Human beings need to remember! We need to remember the sad things that have happened and seek that, if possible, they never happen again. We need to remember the good things that have happened, celebrate them and give thanks. And we need to celebrate people we appreciate and let them know. One such special day celebrated in around 50 countries of the world is Mother’s Day. No mother (or father) is perfect of course but generally they are worth celebrating for their love and self-giving lives.
Last Mother’s Day my wife received cards and gifts and one card said: “To my dearest mum and grandma. We are thankful for your life, your love and your prayers. Thank you for being the best mum a girl and her girls could wish for. Love you loads.” And one of her granddaughters wrote: “I love having you over and listening to you playing [the piano] … I can’t wait for you and grandpa to join us again as we go on a camping trip (I think it must be very boring for you and grandpa camping by yourselves -😉)”
The psalmists recognized this need to acknowledge God in this way and Psalm 111 is such a psalm of celebration. Remembering and celebrating the wonderful works and words (precepts) of God. Continuing on from last time the psalmist says:
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
giving them the lands of other nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
8 They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.
If it is right to acknowledge and celebrate our mothers, how much more God!
Longman writes: “The worship leader begins by declaring God’s works to be great… God’s acts demonstrate his righteousness, because they show he is on the side of who are his people and against their evil oppressors. It is not that his people deserve this treatment; they are acts of his grace and compassion, characteristics often associated with God… Those who fear God recognize their proper place in his creation. He is the Creator and they are his creatures… The people have seen demonstrations of God’s power in his acts… By the power of God, they defeated nations that were much stronger and more numerous than they were (Deut. 11:23) … and God’s law is trustworthy, faithful and upright.” (# 30)
No wonder that the psalmist concludes with these words of wisdom:
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.
3000 years later we know “even more fully that God has provided redemption for his people (v. 9), because we live after the coming of Jesus, who himself reflects God and his character as described in this psalm, and his death and resurrection bring his people redemption from sin, guilt and death.” (# 30)
May we all be able to proclaim today:
I will extol the Lord with all my heart…
Great are the works of the Lord…
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever… The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy. Amen.