1 Hallelujah! I will praise the Lord with all my heart in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation. 2 The Lord’s works are great, studied by all who delight in them. 3 All that He does is splendid and majestic; His righteousness endures forever. 4 He has caused His wonderful works to be remembered. The Lord is gracious and compassionate. 5 He has provided food for those who fear Him; He remembers His covenant forever. 6 He has shown His people the power of His works by giving them the inheritance of the nations. 7 The works of His hands are truth and justice; all His instructions are trustworthy. 8 They are established forever and ever, enacted in truth and in what is right. 9 He has sent redemption to His people. He has ordained His covenant forever. His name is holy and awe-inspiring. 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His instructions have good insight. His praise endures forever.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
I am a man who loves to read through Psalms. Because I am a worship leader I have acquainted myself deeply with these beautiful songs, but I have also found much comfort as a believer as I read these words.
At cursory glance of Psalm 111, we see a lot “worship words” that we probably sing every Sunday.
We tell God He is great and glorious.
We sing of the holiness and awesomeness of God.
We praise Him because His deeds are majestic.
If we’re not careful though, these words will become so familiar that we will miss some of their meaning.
I was recently asked about worship by a friend who, in his own words, “doesn’t do the church thing.” Our conversation went something like this.
“So you guys just sing songs to God and tell Him who He is?”
I smiled and said, “I guess you could say it like that.”
He replied, “Is God really that forgetful that you have to tell Him who He is all the time?”
That made me laugh out loud, but I responded by telling him this.
“God is not forgetful, but sometimes we are. We read and sing these beautiful truths to remind US of who God is.”
Let’s examine a few of these words a little more closely.
We praise the Lord because He is holy!
Revelation 4 tells us God is so holy that no one can stand up in His presence. Everyone falls down and begins to sing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.”
We praise the Lord because He is great!
Job 38 reminds us that God laid the foundations of the earth. He tells the waves of the sea how far they can go and He tells the sun when to come up. I don’t know about you, but none of those things were on my list of things to do this morning. This reminds me that God is God and I am not.
We praise the Lord because He is awesome!
Deuteronomy 7 tells us that God will keep His covenant with His people. It goes on to say that He loves His people and He wants to bless His children. He led the children of Israel out of physical slavery, and He would eventually send His Son to get us out of spiritual slavery. He is indeed awesome.
What is often a struggle for me to remember is that the God I pray to, sing to, and talk to is the same God who has done all of the mighty things listed above. We have access to the God of the universe and the Maker of the heavens.
Let us read these words from Psalm 111 today and not just see normal “worship words,” but rather use them to help us see the God they represent. I’ve often said I wish the English language could provide us with words that could accurately describe what we want to say and sing to God. But as I’m finding out, it’s really not the language’s fault. It simply my lack of understanding of the beautiful words used to describe our Lord.
He is great, glorious, majestic, holy, awesome and He is worthy of our praise.
- Write down 3-5 ways you see God as great, glorious, majestic, holy or awesome.
- Try to recognize these words while singing in worship, and not let them pass by without thinking about what they mean.
- The end of Psalm 111:4 says God is gracious and compassionate. How has this been true in your life?