, who say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple it is nothing; but if you swear by the gold of the temple, you are a debtor! You fools and blind: what’s greater the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? You say whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but if you swear by the gift that is on the altar, than you are guilty. You fools and blind: what’s greater the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, swears by it, and those that dwell therein. And he that shall swears by heaven swears by the throne of God, and by him who is sitting thereon. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe of your mint and anise and cummin, and omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, but you should not leave the others undone. You blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Fr you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore you are witnesses unto yourselves, that you are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill up then the measure of our fathers. You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:13-33).

Who’s talking? “Gentle Jesus meek and mild look upon this little child”. Well you see there’s this other side and don’t be deceived. God is loving, kind, gracious and full of compassion and merciful but if you reject God’s offers then there remains only that fearful certain looking forward to that fiery wrath of his indignation that shall devour his adversaries.
In this, we find a description of the treatment of Jesus. We find the response to those who have despised and rejected the grace of God, the things that shall befall them and then further descriptions of what was done to Christ. It begins with the first five verses in which the psalmist is praying.
HOLD not thy peace, O God of my praise; For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue (109:1-2).
They brought false witnesses against Jesus to try to drum up charges before the high priest. They opened their mouths against him, they spoke against him with lying tongues.
They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause (109:3).
When they took up stones to throw at Jesus he said, “I’ve done many wonderful works among you. For which of these works are you going to stone me now?” They said “Not for the works that you’ve done but because you being a man are constantly making yourself the Son of God”. Here they are fighting against him without a cause, speaking against him words of hatred.
For my love they are my adversaries: (109:4).
Here he came to pour out his heart in love but they turned against him and now his response.
but I give myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love (109:4-5).
Of course as you look at Christ this is exactly what happened. They rewarded him evil for good and hatred for his love. So the request.
Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin (109:6-7).
You know prayer can become sin. Prayer can be very deceitful. I had an uncle who was just a rank sinner. He was really terrible. Whenever I would witness to him he said, “Well Charles, I pray every night”. His prayer was a deceit because the psalmist said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord doesn’t hear me when I pray”. The prophet Isaiah said, “God’s hand is not short that he cannot save, neither is his ear heavy that he cannot hear but your sins have separated you from God”. So sin, when you are regarding iniquity in your heart, when you are living a horrible life, prayer then becomes sort of a mockery. When you lift of your hands in the attitude of prayer, it’s an abomination to God because your heart is filled with sin.
Let his days be few; and let another take his office (109:8).
This is a prophecy concerning Judas Iscariot. In the first chapter of the book of Acts as the disciples were gathered together waiting for the promise of God there in Jerusalem, Peter stood up in the midst of them and said, “Brethren, the scriptures must be fulfilled which were spoken concerning Judas who by transgression fell. Let his house be desolate and let another take his bishopric ”.
You are aware of the Septuagint, which is the translation of the Hebrew text into Greek done by seventy scholars about two hundred years before Christ. The common Jew did not speak Hebrew thus the common Jew could not read their own Bible. They felt that they should have a Bible that the Jews could read and because Greek was the universal language at the time as a result of Alexander the Great, they thought that they would translate the Bible into Greek so that most of the Jews could read their own Bible. This translation was done by seventy Hebrew scholars and is know as the Septuagint. Being so close to the original text, it is our assumption that they would have a clearer understanding of the Hebrew at that time. Much of our understanding of the Old Testament comes from the Septuagint because the Hebrew language was really lost except to the scholars but from the Septuagint and from the Greek translation by these seventy scholars we get an idea of what the original writers were really saying as they wrote the scriptures.
This word “office” here in the Septuagint is episkope. It is the word from which we get Episcopal, which is the Greek word for bishop. So Peter is using the Septuagint, “Let another take his office” (109:8). He was appointed as one of the twelve apostle but his place became desolate and so Peter said that “The scripture must be fulfilled. Let another take his office” thus the bishopric of Judas had to be taken by another. A direct prophecy concerning Judas, Peter gives us that commentary in the book of Acts chapter one.
The prayer concerning Judas who betrayed the Lord with a kiss.
Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, (109:8-9).
