Let's begin our week by reading a psalm of praise.
1Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart,
In the company of the upright and in the assembly.
2Great are the works of the Lord;
They are studied by all who delight in them.
3Splendid and majestic is His work,
And His righteousness endures forever.
4He has made His wonders to be remembered;
The Lord is gracious and compassionate.
5He has given food to those who fear Him;
He will remember His covenant forever.
6He has made known to His people the power of His works,
In giving them the heritage of the nations.
7The works of His hands are truth and justice;
All His precepts are sure.
8They are upheld forever and ever;
They are performed in truth and uprightness.
9He has sent redemption to His people;
He has ordained His covenant forever;
Holy and awesome is His name.
10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;
His praise endures forever.
- Psalm 111
Psalm 111 is a psalm of praise that gives God honor for a variety of things. For example,
- His many works and creative acts
- His righteousness
- His mercy and justice towards His people
- It is a psalm that expresses gratitude for the salvation God provides and the promises He has made to care and protect those who obey Him.
These are wonderful reminders of some of the things that God has and continues to do. As you read the Psalm you can understand what the writer is saying and make sense of the different ideas.
The last verse, however, makes you think a little harder about what the author is referring to. He says, "Praise Him forever" which suggests the praise that God receives goes on and on without end. Why is that?
In other words, why forever praise?
1. God's works and greatness are forever
The writer says that God's righteousness, and His promises and His word will last forever and so too the praise that accompanies them. God's character and the greatness of the things He has done generates praise just like extreme heat generates fire or extreme cold generates freezing.
Praise is the natural product and reaction to God's wonderful being and work, and since His being and work last forever so does the praise that it generates.
2. Those who praise Him are themselves eternal
The ones who praise God are those who are the recipients of His promises and one of His promises is that His people will live forever.
Angels and Christian saints on earth and in heaven are eternal beings and so they are capable and willing to praise Him forever.
3. Eternal praise is the final reality
So many movies and books try to determine the future reality. Usually they are negative monsters or machines trying to take over the world. The Bible reveals a much more joyful "final reality": eternal praise.
We study about the resurrection and the fact that we will have "glorious" bodies: no death or decay; no immorality; power over time and space; knowledge and spiritual insight.
But what will these "glorious bodies" enable us to do? What are they for? The writer here suggests that they will be given to us so we can do what is impossible for us to do now: joyfully praise God forever!
This does not sound like a reward or heaven because we get tired just standing for two songs during a worship service but our glorious bodies will not only enable us to do this, it will also enable us to want to do it, enjoy doing it and do it in a perfect way.
There is no purer reality than the created praising the creator forever: there is no higher joy, insight, pleasure, expression or activity. The created praising the creator takes in everything that is right, good, worthy and edifying.
So the writer prophecizes about the final reality in which the glorified saints will be empowered to do what they desire to do and that which gives them the ultimate pleasure: praising God forever.
In the meantime let's prepare for that glorious day by taking the time to praise and thank God every day of the week, not just on Sundays.
- Approximately how much time do you spend praising God each day excluding Sunday?
- What personal, concrete benefits do you derive from praising God?
- Give three reasons that you have for praising God today. Formulate a prayer of praise including these three.