|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
111:1-10 The Lord is to be praised for his works. - The psalmist resolves to praise God himself. Our exhortations and our examples should agree together. He recommends the works of the Lord, as the proper subject, when we are praising him; and the dealings of his providence toward the world, the church, and particular persons. All the works of the Lord are spoken of as one, it is his work; so admirably do all the dispensations of his providence centre in one design. The works of God, humbly and diligently sought into, shall all be found just and holy. God's pardoning sin is the most wonderful of all his works, and ought to be remembered to his glory. He will ever be mindful of his covenant; he has ever been so, and he ever will be so. His works of providence were done according to the truth of the Divine promises and prophecies, and so were verity, or truth; and by him who has a right to dispose of the earth as he pleases, and so are judgment, or righteous: and this holds good of the work of grace upon the heart of man, ver. 7,8. All God's commandments are sure; all have been fulfilled by Christ, and remain with him for a rule of walk and conversation to us. He sent redemption unto his people, out of Egypt at first, and often afterwards; and these were typical of the great redemption, which in the fulness of time was to be wrought out by the Lord Jesus. Here his everlasting righteousness shines forth in union with his boundless mercy. No man is wise who does not fear the Lord; no man acts wisely except as influenced by that fear. This fear will lead to repentance, to faith in Christ, to watchfulness and obedience. Such persons are of a good understanding, however poor, unlearned, or despised.
Verse 2. - The works of the Lord are great. Not his material works, but the doings of his providence (see vers. 3-9). Sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. Searched into and carefully studied by all who take an interest in such things. Deru-shim, "objects of study," is etymologically connected with madrasa, a college, a "place of study and research."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The works of the Lord are great,.... His works of creation are great, being made out of nothing, are the effects of great power, and the produce of great wisdom, and which greatly display the glory of their Maker; the works of providence are great, which are daily wrought, especially such as concern the church and people of God, for whom he does great things, whereof they have reason to be glad and praise his name; the miracles of Christ he wrought here on earth were surprisingly great, some of them such as had not keen known from the creation of the world; and yet greater things were shown him, and done by him, particularly the work of redemption, a work which angels and men were unequal to, a work which none but the great God and our Saviour could effect, and is truly called the great salvation; the work of grace upon the heart is a great work, and requires the exceeding greatness of the divine power, and which is exerted in the beginning, carrying on, and finishing that work; and for all which the Lord is to be praised: and the rather since they are such as are
sought out of all them that have pleasure therein; or "sought out because of all the pleasures of them, or that are in them" (f), which comes to much the same sense: there is a pleasure in the contemplation of the works of nature and providence; to behold the power, wisdom, and goodness of God in them, and his care over all his creatures; and particularly how he makes all things to work together for the good of his people; and especially it is delightful to observe the works of grace, how the glory of all the divine perfections is displayed in them; angels themselves take pleasure in looking into them: now these are sought and found out by those who delight in them; the works of creation are to be sought and found in the book of nature, the works of providence in the book of experience, and the works of grace in the book of God; and indeed all of them are recorded there, which are searched with pleasure by those that are inquisitive after them.
(f) "ob omnes amabilitates eorum", Cocceius; "secundum omnia desideria eorum", Gejerus.