Of course that would happen when his days were few.
and his wife a widow. Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate place. Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour. Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children. Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out (109:9-13).
This sounds pretty heavy duty, heavy-handed, which it is. The judgement of God is going to be heavy-duty. We need to realize that. it is a fearful thing to fall in the hand of the living God. When God moves in judgement against those who have rejected Jesus Christ it is going to be a fearful awesome thing.
We ministers, for the most part, have been cowed by the people about speaking anything about hell. None of us want to be characterized as “hell, fire and brimstone” preachers. Surely that’s not a characterization that I want of myself. I don’t want to be thought of or know as “hell, fire and brimstone” preacher. I would like to be known as very loving compassionate pastor. However, if I did not warn people of the judgement of God I would be derelict to my calling. It is true that God is loving and God is compassionate and in his love and compassion he has provided everything for you, for your salvation, for your well being, for your walk with him and it’s glorious. If you reject God’s plan then it’s awesome and God will judge and it’s going to be an awesome judgement.
As he is praying, in reality these are the things that shall take place upon those whom God hath judged.
Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth. Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart (109:14-16).
They persecuted Christ, they killed him.
As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. (109:17).
Let be as he established. “Whatever a man sows that shall he also reap”. That’s what the Bible teaches us. Because he loved a curse, then let him be cursed. Because he wasn’t interested in the blessing of God, then remove the blessing of God. That’s righteous, that’s just. You see, if you don’t want to have anything to do with God, if you want to just live your own life separate and apart from God and you want nothing to do with God then it would be cruel for God to force you to spend eternity with him. So you say because they don’t want anything to do with you then let them depart, let them be gone. They don’t want your blessings then remove your blessings from them. The loved to curse, then let them be cursed.
As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones. Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, (109:18-19).
Cover him like a garment with curses.
and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually. Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul. But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name’s sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me (109:19-21).
For those who oppose and for those who reject let your judgement fall but for those that will call then Lord let your mercy be displayed.
For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me (109:22).
This a description of Christ and the reproaches and all that fell upon him.
I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: (109:23).
The sundial, the shadow going down.
I am tossed up and down as the locust. My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness. I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads (109:23-25).
Read in conjunction with that Matthew twenty-six, thirty-nine.
Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy: that they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, has done it. Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice. Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle. I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth,; yea, I will praise him among the multitude. Fir he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul (109:26-31).
An interesting psalm, a Messianic psalm and a prophetic psalm dealing with the treatment that Jesus was to receive and the judgement upon those who do not repent. They will find themselves enemies of God. They will find God as their adversary. The Bible says, “Woe unto him who strives with his maker”.
Today there are people who are saying all kinds of horrible and blasphemous things against Jesus Christ. When I hear people make these horrible blasphemous statements I cringe within and I get angry. I’d love to bust them but God will do that, I don’t have to. Their day shall come.
Psalm one hundred and ten is another Messianic psalm of a little different sort. You see, psalm one hundred and nine more or less deals with the suffering of Christ, his being despised and rejected; a man of sorrows acquainted with grief. The cross is seen in psalm one hundred and nine. The betrayal by Judas and the cross, the suffering. Psalm one hundred and ten is tied to psalm one hundred and nine because it goes right from the cross into the ascension into glory. Christ ascending triumphant into heaven, having paid the price for mans redemption upon the cross in one hundred and nine being despised and rejected. Psalm one hundred and ten takes on into heaven. The first verse begins in the heavenly scene when Christ entered into heaven after his ascension.
THE LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool (110:1).
In the previous chapter he speaks about the enemies. Now the Father says, “Okay now sit down at my right hand son. I’ll make your enemies your footstool”. That is you’ll put your foot on the neck of your enemies, they’ll be your footstool.
“THE LORD” YHWH “said unto my Lord” Adonai. Notice the all capital letters in the “THE LORD” indicating that it is the Hebrew name for God. The second “Lord” in line one there is capital “L”, small “ord” indicating that it is the Hebrew word Adonai which is a title of Lordship. YHWH said unto my Lord, this is a psalm of David.
