Psalm 111 — Pondering the Lord’s works

It’s so easy sometimes to ponder over the negative things in life.  To see the bad things that have happened in our lives and to let them dominate our thinking.  Honestly, that’s what I’ve been doing over the past several weeks, with something that happened at work earlier this month.  And I can tell you firsthand that it can lead to stress, especially when you have no control over things.

But here, the psalmist encourages us to ponder over something else.  He sings,

Praise the Lord.  I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly.  Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them.  Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever.  (1-3)

In this passage, the psalmist encourages us to ponder who God is, and what he has done.  What kind of God is he?  He is righteous (3), he is gracious and compassionate (4), he is faithful and just, and he and his precepts are trustworthy (7).

What has he done?  He has provided for Israel’s needs in the desert (5), he showed mercy to Israel, making them into a nation and giving them their own land (6), and he provided redemption for them, both in Egypt and in Babylon (9).

What’s more, he does all that for us as well.  He provides our needs daily, he showed mercy to us, redeeming us from Satan’s kingdom, and calls us his own people.  And he’s leading us to the Promised Land to be with him.

This life is temporary.  I’m sure that the things I’ve been stewing over for the last month will be the furthest thing from my mind when eternity hits.  So the question I have to ask myself is why bother?  It only gives me stress that I don’t need.

The psalmist concludes by writing,

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (10).

When we stand in awe of God, all the temporary things of this world pale in comparison.  When we ponder who he is and what he’s done, we realize that the things we’re stewing over most times aren’t worth the stress nor our time.  And when we truly realize this, isn’t this wisdom?

Lord, you know what things I have been stewing over.  And it’s giving me stress I don’t need.  It’s coloring my attitude towards things in a negative way.  Lord, help me to let it go.  Instead of pondering over all those things, let my mind ponder over who you are and what you’ve done.  Get my mind off the temporary and onto the eternal.  Grant me your wisdom, and your way of seeing things.  Give me your understanding.  Let my life, my thoughts, and my attitudes be praise to you.  For to you, Lord, belongs eternal praise.  In Jesus name, amen.


About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください:
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