Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.
The psalmist in this passage is praising God for Gods works. Among these works was the delivery of Gods people from their enemies through the exodus, during which God also provided for Gods peoples needs beyond their deliverance from their enemies. Though Gods people had suffered in the hands of their enemies, their suffering did not alienate them from God but became a source of renewal for them. St. Paul clearly and eloquently writes about renewal through the hope that can be the outcome of the experience of suffering for Gods people: ...suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because Gods love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us (Romans 5:3-5). Such insights are among the depths of delight that cause us to study the great works of God.
The psalmist also ushers us into a new way of viewing life by saying that the fear/reverence of God is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of the Lord alters, indeed transforms, the way we think and act because we now submit our lives to God knowing that no matter what happens to us, good or bad, God will never leave us abandoned. We fully and wholly rely on God, and this is a leap of faith.
As we continue to study the works of God, we move ever deeper and delightfully into the wisdom of God.
Thulisiwe N. Beresford is pastor of Salem Lutheran Church, Flint, Michigan.
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