Forgive me for a moment, I just have to vent my disdain on those men who declare themselves as great Bible scholars who teach in many of the seminaries across the country. You read their books and their commentaries on psalm one hundred and ten and they will say, “Well it probably wasn’t a psalm of David at all. It was written at a later time by some unknown author”. Because of the prophetic aspects of it they prescribe it to a later period and just the name of David attached to it. Either these so-called Bible scholars have not read the words of Jesus or Jesus hasn’t read their words because someone’s mixed up. For Jesus said to the Pharisees “What think ye of Christ the Messiah? Who’s son is he?” and they said “Well he’s the son of David”. He said, “How is it then that David, by the Holy Spirit, called him Lord?” and then he quotes this verse.
Now Jesus said that David wrote this. As I say, he must not have read the books of these scholars today. But Jesus ascribes this to David. “How is that David called him Lord by the Holy Spirit saying, Yawed said unto my Lord?” It was a question that they could not answer because it was a society that was totally a patriarchic type of society and the oldest father ruled over the entire family. That was always the case, the oldest father ruled over the family and as long as he lived he ruled, he was the Lord over the family, he was the Adonai over the family. Thus no father in that strong patriarch society would ever call his son Lord. If the Messiah is the son of David then how come David called him Lord (Adonai)? They can’t figure that one out and they didn’t. They didn’t ask him anymore questions after that either. In the book of Hebrews again it ascribes this scripture as referring to Jesus Christ and of his entrance into glory.
Jesus is at the right hand of the Father exalted on high. He is there just waiting for the Father to make his enemies his footstool. God is waiting for the cup of the wrath to be filled, the full blaspheme and indignation of man to be complete. God is gracious, he is longsuffering, he is patient and he is kind or else he would have acted a long time ago.
As I look around today one of the biggest mysteries in my mind is that God has not already acted in bringing judgement against this generation. It’s much like Jesus said “The men of Sodom will rise up with this generation in the resurrection but they will condemn it”. And well they might condemn this generation because we have exceeded their sins. God has been longsuffering and God has been patient but man unfortunately has misinterpreted that as tolerance or acceptance of man’s evil or indifference to what is going on. God is removed, God is indifferent, and he doesn’t care. It’s none of the above. He does care. The wrath of his indignation is filling rapidly and it will soon overflow.
As you read Revelation from chapters six through eighteen you will see worse than what is in psalm one hundred and nine. That’s mild compared to what’s going to happen to those who have rejected God’s love, who have scorned God’s grace and who have turned their back upon his mercy.
The LORD (110:2).
Notice this is the Adonai, the reference to the Messiah.
The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies (110:2).
Here’s a prophecy of the coming kingdom age when Jesus will rule with a rod of iron from Zion over the world as he returns to establish God’s kingdom upon the earth. He will send for the rod of his strength out of Zion and he will rule in the midst of this world that had turned against him.
Thy people (110:3).
Hopefully this includes you and me.
shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth (110:3).
Now suddenly here’s an interesting scripture, a prophecy concerning Jesus.
The LORD [YAWEH] hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek (110:4).
Well remember this was written by David some thousand years before Christ and it is written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; “David by the mouth of the Holy Spirit” wrote this psalm by the inspiration of the spirit. In talking of the coming Messiah and in talking of his priesthood he declared that he would be a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Now David new that the Messiah was to come from the tribe of Judah because he had the promise of God that God was going to build him a house and there shall never cease one of his descendents being upon his throne. David understood that to mean that the Messiah would come from David, which David was correct in that assumption.
How then could the Messiah be priest if he was from the tribe of Judah for? It was the Levitical tribe that was ordained of God to be the priestly tribe for the nation. The answer is there is another order of priests. It is the order of Melchizedek, that interesting person that we find in the book of Genesis who met Abraham when he returned from the victory over the five kings and gave to him bread and wine. He received from Abraham the tithes of all of the spoils that he had taken from the sacking of these kings and he blessed Abraham. Melchizedek whose name means king of righteousness; “Melech” means kings and “zedek” means righteousness. He was called in the scriptures the king of Salem which probably is Jerusalem but Salem means peace. So he’s the king of peace and the king righteousness. Who is the king of righteousness? Who is the king of peace? It’s Jesus Christ.
