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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

Psalms 111

Verses 1-10

Psalms 111:1-10 has twenty-two lines. It is known as an acrostic psalm; each line in this psalm begins with a succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet. And so the first line of the psalm in Hebrew begins with Aleph, the second line in Hebrew begins with Beyth, the third line begins with Giymel, and the fourth Daleth, and so forth through the Hebrew alphabet, each line. And this is true also of Psalms 112:1-10 , another psalm of twenty-two lines. They are called acrostic because of the alphabet is used in a succeeding way throughout the psalm. It begins with Hallelujah.

Praise unto the LORD [Hallelujah]. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation. The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all of them that have pleasure therein. His work is honorable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion ( Psalms 111:1-4 ).

Again, how wrong it is to picture the God of the Old Testament as the God of judgment and wrath and all. Void of love. Here again the psalmist declares, "The Lord is gracious, full of compassion."

He hath given meat to them that reverence him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant. He hath showed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen. The works of his hands are truth and judgment; and all of his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name ( Psalms 111:5-9 ).

Don't call me Reverend. There is nothing reverend about the name of Chuck or Smith. I refuse the title. It is used in the scripture only of the name of the Lord. To me it would be almost blasphemous to tag that title onto me or onto my name. In fact, I don't like any titles. But I always wonder about the person who tacks a Reverend on his signature when it is a title that is ascribed only to that holy name of Yahweh. That is the name that is reverend or to be reverenced.

But man in seeking the honor of man and the glory from man takes that title to himself because he wants man to give him prestige and glory and honor. And so somewhere along the line back in history, ministers began to take the tag of Reverend So-and-so. Reverend, and then their name. And then the Right Reverend. And then the Most Right Reverend. And then the Most Holy Right Reverend. And I'm sure that God looks down and says, (Raspberries). No, He doesn't say that, honey? No, He doesn't say that. But I'm sure He's disgusted with it, however He expresses His disgust. That men should seek to exalt their name. Oh God, help us. Let us exalt the name of Jesus. "God has given Him a name that is above all names: that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, every tongue shall confess" ( Philippians 2:9-11 ). But as far as man, we're all dust. We're all flesh. We're all corrupt. And titles by which men try to elevate themselves above others are a curse. They're a sign of pride, and Reverend is a sign of spiritual pride which is the worst kind ever. "Holy and reverend is His name." For any man to take the title of Reverend, there has got to be something wrong with his theology.

The fear of the LORD ( Psalms 111:10 ):

Or the reverence of the Lord. And actually the word fear is reverence. The reverence of Yahweh. "Holy and reverenced is His name. And the reverence of Yahweh,"

is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever ( Psalms 111:10 ).

Now let me say this. I believe that there are many men who have taken the title of Reverend in sheer ignorance. I mean, I don't think that they are really trying to exalt themselves. Or every man that signs it Reverend Whoever is trying to exalt themselves and has a pride problem. And that I believe that there are some that just follow tradition and haven't even thought the thing through and haven't even gone to the scriptures. And thus, you know, I put it down not to a real pride problem. I just put it down to stupidity. So it would be wrong if you get a letter from Reverend Ike. What is so reverend about the name Ike, pray tell? Icky Ike. We better move on into Psalms 112:1-10 . "

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 111". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.