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Thursday, February 22

Psalm 111 (NRSV) Mirroring God’s Attributes 

Praise the Lord! …

Great are the works of the Lord,
     studied by all who delight in them.
Full of honor and majesty is his work,
     and his righteousness endures forever.

He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds;
     the Lord is gracious and merciful.
 He provides food for those who fear him;
     He  is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
     in giving them the heritage of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
     all his precepts are trustworthy.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;

     all those who practice it have a good understanding.

Psalm 112 (NRSV)   

Praise the Lord!
Happy are those who fear the Lord,

     who greatly delight in his commandments.

[The righteous] are not afraid of evil tidings;
     their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.
Their hearts are steady; they will not be afraid;
     in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have distributed freely; they have given to the poor;
     righteousness endures forever;


Psalm 111 and 112 were written to go together – one mirroring the other.  Each is 10 verses long with 22 lines.  They are in an alphabetic acrostic form where each line begins with a successive letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  They were intended to be sung in a congregational setting in praise of God (“Hallelujah”).  Collectively, they summarize a foundation for what we believe as Christians and how our beliefs should be expressed in our lives, including how we are to extend hospitality and serve those in need.

Psalm 111 praises God who is merciful and loving as seen in God’s great works. “The fear of the Lord [awe, respect, reverence] is the beginning of wisdom.”  Psalm 111 provides us a “good understanding” of wisdom by setting forth God’s attributes that we should mirror:  be gracious and merciful, provide food to those in need, and be faithful, just, and trustworthy.

Psalm 112 then praises the people of God.  It tell us that, as people of God, we are to mirror God by reflecting his attributes in our lives.  Jesus’s life provides us with the perfect example of how we can mirror God.  We can love our neighbor as ourself and share with those in need the talents, time, and resources that we have received through God’s grace. Having experienced God’s mighty acts on our behalf, we should share with the poor and needy what God has given to us.  We should seek to lead righteous lives marked by generosity, mercy, justice, and integrity.  

Prayer ‎‎

Lord, please help us to love you and your son Jesus with all of our heart, mind, and soul and to live according to the guidance you and Jesus have given us.  As we live our lives, help us to mirror your attributes as we extend your hospitality to and serve those in need.  Amen.

 Adrian Steel