I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
Majesty and glory are his work,
and his justice endures forever.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
He has made known to his people the power of his works,
giving them the inheritance of the nations.
(Psalm 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6)
111:1 I will give thanks to Refers to glad remembrance of God’s actions. all my heart The psalmist describes his intensity and commitment: he will hold none of himself back.
111:2 Great are the works of Lord The Hebrew phrase used here, ma’aseh yhwh, often refers to the events in the book of Exodus. The psalmist likely uses an intentionally broad term so that his audience will reflect on the wide range of God’s works.
111:3 his justice God’s tsedaqah is a central characteristic of His glory.
forever The Hebrew word used here, ad (which refers to “a lasting future time”), is synonymous with olam (“long time” or “future time”; vv. 5, 9). In Psa 111, these terms convey the meaning of “forever.” God’s righteousness is unending.
111:5 those who fear An attitude of pious reverence toward God.
his covenant A binding agreement between God and His people.
111:6 the inheritance of the nations The psalmist describes how Yahweh took the inheritance from the nations and gave it to Israel. He may be referring to the conquest of the land of Canaan (see the book of Joshua).
Faithfulness and justice are the faithful precepts. The faithful precepts are to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. In this way the works of the LORD are to become the work of his people. For this psalmist, fear of the LORD is the precepts, the motive to do them, and their performance.
Wisdom begins with knowing and obeying the LORD. It is the instruction of the LORD, not the teaching of the sages, that produces a “good understanding.” So in the context in which it stands, the didactic principle in a quite profound way speaks of the works of the LORD. For the psalmist, wisdom is not mere prudence, however sagacious and useful, nor is it a theory about the meaning of the world, an explanation of what is and how it works. Wisdom rises out of and is given through the twofold works of God.
– James Mays