So here is Melchizedek bringing to Abraham the symbols of communion with God, bread and wine. He receives tithes of Abraham and he blesses Abraham. You that did your extracurricular work this afternoon and read the book of Hebrews one through ten, how are you benefited tonight because as I talk about these things you’ll say, “Oh yes, I remember….Our great high priest who has ascended into heaven for us”. You can put the thing all together there in Hebrews. With Christ our great high priest, better than the priesthood of Levi. The priesthood of Levi was subservient to the priesthood of Melchizedek for Abraham paying tithes and receiving a blessing, the lesser is blessed always by the greater.
Levi, in Hebrews, was still in the loins of Abraham so to speak. He was still there in the potential gene structures and so forth. Thus in Abraham was subservient to the priesthood of Melchizedek. God has established a higher order of priesthood. Not one after Levi which when Aaron died his son took over. His son died and the next son took over passing it on from generation to generation. They did not have a continuing priesthood but Jesus Christ has a continuing priesthood. He’s a priest forever.
The Levitical priests had to offer for their own sins because they were guilty of sinning too. Before the high priest could take the offering for the nation before God into the Holy of holies he had to first of all make an offering for his own sin. He had to offer that to the Lord and then he would offer for the sins of the nation. Christ became the sin offering. He is perfect, holy and without sin. He did not have to offer first for his own sin but offered himself once and for all. It was necessary that the Levitical high priest go in every year twice on the one day of Yom Kippur. It was necessary that he do this year after year after year after year which meant that the sacrifices weren’t sufficient and they weren’t holding. There was the necessity of the continual sacrificing. Everyday they would offer these sacrifices of sin offerings and so forth and on the one day of the year into the holy of holies for the nation, individually day by day by day.
If I had to offer sin offerings everytime I sinned I would ran out of animals and birds and would have depleted the world a long time ago. Jesus, by the one perfect sacrifice, once and for all. It was impossible that the blood of bulls and goats could put away a sin. All they could do was make a covering for the sin but the blood of Jesus Christ puts away our sin.
The priest entered into the earthly tabernacle that was built by man as a model of the heavenly. Jesus did not enter in to the earthly which was the model of the heavenly but into heaven itself with the blood of his own sacrifice, offered before God as a sin offering for the world and received by God. “Wherefore he is able not now to save unto the uttermost all who will come unto God by him”. He lives to make intercession for them, he is the great high priest interceding for us, ever living to make intercession for us. Paul said, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ who has died, yea rather is risen again and is even at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us”. He’s at the right hand exalted.
This psalm one hundred and ten fits into the book of Hebrews, into the New Testament. It is the story of what happened when Jesus arrived in heaven after his sojourn on the earth and the horrible indecent death on the cross; the despising, the rejection and the shame of psalm one hundred and nine. Now in psalm one hundred and ten the Father says “Alright son, you just sit down at my right hand. I’ll take care of things until I make thy enemies thy footstool”.
The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent [change], Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek (110:4).
A higher order of priesthood, the perfect priesthood.
As we’ve mentioned this morning, many people believed that Melchizedek was none other than Jesus Christ. We don’t know anything about his genealogy which was so important for the Levitical priesthood and we don’t know anything about his posterity. He just appears on the scene and just as quickly disappears from the scene. Approximately a thousand years later pops into the scene again in a psalm and then disappears again for a thousand years. Then he appears once more as the Messiah.
Jesus, when talking to the Pharisees disputing with them they started talking about their father Abraham, he said “If you were Abraham’s children”. They said “We are the sons of Abraham and we’ve never been in bondage to anybody”. He said, “If you were Abraham’s children then you would have believed in me because Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it”. That made them mad. They said, “What do you mean Abraham saw you? You’re not even fifty years old. What are you talking about?” Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am”. He was probably talking about Abraham meeting Melchizedek, the king of righteousness and the king of peace who was the priest of the most high God.
The Lord at thy right hand (110:5).
This again, the Adonai being Jesus who is at the right hand of God.
shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath (110:5).
