Lectio Divina: Psalms 111:1-5

Praise the Lord.

I will extol the Lord with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

Great are the works of the Lord;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.

Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever.

He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate.

He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.

When I get up early enough I can watch the sun rise from the window in my study. Some mornings the radiant colors that fill the eastern sky are almost indescribable. Words cannot express the beauty.

Worship is that way for me. There are times when I cannot put into words what is going on in my heart. However I think it is important to try.

The worship expressed in this Psalm is both personal and communal. While it is intensly personal it is also intended to be shared in a community of worshipers.

The Psalmist says “I will extol the Lord with all my heart.” His worship is very personal! Psalms 111 through 113 begin with the Hebrew word “Hallelu Yah.” Praise to Yahweh! Worship is always personal. Paul describes the personal nature of our worship in Romans 12:1. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

The Lectio Divina today also tells me that worship is our praise to God expressed and experienced in the company of other worshipers… “In the council of the upright,” and “in the assembly.”

Paul tried to put into words his understanding of this aspect of worship when he wrote to the Ephesian church… “be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns,


and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:18-20)

Individually we lift our voices and my hearts to the Lord God in worship in the presence of others… in our community of faith. When we worship together we are actually “speaking to one another.”

The personal and communal aspects of worship create a beautiful tonal tension that resolves itself in an amazing harmony of voices and hearts that bring honor and glory to God. Individually we express what God means to us and as a community those expressions unite as a chorus of beautiful and inspiring worship. Worshiping together unites us, inspires us, and encourages us. That’s why the writer of Hebrews warns us, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Together we worship God for all that He is, all that He has done, and all that He is doing. In doing so we extol His glory and describe His nature. The first five verses of Psalms 111 is an expression of our collective response to God’s …

* Greatness, (v. 2) * Glory (v.3),
* Grace (v.4), and * Goodness (v.5)

Father, teach me how to truly worship. Help me to be more faithful to join with others in sharing the experience of worship. And may our worship not end with a service once a week, but rather let that weekly experience be a doorway into a true service of worship throughout the week.


Published by Larry Doyle

Dr. Larry Doyle served as the Director of Missions for the Piedmont Baptist Association from September 1, 2003, to May 31, 2016. Since retiring from the Piedmont Baptist Association in 2016, Dr. Doyle has served as interim pastor and pulpit supply for several churches in the Piedmont Triad area. He served the Pinecroft Baptist Church from August 2018 to October 2020. His ministry began in the pastorate in Kentucky, his native state. He served as pastor of three churches while completing his undergraduate, graduate and post graduate degrees. (1968–1979) He and his wife Becky, a native of Greensboro, served as missionaries with the International Mission Board in Ecuador from 1980 to 1992. They returned to North Carolina where Larry pastored the Union Cross Hispanic Baptist Church in Kernersville from 1992 to 2000. In January 2001 he and Becky moved Honduras where they served as the On-site Coordinator for Disaster Relief with the North Carolina Baptist Men, coordinating volunteer teams in rebuilding houses and churches after the destruction of Hurricane Mitch. Upon returning from Honduras in January 2002, Larry served as the International Ministries Director for Baptist Metrolina Ministries in Charlotte, NC, a position he held until answering the call to become the Director of Missions for the Piedmont Baptist Association in Greensboro, NC in September 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Kentucky University, and received a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Today Larry enjoys “Strengths Coaching” and mentoring pastors and church leaders. He also enjoys finding, refinishing and repurposing old, discarded furniture. Larry and Becky have two sons, Steve and Tim, and are the proud grandparents of five.

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