# 318 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 111. We praise One whose goodness is practical.

Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. (1 Peter 1:17b The Message)

Certainly, one way to accomplish this is through the Word of God and Psalm 111 a great place to start. It begins:

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.
He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
    the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He provides food for those who fear him;
    he remembers his covenant forever.

In this psalm “the term ‘work(s)’ occurs in five of the ten verses … We praise One whose goodness is practical.” (# 29)

Because God’s works … deeds often concern the “things He has made [which] are made ‘in wisdom’ (Psalm 104:24), they repay [or reward] research, as recent centuries of rigorous study have shown us abundantly; and this verse was well chosen to grace the entrance of the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, the scene of some fundamental physical discoveries.” (# 29)

Concerning this fact, I read recently:

“Since it’s opening in 1874 the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England has been the place where many extraordinary discoveries in Physics have taken place. Its history of innovation is great. Cavendish professors have completely changed our understanding of the physical world. They discovered the first electron. The same was true of the neutron. The lab laid the foundations for the discovery of quantum mechanics in the 1920s. It also was instrumental in laying the groundwork that led to the determination of the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule by Francis Crick and James Watson in the 1950’s. Of course, those are just some of the highlights of the discoveries of that great lab.

What’s interesting for our purposes is that at the entrance to the old Cavendish lab the words of our text stand above the great oak door [see photo]. The words are carved in Latin. The verse was put there at the instigation of the first Cavendish Professor, James Clark Maxwell. That’s not surprising because 140 years ago the Bible and Christianity were held in high esteem in Britain. But what is surprising is that they are also over the entrance to the new lab that was opened in 1973. Andrew Briggs, a PhD student at the time, was so impressed with the words above the old lab that he suggested that the words be put above the new entrance, only that this time they be inscribed in English. Cavendish Professor A. B. Pippard put the proposal to the Policy Committee. He was sure they would veto the suggestion but to his surprise, they approved it. So, the inscription in English on the entrance to the new lab is.

“The works of the Lord are great,
sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.”

That’s amazing. In spite of all the unbelief and scepticism in our society, there are  scientists and academics who still recognize that God created all things and that by studying these things we are merely thinking God’s thoughts after Him. They are merely discovering the treasures that God put there.”
(In a sermon preached on August 11, 2013 by Laurence W. Veinott. http://cantonnewlife.org/sermons/psalm/psalm_111_2/psalm_111_2.html )

It is because the Lord is gracious and compassionate … and his righteousness endures forever that glorious and majestic are his deeds. (vv. 3-4) and well worth pondering and researching! Of course, keeping in mind that The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. (V. 10) Praise the Lord.

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