Psalm 111 along with Psalm 112 is an ‘acrostic’ poem, that is, each line of the psalm starts with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. After the initial “Praise the LORD” (Hallelujah!), there are twenty-two lines following the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This stylistic device is somewhat limiting to the author (after all, only so many words begin with the letter ‘Q’), but tends to aid the memorization of the psalm.
Other acrostic psalms are 9, 10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, and 145. Not all of them are ‘perfect’—some of them skip or transpose the order of letters. Psalms 111 and 112, however, are ‘perfect’ in sequence.
The psalm stresses the works of the LORD, using words that mean ‘work’ or ‘works’ five times in the ten verses of the psalm.
One of the greatest responsibilities of the Church that is you and me, the people of God is to proclaim, praise and acknowledge the works of the LORD.
The Church needs to proclaim with heavy doses of humility, compassion and love how the LORD has worked in the past, how it sees Him working now and prophetically speak of His work in the future.
The psalmist writes, “Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.” These works are his righteous acts or providential works by which he maintains his creation with justice.
The LORD performs his ‘works’ on behalf of his people—by providing a place for us in his creation, by sustaining the creation, by making us his people through the work of redemption, and by giving us his word to guide us and sustain our lives.
As you pray this psalm, are ask the LORD to make us the people who fear him to experience his wisdom to guide us in life in his world.
Collect for Psalm 111: Merciful and gentle Lord, the crowning glory of all the saints, give us, your children, the gift of obedience, which is the beginning of wisdom, so that we may be filled with your mercy and that what you command we may do by the might of Jesus Christ our Lord.