When Jesus returns to the earth in his glory and in power, the earth will be experiencing one of the worst blood baths of its history. The kings of the earth will be gathered together in a great conflict in the battle known as the Battle of Armageddon there in the Valley of Megiddo. There will be this horrible conflict as the nations from the east and from the north are gathered against the nations of the western powers. So the eastern and western powers meeting in the Valley of Megiddo in this final great horrible conflict. When Jesus returns this battle belt will be raging and this will bring an immediate end to it destroying the leaders, the kings of the earth, led by the anti-christ.
He shall judge among the heathen, (110:6).
Jesus tells us that the first order of business when he returns to the earth is judgement. “Then shall he gathered together the nations from all over the earth and they shall be judged”.
He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads [leaders] over many countries (110:6).
Wiping out those manmade corrupted governments.
He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head (110:7).
That is own authority over the world.
A fascinating psalm that takes us beyond the cross into glory and back into the earth as he reigns as the judge as well as priest and king. It’s all in Jesus. He’s the king, Melchizedek the king of righteousness, he is our great high priest who has entered into heaven for us and he will be the judge over all the earth when he returns.
Psalm one hundred and eleven is a psalm of praise as the psalmist thinks on the works of God. The works of God are a great subject for meditation. Meditation is almost a lost art, meditating on your navel will do nothing. I can see some emotion ties, that’s where I was attached to my mother within the womb, you can contemplate that thing for a while but they’ve always been sort of funny looking to me. Isn’t it sad that when man sought to rediscover the art of meditation, he meditated on such worthless things rather than meditating upon God and the works of God. So this is a psalm of praise as the psalmist muses or meditates the works of God. So he calls forth for praise first of all.
PRAISE ye the LORD (111:1).
Hallelujah actually is what is in the Hebrew. “Hallelujah to YAWEH”.
I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, (111:1).
I see people praise the Lord half heartily. The psalmist really got into it.
in the assembly of the upright, (111:1).
Great to gather together with the people of God and praise the Lord.
and in the congregation (111:1).
Praising him for what?
The works of the LORD are great, (111:2).
So he’s thinking now on the works of the Lord. I start to think of the work of God in creation. Oh how glorious. I mean how you can just really spend so much time going from the massive universe and coming down to the minute atom, the design and the order; just the works of God. Beyond that, the work of God in my redemption, sending his son, the work of God in my life and all of the things that God has done. So the psalmist is praising the Lord for his works are great.
sought out of all them that have pleasure therein (111:2).
Seeking the work of God, having pleasure in the work of God.
His work is honourable and glorious:: and his righteousness endureth for ever (111:3).
The glorious thing about his righteousness is his righteousness is my righteousness. Paul the apostle talked about the righteousness that he was first attempting to achieve by the law and how he strove the keep the law meticulously so that if anybody could boast in self-righteousness Paul could out boast them. “If anybody” he said “thinks he has whereof to boast, I more”. I can boast you right under the table man. For this is what I was and this what I was doing as a legal Jew keeping the laws of Pharisee. I was a Pharisee of the Pharisees and I was zealous and all of this. But those things that were once really gain to me, I had on my credit side, “I count it loss when I received the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ. I indeed did suffer the loss of all those things but I count them but refuse that I may know him”. The knowledge of Christ is worth more to me than all of the righteousness and all the righteous points I had built up under the law because I want to be found in him “Not clothed in my own righteousness which was of the law but the righteousness which is of Christ through faith”.
His righteousness is forever. If you have the righteousness of Christ then it is forever. Glory. His righteousness is my righteousness because God has imputed the righteousness of Jesus Christ to my account. Don’t you go telling God nasty things about me, he’s not going to listen to you. He already has over my account “righteous”. The righteousness of Christ has been imputed to my account by my faith in Jesus Christ. I’ll tell you what, I can’t improve on that and you’re a fool if you think you can. It is better to rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ than to go back to laws and rules and regulations and try to perfect that which God has already imputed to you. Having begun in the spirit are you going to be made perfect in the flesh? Do you think you can improve on Jesus and upon his righteousness. “O foolish Galatians who hath bewitched you that you shall so soon turn from the truth?”
He hath made his wonderful works (111:4).