The Treasury of David
2 The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.
3 His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.
4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
5 He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.
6 He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen.
7 The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments, are sure.
8 They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.
"The works of the Lord are great." In design, in size, in number, in excellence, all the works of the Lord are great. Even the little things of God are great. In some point of view or other each one of the productions of his power, or the deeds of his wisdom, will appear to be great to the wise in heart. "Sought out of all them that have pleasure therein." Those who love their Maker delight in his handiworks, they perceive that there is more in them than appears upon the surface, and therefore they bend their minds to study and understand them. The devout naturalist ransacks nature, the earnest student of history pries into hidden facts and dark stories, and the man of God digs into the mines of Scripture, and hoards up each grain of its golden truth. God's works are worthy of our researches, they yield us instruction and pleasure wonderfully blended, and they grow upon, appearing to be far greater, after investigation than before. Men's works are noble from a distance; God's works are great when sought out. Delitzsch reads the passage, "Worthy of being sought after in all their purposes," and this also is a grand truth, for the end and design which God hath in all that he makes or does is equally admirable with the work itself. The hidden wisdom of God is the most marvellous part of his works, and hence those who do not look below the surface miss the best part of what he would teach us. Because the works are great they cannot be seen all at once, but must be looked into with care, and this seeking out is of essential service to us by educating our faculties, and strengthening our spiritual eye gradually to bear the light of the divine glory. It is well for us that all things cannot be seen at a glance, for the search into their mysteries is as useful to us as the knowledge which we thereby attain. The history of the Lord's dealings with his people is especially a fit subject for the meditation of reverent minds who find therein a sweet solace, and a never failing source of delight.
"His work is honourable and glorious." His one special work, the salvation of his people, is here mentioned as distinguished from his many other works. This reflects honour and glory upon him. It is deservedly the theme of the highest praise, and compels those who understand it and experience it to ascribe all honour and glory unto the Lord. Its conception, its sure foundations, its gracious purpose, its wise arrangements, its gift of Jesus as Redeemer, its application of redemption by the Holy Ghost in regeneration and sanctification, and all else which make up the one glorious whole, all redound to the infinite honour of Him who contrived and carried out so astounding a method of salvation. No other work can be compared with it: it honours both the Saviour and the saved, and while it brings glory to God it also brings us to glory. There is none like the God of Jeshurun, and there is no salvation like that which he has wrought for his people. "And his righteousness endureth for ever." In the work of grace righteousness is not forgotten, nor deprived of its glory; rather, it is honoured in the eyes of the intelligent universe. The bearing of guilt by our great Substitute proved that not even to effect the purposes of his grace would the Lord forget his righteousness; no future strain upon his justice can ever be equal to that which it has already sustained in the bruising of his dear Son; it must henceforth assuredly endure for ever. Moreover, the righteousness of God in the whole plan can never now be suspected of failure, for an that it requires is already performed, its demands are satisfied by the double deed of our Lord in enduring the vengeance due, and in rendering perfect obedience to the law. Caprice does not enter into the government of the Lord, the rectitude of it is and must for ever be beyond all question. In no single deed of God can unrighteousness be found, nor shall there ever be: this is the very glory of his work, and even its adversaries cannot gainsay it. Let believers. therefore, praise him evermore, and never blush to speak of that work which is so honourable and glorious.
"He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered." He meant them to remain in the recollection of his people, and they do so: partly because they are in themselves memorable, and because also he has taken care to record them by the pen of inspiration, and has written them upon the hearts of his people by his Holy Spirit. By the ordinances of the Mosaic law, the coming out of Egypt, the sojourn in the wilderness, and other memorabilia of Israel's history were constantly brought before the minds of the people, and their children were by such means instructed in the wonders which God had wrought in old time. Deeds such as God has wrought are not to be admired for an hour and then forgotten, they are meant to be perpetual signs and instructive tokens to all coming generations; and especially are they designed to confirm the faith of his people in the divine love, and to make them know that "the Lord is gracious and full of compassion." They need not fear to trust his grace for the future, for they remember it in the past. Grace is as conspicuous as righteousness in the great work of God, yea, a fulness of tender love is seen in all that he has done. He treats his people with great consideration for their weakness and infirmity; having the same pity for them as a father hath towards his children. Should we not praise him for this? A silver thread of lovingkindness runs through the entire fabric of God's work of salvation and providence, and never once is it left out in the whole piece. Let the memories of his saints bear witness to this fact with grateful joy.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. His works, that is, of providence and grace are
sought—or, carefully studied, by all desiring to know them.
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