What does it say?
Psalms 111 and 112 are both acrostic psalms. Though each has ten verses in English, they are 22 lines in Hebrew and each line begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Psalms 111, 112 and 113 are also part of a group of ten psalms called the Hallelujah Psalms because they begin with the word Hallelujah. We use the word Hallelujah in English and many other languages, but here the word is translated correctly as praise.
Psalms 113 through 118 are sung together in community on the most solemn occasions, especially the Feast of Tabernacles and Passover. Jews call them the Hallel, or songs of praise. In Jewish homes Psalms 113 and 114 are sung prior to the Passover meal, while Psalms 115-118 are sung following the meal. In Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26 this is what Jesus and the disciples sung at what we call the Last Supper, called in these passages a hymn.
What does it mean?
These psalms are short and present no great difficulty in understanding. A good exercise today would be for you to give a one word, or one phrase summary of each of these eight psalms.
Here are a few things to observe as you go through these psalms. In the brief Psalm 117 note the heart for the nations. God’s mission has never changed. Psalm 118 is the middle chapter of the Bible. Psalm 118:22 is quoted and applied to Jesus by Peter in 1Peter 2:7.
How will I respond?
Having completed a one word or phrase summary of each of these psalms, choose one to pray back to God from the perspective of your personal life. Then, choose another of these psalms to be your guide as you pray to God for the “nations,” the people or ethnic groups of the world that still have not heard the Good News of Jesus.