It’s a psalm that is devoted to praising God for his works.
He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: (111:4).
That is he has made them so that they will be remembered. It is interesting that God had all kinds of things established to put into memory the work that he had done. Have you ever noticed how songs will somehow remind you of events in your life? Whenever I hear Bear Barrel Polka I’m reminded of a tremendous time at Bass Lake. It so happened that across the lake from where we were camping, we were in the Denver church camp, there was the place called The Falls. It burned down and is no longer there. The place called The Falls used to be the place of activity at Bass Lake, it was the place that jumped.
They had a juke box out on the deck. At that time the Beer Barrel Polka was number one and you can hear that across the lake at night. Of course we have pleasant memories of lying out there and looking at the stars and hearing the Beer Barrel Polka coming across the lake. Thus the DNA attached that melody in my mind to a memory. Whenever I hear that it clicks and there I am under the stars looking up through the pine trees and the water lapping by my side and my brother and I would sleep out there next to the lake. Just for fun we would go swimming across the lake at night. I won’t tell you all the crazy things we did. We scared a few people who were out boating at night. Memories related to melodies or tunes or songs.
God had certain songs taught to the people just to remind them, just to bring back memories to them. God had them pile up stones so that when your children in years to come you come this way and they say, “Dad what is that big pile of stones over there?” that you’ll be able to relate to your children. They will be reminders to you. The communion service, what is it? It’s a memorial, it’s a reminder of the suffering of Jesus Christ for your sins. So God has established many things to bring to our remembrance of his works. He has accomplished or done his works to be remembered. He wants us to remember the works that he has done.
the LORD is gracious and full of compassion (111:4).
This is demonstrated in his works. This is demonstrated in the work of Jesus Christ in suffering for your sins and giving himself for you. The compassion of God is there demonstrated, his grace is demonstrated through Jesus.
He hath given meat unto them that fear [reverence] him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant (111:5).
He has not forgotten his covenant that he has made. He will forever remember it or be mindful of it. He has made a covenant to redeem you, to save you.
He hath shewed his people the power of his works, (111:6).
His works are honourable, they’re glorious, they’re great, they’re to be remembered, they’re powerful and has shown the people the power of his works.
that he may give them the heritage of the heathen (111:6).
One day we are going to rule over the world over Jesus. We will have the heritage. The world will belong, it belongs to the children of God. “Theirs is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” and you are the Lords, so one day we will take possession of that which is the Lord’s. We shall live and reign with him upon the earth.
The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: (111:7-9).
God’s works are verity and judgement and his commandments are sure and standing fast. He turns actually at this point from the works to the covenant that God has established, the covenant of redemption through Jesus. He sent redemption, he has commanded his covenant forever.
holy and reverend is his name (111:9).
This is the only place in the Bible where the word “reverend” is used. Notice it is used for the name of God; “holy and reverend is his name (111:9). There is nothing reverend about the name Smith. Please never call me reverend Smith. There is nothing reverend about that name. There are all kinds of rats that have the name Smith, that name is not reverend at all. I sort of have a problem with people attaching the reverend to their name. I have a greater problem when they attach the most reverend and even greater when it is the most holy and high reverend. They go on and on and on. You ought to read some of the titles that they have but it is a title that belongs to the name of God. I question whether or not that title should ever be used for a name of a man or in talking about a man.
The fear [reverence] of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (111:10).
To fear God, that’s the start of wisdom. It isn’t the end of it but it’s the start of it.
a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: (111:10).
Not that they know or hear but that they do his commandments.
his praise endureth for ever (111:10).
His righteousness endures forever and his praise endures forever.
So a psalm devoted to the works of God, to his covenant and a psalm of praise unto him.
Shall we pray.
Father, again, as we study the word, we marvel how that You in advance wrote the script that was to be worked out a thousand years later, in some cases two thousand years later and in others four thousand years later. Lord we thank You for the covenant that You’ve established with us. We thank You for Your work in us and Your work for us and for Your works through us. Lord, it is our hearts desire that our lives be the instruments through which you can work. So Lord, to that end we present to You our bodies as living sacrifices that You Lord might use us to accomplish your works in this world in which we live today. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7203
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