In the original Hebrew, Psalms 111 and 112 are alphabetic acrostics. Each line begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet from A to Z. This structure communicated the idea of completeness. The psalmist wanted to praise God from A to Z.
Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands.Psalm 112:1
Psalms 111 and 112 both begin with “Hallelujah,” which means “praise the Lord!” Psalm 111 reflects on the mighty works of God from the Bible, but especially on Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. God provided manna and quail for them to eat (v. 5). He was “gracious and compassionate” (v. 4). Because God has been faithful, we can trust His word (v. 7). The psalmist reminds us that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (v. 10). The word fear here does not mean terror or fright. Rather it refers to trusting in the Lord and obeying His commands. Remembering what God has done should lead us to trusting our lives to Him in the present.
Psalm 112 portrays someone who has decided to live in fear of the Lord (v. 1). This person’s life and character is modeled after God’s. They are “gracious and compassionate” to others (v. 4). They delight in God’s word (v. 1). Because of their steadfast trust in the Lord, they don’t fear trials. They can take bad news in stride (v. 7). They are generous to the poor (vv. 5, 9). Because of this, they will have “wealth and riches” and victory over their enemies (vv. 3, 8). While some will experience economic prosperity, for many this promise will only be fulfilled at Christ’s return. At that time those who trust in the Lord will be vindicated and the “longings of the wicked will come to nothing” (v. 10).
Try your hand at praising God from “A” to “Z”. This can be a fun game to play with children as well. Name one thing that begins with each letter for which you can thank God. And if you follow our Facebook page, share your answers with us!