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Psalms 111-118


A Devotional Journey   
     led by Dr Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
        Psalm 111 and 112 appear to be connected to the same writer and themes.  God's reliability and faithfulness as well as His place at the heart of wisdom are the reasons why the man . . . who finds great delight in his commands will be blessed in his family, in his circumstances, and in his inner thoughts and feelings.
        Psalm 113 begins with a traditional form of praise known as a Hallel, from the same root as our English transliteration, Hallelujah.  Psalms 113-118 are all similar in this regard and considered part of what is called the Egyptian Hallel which was used in worship during the major religious festivals in Israel. (Passover and the others listed in Leviticus 23 and Numbers 10).   During the Passover celebration, 113 and 114 were sung before the meal and 115-118 after.
        Psalm 114 is one of the most carefully crafted of the psalms.  It celebrates the Exodus and obviously (see verse 2) dates from a period after the death of Solomon and the division of the nation into Judah and Israel. 
        Psalm 115 possibly dates from the dedication of the second temple during the time of Ezra (Ezra 6:16).  It reminds those hearing its words that God is still the God of the Jews and that He remembers them.  His blessing is affirmed and hope in his continued support is presented. 
        Psalm 116 is traditionally associated with King Hezekiah and his healing by God (see Isaiah 38).  However, as a corporate expression, this psalm might have been seen as a reference to God's protection and grace during the exodus from Egypt. 
        Psalm 117 is the shortest psalm in the collection.  It is also the shortest chapter in the Bible. It has been thought that this psalm was the seventh and concluding psalm in a group of Hallelujah psalms including 111-116.
        Psalm118 may have been sung by Jesus and his disciples at the end of the Last Supper.  This possibility arises from the fact that it is the last song of the group called the Egyptian Hallel which was used during the Passover celebration and the Last Supper is tied into that celebration.
        Praising God is a continuous part of the life of anyone who worships H im.  Our praise begins with His greatness, but always flows out of our own experience of His grace in our lives. 
        Today make a Top 10 list of the reasons you have to praise God.  What are the blessings you have received from Him?  At what points were you aware of His protection and/or love?  After you write them down, have your own time of praise.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010